With just under a week until Christmas Day, many of us will be looking forward to the festive break. For many, the holiday period provides an opportunity to reflect on the activities and achievements completed during the past calendar year. And what a busy year it’s been for Ordnance Survey’s Innovation team! You may have read what the team have been up to recently on the GeoVation blog but for those that missed it, we thought you would be interested to read a review about the fourth series of OS OpenData masterclasses that we ran during the last two weeks of November, so here it is.
Following on from the three previously successful series of masterclasses, we decided to revamp the fourth series, based on feedback received from the previous events. For the first time, participants were shown how to use OS OpenSpace, our free web mapping service that allows users to display up-to-date Ordnance Survey mapping in a web page or online environment. Classmates learned how and where to access code examples, how to use Web-Map Builder, a tool designed to simplify the process of embedding a map into a website; as well as demonstrating an interactive way to experiment with code in the Code Playground.
At each class, we had a couple of members from our technical team on handto answer questions and to generally provide more information about our data and web mapping service offering. We had some interesting conversations – from discussing architecture options of web map services using open source software (such as Apache Tomcat, PostGIS and Geoserver) – to the use of OS OpenData products such as OS VectorMap District for analysis or the various possibilities offered by our Web Services such as OS OpenSpace and our commercial Web Map Service – OS OnDemand.
The classes were held in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and London – and we received many more requests for further events to be held elsewhere in the future. Whilst we haven’t confirmed plans for more classes in 2013, it’s highly likely we will and we’re sure to include dates at locations around Great Britain.
So, you may be thinking – how will you get to hear about future events? Well, we announced the fourth series of classes on our corporate blog at the end of October and on our GeoVation blog a few days later. We also issued a press release around this time too. Other channels were used to promote the classes such as Twitter (tweets from both @OrdnanceSurvey and @GeoVation) and the ‘OSDeveloper‘ page on our website contains a link to future developer events amongst other useful links – so be sure to check this out if you haven’t done already.
We’ve received some excellent suggestions for how the classes could be developed in the future and as always, we’re keen to receive your views too. Please do drop us a line if you have any.
Feedback received from the questionnaire we sent out to those that attended the masterclasses suggests there’s a huge appetite for similar events to be held in the future. Specifically, requests have been received for more events to be held that enable learning and collaboration around the topic of including and incorporating Ordnance Survey mapping into web and mobile applications. We’ll be taking this feedback on board and these areas are sure to be a key focus for the Innovation team in 2013, so watch this space!
Season’s greetings and enjoy your break, however you spend it!