This week from Monday through to Sunday you’ll find us at the Digital Shoreditch festival, an event that attracts hundreds of speakers from the most innovative and successful companies and organisations across creative, technical, start-up tech and digital spaces and beyond. During the week, we’ll be exhibiting, speaking and promoting our digital products and services amongst some of Tech City’s most talented digital and technical creative individuals.
The festival has a different theme each day, comprising of panel sessions, key note speeches and discussions – kicking off with today’s “What Tech City” theme. During the day, festival goers will collectively explore the many companies and organisations that make Tech City what it is, focusing on developing new ways to exploit the potential for growing global engagement and improving our digital economy and society.
Continue reading 'Digital Shoreditch festival 2013 – hear how we’re involved!'»
There’s only a week left to enter Ordnance Survey’s current GeoVation Challenge in which we’re offering a share of £100,000 in funding for the best ideas to help business to improve environmental performance and our Geovation Team have been busy spreading the word amongst the developer and entrepreneurial community.
On Monday night the GeoVation team were at the Google Campus for a Dreamstake Founders event to promote the latest challenge to the entrepreneur community. The Dreamstake Academy consists of a series of workshops which focus on the fundamentals of launching and building a startup and Monday night was part of their series of ‘Learn from Founders’ Startup Stories evenings in which presents an opportunity for new start-ups to learn how to create a successful startup and avoid the obvious mistakes.
The evening kicked off at 6.30pm as Chris Parker of the GeoVation Team delivered a keynote presentation on GeoVation and the role of geography in innovation. Chris explained how GeoVation challenges are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographic information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and environmental benefit. He introduced our latest GeoVation Challenge, ‘How can we help British Business improve environmental performance? which is calling for innovative ideas that address the identified problems using geography, technology and design. The challenge runs to 1 May 2013.
Following Chris’ presentation several startup founders presented the stories of how they have developed their ideas and shared the secret of their success. There was a great deal on interest in the GeoVation Challenge and data available from Ordnance Survey including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace.
Continue reading 'Help business think green – one week left to enter our GeoVation challenge'»
Michael Palin talking to BCS members
We recently attended a talk by Michael Palin at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London. Hosted by the British Cartographic Society (BCS), this talk was billed as the headline event in a year that marks the society’s 50th anniversary.
Upon our rain-drenched arrival, we took to our seats in the impressive Ondaatje Theatre and waited intently as BCS president, Peter Jones introduced the guest speaker to the stage. As former president of the Royal Geographical Society, Michael Palin was in familiar surroundings. He began his hour-long talk by reciting memories of his childhood when he would spend long periods of time pensively poring over maps and atlases, overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of the world. It was these graphical depictions of the world that ignited his desire to travel, something for which he is now notorious. His love of maps was evident as he told of one atlas that he owns and treasures, a family heirloom which he has had refurbished. Of the maps that accompany him on his travels he said, “maps, like notebooks, are the raw materials of my work, constant companions.”
Continue reading 'Michael Palin: A Life in Maps'»
Held at Imperial College, London between 8th April and 26th June, Urban Prototyping (UP London) is an International festival that brings more than 300 developers, technologists, academics, artists, government bodies and community groups together for a series of events that focus on the role that digital technology can play in creating sustainable society.
This year we were invited to participate and contribute to the agenda, which has a specific theme concentrating on the role that digital technology can play in harnessing the creation of resilient environments, economies and communities. We were delighted to accept the invite, as the festival presents an opportunity for us to introduce our range of products and services in such a context, whilst allowing us to engage with communities that might not have previously considered the many benefits geographic information can bring to potential innovations,
On Tuesday, a series of workshops were held that explored the “Internet of Things for Future Cities” and we contributed to the session by running a 2-hour workshop. We used the time by firstly reminding and in some instances, introducing people to the geographic information that Ordnance Survey have produced and maintained for over 200 years. After setting this context, we then provided details of both our free web mapping API – OS OpenSpace – as well as our range of OS OpenData products before inviting everyone to partake in a shortened version of our popular OS OpenData Masterclass. Many developers have used OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace to solve problems and in turn create social, economic and environmental value, so it seemed entirely relevant to offer this information to the festival goers.
Continue reading 'Ordnance Survey takes part at Urban Prototyping Festival'»
We’ve just published a GeoVation booklet which includes information on GeoVation Challenges and case studies on winning ideas. For those of our blog followers who aren’t aware, Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation runs innovation challenges, which aim to address problems, which may be satisfied in part through the use of geography.
GeoVation Challenges are open to entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, government and individuals. They are focussed on finding innovative and useful ways of using geographical information, including open data and tools, to build new ventures that will generate social, economic and/ or environmental value.
The booklet has some interesting facts about GeoVation which has been running since October 2009. In that time:
- 1448 participants have registered
- 509 ideas have been submitted
- 57 teams have participated in GeoVation Camps and
- 20 winners have been awarded a share of over £435, 000 in innovation funding to develop their ventures.
We’ve made the booklet available online, so you can find out more about how you can innovate with GeoVation, the GeoVation journey, the ideas we have funded so far and the people who make GeoVation happen. We’ve also made the case studies available individually– see our case study map.
Download your copy of the GeoVation booklet and find out more!
Continue reading 'A GeoVation update!'»
In 1854 a severe outbreak of cholera swept through the Soho district of London, resulting in the death of hundreds of people. Many believed the cause of deaths were linked to ‘bad air’, however a physician named John Snow was determined to get to the bottom of the devastating outbreak.
John Snow strongly believed that the deaths were linked to the local areas water supply and began to mark the locations of each death as a dot on a map centred on Bond Street (now Broadwick Street). The map highlighted large clusters of fatalities in the vicinity of the Bond Street pump, from where residents used to get their water from. Snow suspected that this water pump was the source of the outbreak.
In order to add more proof to his theory Snow added a further line to his map – an irregular shaped loop that marked the boundary between the Broad Street pump and other water pumps in the area. The new boundary line showed the residents and workers who could access the Broad Street pump the quickest.
The map now clearly displayed that the majority of deaths had occurred within the drawn boundary, reinforcing the fact that the Broad Street pump was the source. This map became the central piece of evidence that convinced the authorities of cholera’s waterborne transmission and of their need to improve the sewer system.
If you didn’t already know, we launched our first intake of the Ordnance Survey Accreditation Programme in September 2012 to create a network of geographic information (GI) experts. It’s a scheme that accredits independent technical experts who have significant experience in the GI industry. The Accredited Consultants offer technical consultancy services, external to their business, relating to our products and services, independently of Ordnance Survey.
Earlier this month we launched the second intake for the Accredited Consultant programme. If you’re interested in applying, then please see our website for further information.
We launched the programme to ensure that the best industry experts are available, independently of Ordnance Survey, so we can ensure our customers have access to the impartial advice and most up to date information on our products that they need.
Top left to right: Chris Nelson, Hugh Neffendorf, Ian Bush, Andy Terry, Alun Jones, Paula Langford-Smith, Phil Francis, Liz Scott, Neil Dewfield. Bottom left to right: Andy Gilbert, Jonathan Stokes, Danielle Allen, Matthew White, Nick Chapallaz, Andrew Murdock.
Continue reading 'Welcome to our Accredited Consultants'»
For any of our blog followers that aren’t aware, Ordnance Survey offer a web mapping service called OS OpenSpace. The Application Programming Interface (API) allows developers to embed our maps into public websites and mobile applications, for free.
But why do developers choose OS OpenSpace above other free web mapping providers? Well, some of the mapping data offered through our service is based on our world-famous paper map series which many are familiar with (1:50 000 scale mapping data is offered through OS OpenSpace; whilst 1:25 000 scale data is offered through OS OpenSpace Pro – which is the paid-for version of the web mapping service). The feedback we’ve received from customers who have are using OS OpenSpace, suggests they believe the quality of the data, particularly in rural areas is unrivalled. The level of detail provided means that it’s possible to create applications with detailed information on any given area, rather than providing just an overview and this is a point that many developers get excited by.
We have just released OS OpenSpace v4.0, which supports mobile touch devices, meaning any website using OS OpenSpace can be viewed and panned on tablets and mobile devices, enhancing user experience and providing even more possibilities for web developers. The new functionality, such as kinetic mapping, enables smoother panning; and new touch screen functionality allows users of your website application to easily add markers, routes etc. using a tablet or mobile device.
Continue reading 'OS OpenSpace developer event on 26 February – sign up now'»
If you’ve seen us tweeting about @UNGGIM recently and wondered why, find out more with this guest post from my colleague Jevon Snell.
One of the areas of Ordnance Survey’s activities that is perhaps not as well-known as others, is our involvement within the broader international geospatial or mapping community. Ordnance Survey has a hard-earned reputation as one of the world’s leading National Mapping Authorities. One reflection of this is that our Director General and Chief Executive was elected as one of the first two Co-Chairs of a recently established new United Nations initiative on geospatial information.
We take it for granted that our emergency services can be routed to an incident in the quickest possible way, based on accurate and up-to-date digital mapping. However, not all countries are so fortunate.
The United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management, or UN-GGIM as we more commonly refer to it, was established by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in July 2011 in order to try and realise a vision that could help address this – to make accurate, reliable and authoritative geospatial information readily available, in all countries, to support national, regional and global development.
- Vanessa Lawrence, Ordnance Survey Director General & CEO and Co-Chair at UN-GGIM, making the opening ceremony address to the UN-GGIM Committee of Experts
Continue reading 'Ordnance Survey and the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management'»