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.
When we saw an article in The Times about the 30 best towns in Great Britain, it sparked our imaginations at Explorer House and we wanted to see them laid out on a map. Would there be a hotspot in one area of the country?
The Times actually looked at a range of towns spread across great Britain that were chosen for their charm, history, housing, amenities and much more. Not only that, but they identified that these popular towns could already be spotted quite easily as their housing prices tended to be higher than the average for their region.
Over a series of days the newspaper ran a number of other top 30s featuring the coolest places to live, best places to retire and best places to have a second home, amongst others. We’ve taken four of those top 30s and put them on a map…have a look by clicking on the link below.
We launched Linked Data in April 2010 and have seen a continued growth of the use in government and research. This has allowed us to develop a deeper understanding of the use of Linked Data, which we have used to develop an improved service, it’s easy to use and access adhering to new standards making the data more open.
In summary, the improvements we have made are:
Developed a data hub that provides access to all our Linked Data datasets, with integrated search to enable anyone to easily locate resources of interest.
Embedded OS OpenSpace maps to show the geographic location chosen.
Separate datasets, which will allow you to narrow down your searches. For example, if you are looking for postcode information, you can query just the Code-Point Open Linked dataset.
Improved metadata for each dataset such as publication dates, licensing terms and coverage.
SPARQL 1.1 compliant endpoints for all datasets, which provide more functionality for querying our Linked Data.
Redesigned search API based on the OpenSearch specification and with support for geography based queries.
Support for the Open Refine Reconciliation API, which will allow you to more easily link your data with ours.
All new API documentation and interactive tools for all API’s, including integrated example resources and queries.
If you are using our current Linked Data service, we would really appreciate if you could take a look at the beta service and test against your current applications. If you have any feedback, please contact the Linked Data team by sending an email to email@example.com
If Linked Data is new to you and you want to find out more, data.gov.uk provides overviews, videos and examples of other government departments Linked datasets.
We’re delighted to launch our new GeoVation Challenge ‘How can we help British business improve environmental performance? ’
We’re calling for innovative ideas to help businesses remove barriers to easily improving their environmental performance – with a slice of £100,000 up for grabs for the best ideas.
Using GeoVation’s established Powwow methodology to uncover the problems associated with meeting the challenge, we’ve identified a list of problems which form the basis for the challenge.
How can we help business see the value in their waste?
How can communities and businesses work together, irrespective of geography and social demographic?
How do we make environmental performance a more attractive proposition for investment and innovation?
As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas that address the identified problems using geography, technology and design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 in development funding for best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace.
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.
A quick search of our place name gazetteer reveals that the country is blossoming with plenty of places for budding romantics to confess their love on Valentine’s Day. So, we’ve taken a list of romantic place names and added them to our romantic OS OpenSpace map. So, if you want to take your Truelove (Devon) for a romantic stroll to say Isle of Ewe (say it out loud), you can now see the best spots to visit.
In less time than it takes to boil an egg, you can get up and running with our OS OpenSpace API! Watch our video to see just how simple it is.
We’ve just launched version 4.0 of OS OpenSpace and it now supports mobile touch devices. This means websites using OS OpenSpace maps can now be viewed and panned on tablets and mobile devices, enhancing user experience and providing even more possibilities for web developers.
Broken line of code stopping you from embedding a web-map on your website? Haven’t quite managed to mend the markers on your online map? An offline mapping-related problem that you need some advice with? Well, have no fear, help is here!
Back by popular demand, our resident GeoDoctor returns on Thursday 17 January. From 10 am to 3 pm, we’ll be holding our first GeoSurgery of 2013 at the Google Campus in London. During the drop-in session, the GeoDoctor will be on hand to diagnose and provide advice for all of those Geo-related aches, pains and agonies that might have been preventing you from making headway with your project – helping you get back on track by prescribing the next course of action.
We love to see examples of OS OpenSpace, our free service allowing users to embed maps into web pages, being used – and we also love using it ourselves! Over the last twelve months we’ve featured seven great uses of OS OpenSpace, related to our business and events taking place in 2012. But have you seen other great examples? Send us the links on the blog to showcase the examples.
In the meantime, check out our top seven:
1. Did you know that three new cities were created this year to mark the Diamond Jubilee? We decided to plot Great Britain’s cities.
2. The 2012 London Olympic Games were big news this year and we wanted to celebrate the success of our medal-winning athletes. We decided to find out which areas are medal-winning hotspots by plotting athlete’s birth towns on the map.
3. Of course the 2012 London Paralympic Games were just as high-profile, so we created a new map to show the birth towns of our medal-winning Paralympians.
Were you sat in front of the TV on Sunday evening, waiting to see who was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year? Perhaps winner Bradley Wiggins or one of the nominees was local to you and you were willing them to be the winner. Here at Ordnance Survey we were all willing different nominees to win, but our minds inevitably turned to mapping – and we wondered where the winners and nominees came from, and whether there were hotspots around the country that produce our successful sports men and women.
So, we created a map using OS OpenSpace. We’ve taken the nominees for both BBC Sports Personality of the Year and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and placed a marker in the town they were born. As we’re the national mapping agency for Great Britain, where a nominee has been born outside Great Britain (and that includes Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands) we put our marker in the town in which they currently live, rather than the town where they were born. If the athlete also lives outside Great Britain, we’ll place the marker in the place they grew up.
Take a look at our map and see if there any nominees clustered in your area – perhaps it will inspire you to take up a new sport!