Recently we told you about the new OS OpenData Award that we’re providing to the British Cartographic Society, offering you the chance to win an Apple iPad. Today we bring you a guest blog from one of our Cartographic Designers, Charley Glynn, who has used one of our freely available products to map all five of our head offices from 1791 to the present day:
Our current head office and the grid reference graphic which inspired Charley's map
As cartographic designers,my team and I get a lot of opportunity to design and develop topographic maps. We’re very familiar with making leisure maps and creating custom styles for contextual maps which is why we are particularly excited when we get the opportunity to submit work into map galleries. They give us the chance to build on our own map ideas, exercise our creativity and try out new tools and techniques. One such gallery is being hosted at the FOSS4G 2013 conference, the global conference for free and open source software for geospatial use, organised by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. With that and our new BCS OS OpenData Award in mind I decided to take this opportunity to create something different from my ‘norm’.
Launching today, 22 March 2013, OS VectorMap District Version 1.0 delivers an enhanced user experience over our previous beta version through the provision of additional formats and styling tools. It has been designed for viewing either as a map on its own or as a contextual backdrop to your own data, enabling you to share information more effectively.
OS VectorMap District Version 1.0 is created and maintained from a large scale database and offers an improved representation of features such as roads, roundabouts and railways. The beta version was voted winner in its category at the 2011 British Cartographic Society Awards.
OS VectorMap District Version 1.0 will be freely available under OS OpenData terms.
If you’ve studied or used a paper map before, you will be aware of theOrdnance Survey map symbols which appear on every one. These map symbols, otherwise known as a ‘legend’ or ‘key’, help us to understand what appears on the mapping we use every day at school, at work or when enjoying our free time.
An Ordnance Survey symbol is the mapping language that will guide you through every walk, bike ride, run or geocaching adventure that you go on. Think about how many buildings, landmarks, features, man made or natural, that the landscapes around us plays host to. Every feature appears on the maps you use and the OS map key helps you to understand what your map is telling you.
Map symbols also liven up your maps. The data is brought to life as image. For example, you can find out where to fish by looking for an image of a fish or find out where the nearest castle can be found by locating an OS map symbol of a castle. Simple!
Have you ever looked at a map of the area you lived in and wondered what it used to look like? Historical mapping can often answer that question, and the continued interest in historical mapping pays testament to the number of people who want to answer that question.
Over the last few months we’ve published a number of historic map extracts on the blog and asked you to tell us what stands on the same spot today. It’s been amazing how much some areas have changed – such as Spaghetti Junction or the Bluewater shopping centre – as the man-made urban sprawl continues it’s growth across the mapping.
In today’s extract, taken from a map produced in 1889, the landscape has changed quite dramatically. Can you recognise where it is and tell us what feature would be shown on a modern map? And a bonus point if you know what the feature was previously known as… Continue reading 'What’s here now?'»
In this video case study we explain how Ordnance Survey data was used to prove that claims for a whiplash injury during a bus accident were fraudulent. Our analysis found that the majority of the claimants (who claimed to be travelling home on the bus at the time of the accident), lived miles away from the bus route – and there was in fact another bus route closer to their homes.
Over the last couple of years Ordnance Survey has been working on a collaborative project with UK Location Programme and Cabinet Office to implement map-based tools, making it easier for users to search and preview public location datasets available on data.gov.uk. The project was completed to further enable the publication of location datasets in support of the UK Location Strategy, and as part of the UK contribution to the European INSPIRE project.
We are now pleased to announce that the code developed by Ordnance Survey for these mapping tools has been released as open source.
The Map Based Search (see image below) allows users to draw a box on a background map, leading to a search for datasets which are wholly or partially contained in that area. It also features a gazetteer, so the user can locate by place name where on the map they want to draw their search box. This provide a richer, more advanced way of searching, at national, regional and local level, for records of data sets and services that are referenced by geographical coordinates.
Learning how to use a compass is an important outdoor skill; not just for walkers, but cyclists and runners too. It’s good to take a compass with you, but even better if you know what to do with it.Our guide to using a compass gives you the basic skills, hopefully without over-complicating things.
There are also videos below by Simon King on ‘Know your compass’, and ‘How to use a compass’, to show you how.
Why do you need a compass?
A compass helps you to find where you are and find your way; this is very useful but can be critical if you get lost and visibility is poor. The main ways you use a compass are:
‘Setting’ the map with the compass so that it matches what you see on the ground, and that you’re pointing in the right direction.
Taking a bearing from the map and walking on a bearing (direction)
Using a bearing to identify features on the ground by checking the bearing from where you are.
Identifying your own position using ‘back bearings’ from two or more distant known features (also known as ‘resectioning’).
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.
Thinking of getting out and about now spring is on the way? Do you need to brush up on your map reading skills? Make a start by finding out how to use grid references.
National Grid references are used to accurately pinpoint your location on an Ordnance Survey map. A series of faint blue lines on every map makes up a numbered grid that is used to create the National Grid reference. This is a simple way of finding points and places on a map, to give to others as a meeting location or to quote if you get into trouble and need to specify exactly where you are.
You may find a variety of terms used to describe National Grid references, such as ‘OS grid ref’, ‘grid reference’, ‘OS map ref’ or simply ‘map reference’. While the correct term for these is ‘National Grid reference’, these terms all mean the same thing; however, as we’ll see, grid references can be given in a number of different formats.
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.