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.
Last week we presented at the fourth Open Source GIS conference at the Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham. The annual conference provides a platform for people from across government, academia, industry and open source communities to network and share ideas for future collaborative work in open source, open standards and open data geospatial technologies.
So…for the benefit of those of us that aren’t sure what open source is, well, it is often described as being a way of working that allows the source code for software applications to be made freely and openly available, encouraging a public and collaborative approach to the ongoing development and enhancement of the software. This ensures that everybody can contribute to, and benefit from, these developments.
Image: Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham
If you are interested in walking and want to understand more about the stories behind your favourite places in Great Britain, then why not visit www.discoveringbritain.org. The new website from the Royal Geographical Society with IBG is a must see for anyone who wants to discover more about Britain’s fantastic landscapes. An additional bonus for visitors is that all the walks are displayed on Ordnance Survey mapping though our great online mapping service OS OpenSpace.
Every place has a story to tell – whether dramatic mountains, busy city centres, windswept beaches, rolling fields, leafy suburbs, quaint villages or expansive mud flats. The website allows you to discover how our amazing landscapes are shaped by people, historic events, the economy, the forces of nature and much more. Through the website you can search for walks in three different ways – by the type of landscape at the heart of the story, by the setting of the walks, and by location or geographical region. When you select the walk which appeals to you, it can be viewed on an Ordnance Survey map.
In a survey last year, users told us that they were keen to hear more about the innovative ways in which Ordnance Survey data is being used. So, in response, we are delighted to welcome you to the first of our Innovation newsletters, designed to give you the most up-to-date news about our Innovation initiatives – OS OpenData, OS OpenSpace and GeoVation.
Since the launch of OS OpenData, we have seen OS Street View and OS VectorMap District become the most popular datasets for download. Users have ranged from councils to developers of games on Facebook! There’s more about this and other OS OpenSpace developments in the newsletter (PDF).
We are focused on widening access to our data and supporting innovation to create new economic and social value for Great Britain. Since we launched OS OpenData in 2010, we’ve been encouraging developers to create and develop new applications using our data.
Our GeoVation programme looks to encourage the use of geography to address specific needs through a series of focused challenges. It’s a place where communities, innovative thinkers, geographic data, skills and expertise can get together for the benefit of communities and their needs. You can read about the new challenges in this newsletter and remind yourself of previous challenges and some of their winners.
We’re also extremely pleased to have delivered our 10 000th API key for OS OpenSpace. We launched it in January 2008, to enable developers to develop innovative ways of displaying information based on our maps. On average there are over 1 million downloads each day and I July last year, we delivered our one billionth tile download – quite a milestone.
If you’d like to subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out next time, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
OS Openspace was launched on January 31 2008, to enable developers to produce exciting and innovative ways of displaying information using our maps.
There is a Trailblaze route along part of the South West Coast Path
If you’ve been exploring some of the national trails this summer you may have noticed some white metal boxes along the way with the image of red flames on it. The boxes are part of self guided trail running routes along the national trails that enable the runner to check in at the check points to log their times.
Trailblaze have set courses on several of the national trails including the South West Coast Path, Pennine Way and Offa’s Dyke Path with the support of Natural England. After registering in advance, the runner is provided with a timing tag that must be inserted into each of the checkpoints along the route – this is then fed into an online leader board that you can check when you get home.
There are different levels of trails available to test your stamina and skill ranging from moderate, difficult and hard through to severe and extreme! Each of the trails differ in terrain but the ultimate aim, wherever you do one of the trails is to go the furthest you can, under your own steam and in one go! The routes are all shown on their website using our OS OpenSpace mapping API so you can judge which is better suited to your ability.
The routes are open for you to try all day, every day – and if you tackle one that goes on one of the national trails (denoted by the National Trails logo of an acorn) 20% of your entry fee is donated to maintaining the upkeep of the 2 500 miles of National Trails in Great Britain.
Have you done any of the Trailblaze routes? If so – how did you get on? Which other national trails and long distance routes would you like to see a trail running route set up on?
This week Britain sees some of the top road cyclists take to our roads in the annual Tour of Britain cycle race. The eight day tour of Great Britain started yesterday in Scotland and continues today from Kendal down to Blackpool before continuing around England and Wales for the rest of the week before concluding in London on Sunday 18 September.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia HTC) crossing the finish line to win stage 4 in Blackpool, 2009. But who will win in 2011? Will it be his team mate Mark Cavendish?
To those of you who are going out to see the tour go past – lucky you! I’m jealous!! For those of you though who, like me, aren’t able to get out and see the Tour for yourselves – you can keep an eye on how they are doing and where they are with live tracking from TracLogik. Continue reading 'Tour of Britain live tracking'»
Today on the Ordnance Survey blog we’re going to talk about fun. To be more precise we’re going to talk about how you define fun. The idea for this blog stems from a film that I saw at the Keswick Mountain Festival called Type 2 Fun.
Running was just one of the activities in the adidas TERREX adventure race 2010
There are three types of fun.
Type 1 fun – it’s fun now and will always be fun
Type 2 fun – it’s ok at the time – but looking back it was great fun
Type 3 fun – it’s not fun now and never will be fun
The film follows the progress of a team participating in the adidas TERREX Adventure Race that took place over the August 2010 bank holiday weekend in Cumbria. If you’re not familiar with what an adventure race is – it’s where teams compete against one another over the space of a few days in a variety of different activities including cross country running, mountain biking, kayaking and orienteering. They can last from a few hours up to ten days – this particular one lasted four days.
Each team of four carried a tracking device with them so that their locations could be tracked using OS OpenSpace – and without this the film could not have been made.
Trying to find an adventure racing team among the Cumbrian fells at any hour of the day or night without OS OpenSpace mapping would be a job more suitable for mountain rescue team than a film unit. The satellite tracking of our team every ten minutes within metres on the ground was invaluable information in planning our shoot and we were able to react to the race developments almost as they happened. It was so easy to check out the website maps from anywhere and the team were virtually glued to the maps all hours of the day and night; a marvelous facility.
Johnnie Walker & Vian Curtis, Bufo Films.
If you can catch the film at one of the Mountain Film Festivals – I can thoroughly recommend it.
Watching the film got me thinking – how do you define fun? What outdoor activities fall into which of the three types for you? For me type 1 fun would be walking along a beach, type 2 fun is running and type 3 would be something like the adventure race that featured in the film – what would your definitions of fun be?
On Monday 4 July our OS OpenSpace application delivered its 1 billionth tile download, which is quite a milestone for the team. The tiles are embedded in websites and applications, to create products services using our mapping data. Each time an application is opened a set of tiles are downloaded from our servers.
A tile of data is a square of a digital map with a size between 200 and 256 square pixels. Each OS OpenSpace map is displayed on your screen by joining multiple adjacent tiles.