Today’s guest blog is from Ordnance Survey’s Cartographic Design team, highlighting the value of good cartographic design.
Applying cartographic styling to geodata makes that data immediately more valuable. It makes the data more efficient to interpret and easier to communicate to others. Good cartographic design may even allow developers to understand their data better and so be able to make better use of it and in turn create better applications.
It is said that design adds an extra dimension to a product (in this case geodata) by making it more aesthetic, usable and human.
Over the last couple of years we have been developing and applying our new corporate map styles which provide visual consistency to our portfolio of vector-based maps. These new styles have been applied to our OS VectorMap products as well as our other digital map products, Meridian 2 and Strategi.
We have developed a full colour style and a backdrop style, with the latter being designed for contextual basemaps that facilitate data overlays. We have applied an element of colour science to ensure that all map features take their place within a clear visual hierarchy whereby the features deemed most important will be perceived first.
Good cartography often takes many years of experience and yet national mapping agencies and cartographic publishing houses are now far from the sole users of geospatial data, so we have decided to share our know-how in the form of ready-made stylesheets. Even simply viewing data in a GIS can be improved by good cartographic styling. Continue reading 'Cartography and the value of styling geodata'»
We thought it would be a fitting end to the year to give you a quick lowdown on what we have all been doing since our last team blog but firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from GeoVation and Ordnance Survey. Thank you for all your support in 2013. We look forward to running some new challenges and events in the New Year, as well as supporting our existing challenge winners.
Well this has been an eventful few months for the GeoVation team. October saw the arrival of a new member joining on secondment, me ‘Jonathan Field’ you may have seen a few of my blogs and the many tweets being sent out. I joined the GeoVation team from our Design team where I worked as a Graphic Designer and my work included producing literature and stands for the GeoVation team.
In the last year I developed a keen interest in Geospatial Information (GI), having spent 6 months in our Pre and Post Sales Support (PPSS) team learning about a variety of GI software and how our products can and are used by our customers.
Since joining the team I have hit the ground running, researching the problem Pow Wow outputs, not only for the current challenge but for the BITC Southampton hub; attending the Malvern Festival of Innovation where we launched our new challenge; helping at several of the OS OpenData masterclasses, travelling from Southampton to as far afield as Edinburgh; managing our social media streams such as Facebook, Twitter and the Blog; and baking the odd cake or two for the team. In my spare time I have for the last three years been renovating my house from top to bottom and have an end in sight finally…I won’t know what to do with myself once I have finished. Continue reading 'Merry Christmas and Happy Innovating New Year from the GeoVation Team'»
We ran a series of free masterclasses this autumn to help new and exisitng opendata users to gain a greater understanding of open data and the tools and techniques to use open datasets, Following the success of the masterclasses across Great Britain, many of you asked to have access to the training materials.
We’ve now made these available on our website for you to download datasets, open source GIS and workbooks to take you through the exercises.
Continue reading 'OS OpenData masterclass materials available to download'»
The first of our latest series of OS OpenData masterclasses was held last week. Dee Davis, product manager for OS OpenData, explains what happened:
On Thursday 7 November, we hosted the first in our 2013 series of OS OpenData masterclasses in Southampton. The event was fully booked and hosted participants from the public sector, commercial businesses and academia.
Ian Holt, our Developer Programme Manager kicked-off the day with an introduction to the benefits of open data and pointed to the different sources of data, such as data.gov.uk and is it open data? and Viv Alexander, Community Manager followed with an overview of our GeoVation process and announced the latest GeoVation Challenge around active lifestyles .
After the introduction it was straight down to business and working through a series of exercises showing how to use a geographic information system (GIS) to work with our OS OpenData products, alongside other open data such as demographics.
Continue reading 'Open data masterclasses kick off in style in Southampton'»
Our OS OpenData masterclasses are filling up quickly, but we still have some spaces left. So, make sure you book your space at an event near you today.
Our masterclasses will follow the format of previous workshops; combining theory and practical sessions.
The updated workshop material will follow the journey of downloading the data, importing it into open source software and mashing with other open datasets to provide analysis. The session is ideal for those new to working with location data or anyone wishing to brush-up on their skills.
We shall also be working with OS OpenSpace, Ordnance Survey’s free web‑mapping service that allows users to display up-to-date Ordnance Survey mapping in a web page or an online environment. Our workshop for this session will show how to create file formats that can be easily imported into web mapping to pinpoint a list of locations – allowing you to create interactive maps similar to our special Halloween Masterclass/Ghost walk location finder.
Continue reading 'Ordnance Survey Free OS OpenData masterclasses'»
People across Great Britain are being given the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of open data and the tools and techniques to use open datasets, through a series of free masterclasses, hosted by Ordnance Survey and supported by Horizon Digital Economy Research.
This series of masterclasses will follow the format of previous workshops in combining theory and practical sessions.
Continue reading 'Return of Ordnance Survey’s free OS OpenData Masterclasses'»
On the 5th and 6th of August, we’re supporting the Young Rewired State’s Festival of Code 2013. This will be the fifth such exciting gathering of talented young coders, designers and developers – all of whom are under the age of 18. Our developer outreach team will be supporting the event by offering mentorship to some of the teams that have entered the competition.
So, what is the The Festival of Code? Essentially, it’s a week-long hackathon for young people, taking place in various centres throughout the UK. From Monday through to Thursday, young people will gather to learn how to code and how to program the world around them.
Continue reading 'Ordnance Survey at the Festival of Code 2013'»
For those of our blog followers that aren’t aware; this summer, Ordnance Survey is running a programme for paid internships. A number of roles were made available for undergraduates interested in working with geospatial data, technology and products as well as roles in Human Resources and Marketing. Ordnance Survey’s developer outreach team accepted the opportunity to be involved in the program and following a round of telephone interviews, were delighted to welcome James Smith to our team.
Today, we have a guest post from James detailing what he has been tasked with and what he’s already achieved during the 3 weeks he’s been with us so far!
“As a summer intern coming to Ordnance Survey I didn’t really know what to expect. Of course, I vaguely knew that it wasn’t all about the paper sheet maps anymore and that a lot of what the national mapping agency does now is based on digital offerings. However, half way through my six week internship in the Products and Innovation team, this blog post is about what I have found out and my experiences whilst being here.
Continue reading 'My summer internship with Ordnance Survey’s developer outreach team'»
You may have missed it, so we thought it was timely to remind all our GeoVator’s that Ordnance Survey recently refreshed the portfolio of products that are freely available through the OS OpenData portal. Releasing both a new height dataset, as well as making significant updates to one of the backdrop mapping products, here are just a few key points that might whet your appetite.
The portal has been updated with a new version of OS VectorMap District and a new product – OS Terrain 50® being released, we’ll cover the height dataset first.
The image illustrates OS Terrain 50 data overlaid on backdrop mapping
OS Terrain 50®
Developers can also now access a new fully maintained analytical height product called OS Terrain 50. The new product, which has a similar resolution to Land-Form PANORAMA, will enable users to access an advanced product with consistently maintained height content for the whole of Great Britain.
Continue reading 'New products available through OS OpenData portal'»
On the weekend of 27/28 April, we’re supporting BlueLightCamp, which is a free event being billed as both an unconference and hackathon. Attracting workers from across the blue light services i.e. Fire, Police and resilience services, the aim is to innovate through promoting good-practice sharing, exchanging knowledge, networking as well as providing an opportunity for concepts and solutions to be tested through the hackathon.
Through two mapping agreements that we have with the Public Sector, Ordnance Survey already works closely with many of the blue light services, providing: digital map products; the sharing and visualisation of data; supporting better problem solving and helping to reduce costs and drive up efficiency levels amongst other aspects. So it seemed entirely fitting to support the BlueLightCamp as we have a further opportunity to engage with and support the very individuals that work in these services.
Continue reading 'Unconference and hackathon weekend – come and innovate at BlueLightCamp'»