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'»
During the summer, Ordnance Survey welcomed a number of interns and one of them, Joseph Braybook, spent his time with our Innovation Labs team. An avid fan of the Minecraft video game, he suggested building a Minecraft world using OS OpenData products. In just two weeks Joe created a Minecraft world representing over 224,000 square kilometers of Great Britain and now Ordnance Survey have made it available so you can download and explore!
Minecraft is a game set in virtual 3D worlds made up of cubes of different materials. Players build shelters, make things from raw materials and fend off a variety of monsters. Minecraft worlds are often computer generated, though dedicated players have also created meticulous recreations of real and imagined environments such as Hogwarts castle.
Snowdonia in Minecraft
To build the world two of Ordnance Survey’s digital map products that are freely available as OS OpenData for anyone to use, have been used to build:
- OS Terrain 50: A three-dimensional model of the bare earth surface known as a Digital Terrain Model (DTM). The product is delivered as a grid with a resolution of 50 metres. We used this product to generate the Minecraft GB terrain.
- OS VectorMap District: A mid-scale contextual or backdrop map product. We used the raster version, extracting surface features – for example water, woodland and roads – based on pixel colours and densities. We used this information to modify the material of individual blocks.
Continue reading 'Creating a Minecraft map of Britain'»
OS OpenData offers a wide range of digital map products which you can freely view or download, for use in both personal and commercial applications. We pride ourselves on the level of detail that our products have, but we also know this can sometimes make them a little daunting to work with, especially if you have never worked with the specialist map software, Geographic Information Software (GIS) needed to manipulate them before.
To help new users of our data, especially those of you innovating with OS OpenData, we have produced a series of videos to help:
- view a simple map of where they live
- view a map for a wider area
- create their own styled map
- show their data with postcodes and boundaries on a map
Continue reading 'Innovating with OS OpenData'»
You may have read in our previous blog that last week, Ordnance Survey supported the Young Rewired State’s (YRS) Festival of Code 2013. Our support for the event involved us working with a team of other experienced mentors, to help almost thirty young people create new prototype apps and websites. Ideas ranged from creating a grocery price comparison site; to building a conceptual app that maps how intelligent people are in different areas of Great Britain.
Developer Program Manager – Ian Holt teaching Young People how to code with Ordnance Survey data
Photo by Amina Malik Courtesy of Hub Westminster.
Continue reading 'Helping young people innovate with open data at the Festival of Code 2013'»
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'»
If you’ve been following the GeoVation blog you’ll be aware that we recently announced the four successful finalists from our GeoVation Challenge to improve the environment
Following on from this the Judging Panel met on Wednesday to confirm the amount of innovation funding the green innovation ventures will receive. The £101,000 awarded by Ordnance Survey will be split as follows:
Carbon Prophet will be awarded £29,000. They will use the funding to create a soil carbon map of the UK using Ordnance Survey data, and a trading portal for carbon offsetting schemes. Soil testing and the use of Ordnance Survey data will enable farmers to see the carbon levels in their soil and encourage them to release the value of this, mitigating the effects of greenhouse gases by increasing the levels of carbon in their soils. Carbon Prophet also won the Community Award of £1,000.
GeoCraft will be awarded £28,000 to develop their idea which will enable schools and local businesses to work together to encourage learning about sustainability through Minecraft. Using Ordnance Survey data, it will stimulate children to think about environmental challenges and ideas to solve these, which can be fed back to the local business to implement.
Continue reading 'Funding announced for green innovation ventures'»
Well done to everyone who took part in the GeoVation Camp for our environment themed GeoVation Challenge which was held at Ordnance Survey head office in Southampton over the weekend. The GeoVation Challenge called for ideas to help British business improve their environmental performance.
As well having the opportunity develop a prototype venture and develop their pitches, we offered teams support from service designers, geography students and information on Ordnance Survey products and services over the weekend. We also had helpers from the Environment Agency who were supporting this challenge. The sheer level of energy from the 10 invited teams and all the helpers was truly inspiring.
At the end of an exciting weekend, the teams were visited by the judging panel to find out how their ideas were progressing and they also presented a short 2-minute pecha kucha type pitch to the judges and invited audience.
The audience also voted for their favourite idea to win the Community Award of £1,000.
All of the invited teams received feedback and the judges offered advice on how they could take their ideas forward and possible connections.
The four successful finalists that will be awarded a share of £100,000 in innovation funding to develop their ideas to save the environment are:
Continue reading 'GeoVation winners to help save the environment'»
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 Monday’s “What Tech City” theme. During the day, festival goers collectively explored 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!'»