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'»
Thank you to all those who submitted ideas to our GeoVation Challenge – How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain? This Challenge is now closed to entries, and from the 74 innovative ideas submitted 10 finalists have been chosen to attend the GeoVation Camp, but don’t let that discourage all you budding developers and innovators.
Ordnance Survey along with TechHub, have a fantastic new challenge with an awesome prize on offer, “The Ordnance Survey Developer Challenge 2014!”
Continue reading 'Developer Challenge 2014 – win support for your geolocation start-up with Ordnance Survey and Techhub'»
With only five days left till the GeoVation Challenge closes for entries, your ideas have been pouring in! As with our previous GeoVation Challenges we’re looking for great ideas that address problems using geography, technology and good design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a share of £100,000 to help develop ventures that encourage active lifestyles in Britain and make best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data.
Continue reading 'Only five days left to submit your GeoVation Challenge ideas to encourage active lifestyles in Britain'»
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.
If solutions to real problems are to be successfully launched and sustained, they need to be carefully designed. That means not just designing the solution but also the venture model that will sustain the solution and allow it to scale. This is why design thinking plays such an important part of our GeoVation camps. The objective of GeoVation camps is to enable finalists to be “match-fit to pitch” for GeoVation funding. Continue reading 'GeoVation camp – designing sustainable solutions to real problems'»
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'»
We are really excited to be launching our 7th GeoVation Challenge today on the theme of ‘How can we encourage active lifestyles in Britain?’
Our physical and mental well-being is greatly influenced by our lifestyle; from our first steps to our last! So, following the success of previous challenges, this time we are calling for innovative ideas that will encourage people to lead active lifestyles in the open; whatever their age.
As with previous GeoVation Challenges we are looking for great ideas which address the problems using geography, technology and good design. Ordnance Survey will be offering a slice of £100,000 to help develop ventures that make best use of our data, including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace, together with other open data to solve problems.
An All-Party Commission on Physical Activity which launched recently states on their website “The human body was designed to move. But in a very short period of time, we have become dangerously inactive as a population. We are witnessing a physical inactivity epidemic”.
The estimated direct cost of physical inactivity to the NHS across the UK is £1.06 billion. (Start Active, Stay Active)
Continue reading 'Challenging Britain to get active in the open!'»