13th February 2013

Calling all OS OpenData™ users!

Luke Hampson

os open data logo

Do you use any OS OpenData products? If the answer is yes and you’re interested in winning an Apple® iPad 64GB but haven’t yet entered our Developer competition, be quick – as time is running out!

With the competition drawing to a close on 31 March 2013, we felt it was timely to remind all our blog followers that there are just a few weeks remaining to submit your entry. We thought it might be useful to post a blog that recaps what the entry requirements are; along with a summary of the kind of submissions we’ve had to date – so here it is!

Put simply, we’re inviting all OS OpenData users to tell us how they’re using OS OpenData and which datasets they find particularly useful and why. All valid entries will be entered into a prize draw and both a winner, along with five runners up, will be selected at random from all the entries submitted (see the full terms and conditions for further details). We’re planning on using some of the information received from entrants for future promotional activity, such as using the material to create case studies which we hope will then inspire both potential and existing users to benefit further from the resources that are openly available to order from our website.

image of ipad


So, what kind of submissions have we received to date?

One entrant told us how they’re using a combination of the addressing datasets available, to develop their own product offering. Their product is essentially a look-up tool that allows users to ‘find their nearest’ outlet (which range from retail stores, local government centres etc.) to any location specified. Whilst the list of outlets is held by the developer, they’ve used our 1:50 000 Scale Gazetteer, which contains over 250, 000 place names to enrich the product offering. They’ve done this by using the gazetteer to geocode their own information, meaning now, the user can search by using a place name (rather than just a postcode) in the system. They also use OS Locator™, which is a fully searchable national gazetteer of road names that allows them to identify and find specific locations by locality, settlement, local authority and county.

Another entrant tells us how they customise the colour palette of OS Street View® as the mapping lends itself well to recoloring. They then often overlay addressing data (such as the locations of postcode centroids – provided through Code-Point® Open) to produce one-off large wall maps that are appealing as they’re both simplistic in detail, yet provide enough information to create an engaging map which they then sell on to their customers.

It’s clear that the ways in which customers are using OS OpenData are as interesting as they are diverse. From customers using some of the products in traditional GIS packages for data analysis; through to developers using a selection of the datasets to create their own product/service offerings – the uses are far-reaching. So, if you too are using any of the datasets and haven’t yet entered the competition, you may want to do so.

For more information and to enter the competition, where the Apple® iPad 64GB is up for grabs along with five runner up prizes who will each win a VIP day at Ordnance Survey’s headquarters in Southampton, please click here.