28th February 2013

Tuesday’s OS Developer event a great success!

Luke Hampson

OS OpenSpace logo

On Tuesday evening, we hosted a developer event at the HUB Westminster, London between 6 – 9pm. We thought we’d provide a short write-up to summarise what was covered during the evening, for the benefit of those that couldn’t attend.

If you weren’t already aware, we have just released a new version of our free web mapping API – OS OpenSpace. The new version supports mobile touch devices, meaning any website using OS OpenSpace can now be viewed and panned on tablets and mobile devices.

We organised the event to generally promote the new version but had three specific objectives in mind. First and foremost, we wanted to showcase the new enhancements to our community of users. Secondly; to provide an opportunity for developers to run through some web-based OS OpenSpace tutorials and finally, we hoped to gain feedback about the service i.e. what the developers like, what they think could be improved; and finally, what they would like to see in future releases.

Ian Holt, Head of Developer Outreach, kicked off proceedings by welcoming everyone before delivering a presentation. Ian ran through the background behind OS OpenSpace, providing information such as: when it was introduced, what geographic datasets are included, the kinds of tools that are available to help customers develop etc. Some examples of the service in use were then presented before we ran through details of the additional features and functionality included in the new version.

Aspects that have been introduced in the new version include: touch-screen functionality – allowing users to easily add markers, routes and so on using a tablet or mobile device; kinetic mapping which enables smoother panning; support for Open Layers 2.12; easier layer integration and new documentation amongst other things. We rounded off the presentation by introducing many of the  developers to Ordnance Survey’s innovation challenge initiative – GeoVation. Details of previous challenges’ that we’ve run were provided before we introduced the forthcoming env[:hack] event, which is a Hack Day that we’re organising along with the Environment agency on the 16 & 17 March.

With approximately 12, 000 customers having signed up for an API key, there’s a mixture of both active and non-active users amongst this group. For the next part of the evening, we invited our existing active users to take to the stage and present their web-based applications to the rest of the room. One user has developed a popular website called “Saturday Walkers Club” and we were guided through the site which allows users to browse over one hundred walks – many of which are displayed on mapping data that’s served up through OS OpenSpace.

Developer event photo

After the show and tell session, we invited developers to complete some of the tutorials that are published on our website before we rounded off the evening with some time to network with each other over some food and refreshments.

All in all, it was a great night – here’s some of the feedback we received from those that attended:


“Thanks again for a very interesting evening”

“Thank you to you and the rest of the OS team for staging the Developer event yesterday evening in London”

“Staff very helpful and I found the event very useful”