1st December 2014

Team of young coders build location-based game, using OS OpenData


Back in August, we shared news about our support at the Young Rewired State (YRS) Festival of Code and how we mentored young people at one of the centres at Totton College, which is just a stone’s throw from our Head Office.

YRS Festival of Code

YRS Festival of Code 2014

Following that blog, we were contacted by another team of young coders – Jakob Metson, Tim Yeo, Gordon Lee and Solomon Foy — who told us how they’d also used OS OpenData during the week to build a game. The young coders told us they ‘were amazed by the sheer volume of maps supplied’ through our OS OpenData portal — so we thought we’d invite them to write a guest post, allowing them to share their awesome achievement with our fellow blog followers!

The team, who were aged between 8 and 14 years old and who were based in a centre located in London, discovered our OS OpenData portal via the YRS resources page. Here’s what they had to say about their project:

On Monday 28th July our group of four, took part in the YRS Festival of Code. The Festival takes place once a year to give young coders (18 or under) a platform to get together for a week, to create a project using various open data sets.

We worked on, and coded a project called ‘Map Game’ as we wanted to create a geographic game, because we felt that there should be a fun and simple way of learning more about England’s geography. We used the OS OpenData and were amazed about the volume and different types of maps made available. We decided to create a simple web game, where the user has to guess whether they are in the North, the Middle or the South of England.

Map Game (mapgameyrs.kissr.com) designed using OS OpenData

Map Game (mapgameyrs.kissr.com) designed using OS OpenData

As we were fairly novice in coding, one of the main challenges was managing to code the website, especially sorting through hundreds of maps and moving them to the website. We originally downloaded a large variety of different maps and decided to use OS VectorMap District raster images as these were clear, easy to read and provided the names of well-known places, rivers and roads (which are clues as to where in England you are).

The images came in very high quality which meant high detail, but they took too long to load in our website. However, it was very simple to convert them from TIFF format (high quality) to JPEG format (medium quality). With a little help we soon were able to create a fairly decent website and what we think is a good educational game — we certainly know more about England’s geography as a result of building it!

You can have a go, by checking it out here.

Learn more about YRS Festival of Code 2015.