28th November 2012

This week in Ordnance Survey Innovation Team


As usual, it’s been pretty hectic in Ordnance Survey’s Innovation team over recent weeks so we thought we’d give you an update what we’ve been up to.

Luke and Ian have been busy touring around Britain (trying to avoid the almost constant rain of late)  on a series of OS OpenData masterclasses.  Last week they were in Scotland to kick off the series, before heading south to London. This week they are visiting Cardiff and Nottingham.

Luke says:  “We announced our fourth series of masterclasses at the beginning of November and within a matter of days each date was fully booked up, so they’ve been immensely popular. Each class catered for 40 people so approximately 200 have attended in total over the past couple of weeks. The classes provide attendees with an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of open data and the tools and techniques needed to use such information. However this series has been a little different to the last three, as this time participants had an opportunity to use 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 online environment.”Photo of Ian at OS OpenData Master Class

It’s clear that there’s a real appetite for more classes to be run in the future – so keep an eye on both this blog and our corporate blog for news on this front. Feedback that we’ve received from those that attended the Autumn classes has been extremely positive, a couple of quotes provided below:

“Very interesting session overall. Lots of useful links information in the introductory session and a well-supported practical session.”

“A fantastic day. I would recommend that these sorts of opportunities are massively expanded…”

“Very interested in using geo-spacial data in my work. This was a great introduction to the data and analysis tools.”

Chris has been attending some of  the master classes but he’s also been out talking to Ordnance Survey surveyors at regional conferences in  Wales and West and Northern and Southern  England.

“We rely on our surveyors to capture and maintain our data and wanted them to  see how the problem focussed challenges stimulate innovation with geographic information. Many of the surveyors we spoke to were very keen to learn how the data they collect is being used innovatively inside and outside the organisation by GeoVation winners.  They were also interested  in learning how to use open data so we want to run some  OS OpenData master classes especially for them.”  Chris added.

I’ve been speaking to lots of our GeoVation winners in recent weeks so that I can put together some case studies in a booklet on GeoVation from when it started in 2009 to date to include information on all our challenges and winners. These are progressing well and we plan for this to be available in January.  Thank you to everyone who’s contributed.

You may have noticed we’ve been taking some time out from running GeoVation Challenges; this is so that we can concentrate on developing GeoVation and making it even better.   We are now building  a new challenge to launch early next year and have been getting together people with expertise in the challenge area to identify the unmet needs around this challenge –stay posted here on the blog.

In the meantime if you use OS OpenData we’re really keen to hear from you. If you tell us which  datasets you find useful and why, and you will be entered into the prize draw with a chance of winning an Apple® iPad 64 GB or be one of five runners up who will win a VIP day at Ordnance Survey’s head office in Southampton.  Enter here

I am off on holiday in a couple of days  and am very excited!  Luke and Chris will be posting on the blog while I’m away and I’ll be back with news in the New Year!