Ordnance Survey (OS) has announced its most significant digital transformation milestone in over a decade, which will see the organisation deliver faster and easier access to location data for customers across the public and private sectors.
OS has been providing accurate location data and insights for governments, businesses, and consumers for more than 230 years. This latest investment will enable the data services and solutions company to provide customers with enhanced access to Britain’s most authoritative location data, via the OS Data Hub, driving efficiencies and enabling accurate location data to be at centre of core decision making, products, and services.
The digital transformation will offer customers a personalised data experience when accessing the OS National Geographic Database (NGD), which contains more than half a billion geographical features and receives 20,000 daily updates. With the ability to create customised data selections, customers will be able to more easily pick and choose data as and when they need it from a simplified data structure, with the potential to speed up processes from a week to a matter of minutes and hours.
The launch represents a significant milestone for OS, with the recently launched OS Select+Build and OS NGD API – Features, as it accelerates efficiencies and enables organisations to make critical decisions and implement viable solutions, as well as automate workflows and reduce data management so they can operate more sustainably.
OS Select+Build adds a new download capability to the OS Data Hub that sits alongside OS OpenData, OS Premium products and existing APIs. The new OS NGD data structure means that customers can build their own data packages from nine themes, including address, buildings, land use, transport, and water. Each theme is a curated collection of data sets—each of which contains granular feature types pertinent to the theme—and will allow customers to tailor their data experience to better meet their requirements.
John Kimmance, MD of National Mapping Services said: “Our teams’ dedication and hard work marks a significant transformation in OS services. This digital transformation provides our customers with a personalised data experience and the ability to directly get under the bonnet of OS, with data that is easier to access, use, and share. New technologies and innovations have also helped us deliver on a major Public Sector Geospatial Agreement milestone.
“The volume of data is increasing exponentially, and that means accessing and aggregating this data will be increasingly complex. That’s why it’s important as a trusted location provider we make it as easy as possible for organisations and governments to solve big problems, such as sustainability, delivering public services and building the infrastructure that meets future demand, with valuable insights and accurate location data at their fingertips.”
The geospatial industry is expected to grow significantly between now and 2030 as recognition in the value of location data increases. OS is constantly improving the quality, quantity and accessibility of location data by investing in automatic change detection, which uses artificial intelligence to identify new features and changes across the country. This enables OS to deliver more data faster, with customers benefiting from slicker data capture.
OS data is more accessible and easier to use than ever before with the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), a contract with the Geospatial Commission, offering almost 6,000 public sector bodies and organisations access to high-quality data and services through the OS Data Hub. It is OS’s data and APIs that underpin and support the delivery of key government services with more than one billion transactions across all PSGA APIs last year.
OS location data supports everyone from local authorities and central government to the emergency services, utility companies, global tech companies and transport and logistics providers. OS data has assisted in improving the country’s roads, railways and broadband coverage, levelling-up communities and regions. It has also supported the building of a million new homes to provide affordable housing to the people who need it, and boosted the productivity and sustainability of the UK’s agriculture systems.
Following the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster, the Government led a programme of work delivered by Fire & Rescue Services across the country to make high-rise residential buildings safer and identify those over 18m high.
Pete Gregory, Building Risk Review (BRR) Project Lead for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue stated: “Previously what would take days to sort and filter the data now takes minutes, and with fewer clicks. OS Select & Build will be invaluable in time saved to Fire & Rescue services around the country improving data management and ensuring we are kept up to date with our build stock and can work more efficiently with building owners and residents to ensure their safety.”
Geospatial data plays a vital role in sustainability, supporting critical infrastructure for green transport and electric vehicles, planning renewable energy, managing climate change related flood risk and drought, and improving waste collection and recycling.
OS will continue to deliver 70 new data enhancements including building age and building construction material, improved coverage of land use, indicative and average road speeds, and improved consistency of address positioning.