Friday, 4 December 2009

UKMap Presentation

Lots of partners and attendees of our training courses have been asking about some additional slide material. So to help spread the word I have uploaded the basic UKMap presentation. Enjoy! More to follow.

Let me know what other subjects you would like to see: applications, licensing, technology etc

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Devil is in the detail!

Well just about everyone else has blogged about this so I thought I would too, but with questions that we should ask about the announcement that OS data will be free.

At the high level this is good, very good, not just for us at UKMap, not just for professional map users but for all levels of society that will now benefit from increased applications and services that will undoubtedly arise as a result of this.

But, and it is a big BUT, the devil is in the detail.

1. Specifically what datasets will be considered free, all down to 1:10k, vector and raster, ONS boundaries? Need a list!

2. Postcode boundaries to what level, areas- rubbish, districts - mmmm - Sectors - Ok, Units yes please, but doubt it?

3. No mention of the Royal Mail?

4. What will the extent of derived data be, just on those datasets that are free - very difficult to police, so all datasets?

5. What will be the definition of derived data be. I would say KISS, check out UKMap's view. The simpler the better, adopt a policy of cooperation and then go after obvious infringements and not scare everyone.

6. Implementation time, all go on April 1st (make that the 2nd)?

7. Derived data on archived material, surely it must relate to all data created not new data?

Key of course this represents very little revenue to Ordnance Survey, so it will be interesting to see what the quid pro quo is for them for taking this step. A more commercialised Ordnance Survey – watch out partners?

So roll on the 14th Dec - is the date I heard for the release of the consultation - and lets all make a positive contribution to the future of GI in this country.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

GeoCompetition and Innovation

Last week I was invited to give a talk at the annual AGI Scotland event on the subject of Geo competition and innovation.

I have been asked by many for a copy of the slides, so here they are.

To summarise the message of my talk: "even in a time that many may consider to be doom and gloom there are many many bright initiavtives and innovations happenning across the world. These innovations are driving competition and this competition is delivering savings and improved services to the end user.

Organisations, particularly government ones, that have strategies that see them fixed into one technology or one supplier will find it increasing difficult to test and adopt such innovations and naturally will not see the savings that such innovations and competition bring with it."

Monday, 9 November 2009

London Olympic Mapping Copyright Free

I am not sure if this is news or not but it is worth a post. Following conversations between the UKMap team and the Olympic Development Agency I received today an email (full text below) which states that they are going to make available mapping of the London Olympic site to all and it will be copyright free.

This is great news for the mapping and location industry. Although full details have yet to be released, if the mapping follows the email we can all base our work on one Master Plan.

Immediate questions such as content, layers, scale, updates, release dates etc are all to be confirmed but I think this is a big tick for the London Olympics.

We might not have the biggest stadium but at least we can make it best located one!

Email text below:
"I’m in the process of creating an OS Licence free map based on the CAD Master plan of the Olympic Park.
As part of this process we will be creating a “Masterplan” drawing that we will be giving out to not only yourselves, but all mapping companies that is free of copyright.
This masterplan will be converted to SHP and Adobe Illustrator.
I will know more about the delivery date by the end of November"

Monday, 2 November 2009

How green is my city?

I was invited by The London Tree Officers Association to show how UKMap can map the tree canopy of London.  The full presentation is here.
  One key fact we learnt was that in New York, the Tree Officer had shown that for every $1 spent on trees New Yorkers gained $5 of benefit.
Yet in London we don't even have a tree canopy map or even an idea of how the population of trees are changing. 
With a quick bit of UKMap analysis I showed that 11% of east side of London is covered with trees.
 Significant or not?  Too early to tell. 
But with climate change dominating our horizon, trees are an easy way to reduce our emissions.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

New Geo Event Announced For 2010

David Rhind (Ex, DG of OS), Ed Parsons (GI Guru), Chris Roper (GI Entrepreneur) all on one stage at the Cities Revealed 2010 event.  Open to all.
This years event celebrates 10 years of Cities Revealed with a Smörgåsbord of GI activities, including Workshops, Seminars, User case studies and Key note speakers.
Topics include Mash Ups, Mapping, GPS, Map output, route finding and some insights into where the future for GI lies.
This year looks like being the best yet.
As with each year the event is always fully booked so make sure you book now, or soon to get a fresh perspective on the road ahead and some training to go with it.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

UKMap countrywide flying programme

Yes, as you may have guessed we have just announced our plans to deliver a new countrywide aerial survey programme for the UK. Why you may ask are we doing this given that there are a few others already attempting to do this.

Well to put it simply we need high quality, up to date aerial imagery that is our copyright to be the base for our UKMap product.

Thanks to our friends at Aerodata we have in fact already started the process by flying the West Midlands, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire areas of the country, with a digital camera at 10 cm resolution.
One unique part of our plan is to fly all year round - obviously only in good weather - but we feel this will give us the ability to collect all the imagery we need in a few years and will give the advantage of imagery without the blanket of leaves that accompany summer flying programmes.

Keep an eye out for more developments soon.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

UKMap Pricing Updates

We just launched an update to our UKMap price list following feedback, over 100 downloads of the pack so far, which we are pleased with.

The updates are related to the pricing guide:
1. You can now order up to four UKMap tiles for your minimum order fee (a saving of £400!).
2. We have simplified our pricing structure.
UKMap with maintenance is now only £200/sqkm a saving of £160/sqkm
UKMap without maintenance is £140/sqkm.
Both these prices are for all 9 layers of UKMap - bargin!
The price list is focused on the 1 to 10sqkm, not 20sqkm.
For those who want areas above 10 sqkm please call us.

Look out for the new UK National Map Reference system - need to wiki this to explain more.

Friday, 25 September 2009

UKMap - Every Little Helps

Alot I am sure is going to come out of the AGI conference over the coming weeks.
We at UKMap had a great time and were over whelmed with the reception we received and the positive comments we were given - more on that later.

So why the change of  logo?  In a conference 'boxing match' between Google and OS, UKMap was positioned similar to a well know supermarket, so our friends at STAR-APIC (Tom & Stuart) were quick to come up with this.
Yes we are happy with the analogy - as we are about competition and choice for the consumer and about value at a competative price.
But no we are not changing our logo.
More to come.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

UKMap Prices Out

UKMap pricing now out.  Hope you all like it.  Feed back please.

To tired to write more after exhausting AGI 2009 conf - what a great event.  But more on that later

Sunday, 20 September 2009

UKMap Licensing

Reading through the final draft of the UKMap end user licence document and wondering how the professional user community will react to our licensing document.
We have tried to keep it simple to enable less onerous use of our mapping, but I just wonder how many will misinterpret this to be a licensing to mis use.

I hope not many, as for every time we see an abuse of our mapping we are then forced to consider amending our licence and then our EULA starts to become huge! Which defeats the object of all UKMap stands for.
Lets hope sanity prevails " use and not abuse" comes to mind. Time will tell.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

UKMap Field worker sights #1

We all know parking in London is at a premiun but this is surely going a bit far! Note the red thing squashed in between the two cars - it's a motor bike.

A photo taken by one of our field workers in south London. No injuries we gather phew!

More great sights to follow.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

UKMap pricing out soon

OK, I know this blog has been quiet, but we are back. Summer has been very busy, new flying for the next UKMap cities (in partnership with of our great friends at Aerodata) 19 presentations in 5 weeks, the final compilation of UKMap ready for publication and sorting our our pricing documents.

Look out next week for their release on our web site, some 200 demonstration data users are very keen to see this.

In advance I can say we have kept our pricing and licensing documents to a minimum, they have been reviewed by some current and prospective users - feed back very positive - phew!

Keep an eye on the web site next week.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

We were pleased to hear that our UKMap article was the most viewed one on the Geoconnexion UK site, accounting for over 50% of all articles traffic from the first day of release to date - the next most popular was 12.%; our PDF article had some 17,926 views. .
So the challenge is one for us to keep the interest up. However with a product like UKMap that will not be too hard.
Keep an eye out for some announcements in the near future on pricing - yes I know you all want it - you should be pleasantly surprised, and a certified programme for all those who want to show off their knowledge of UKMap and their software.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The week that was

Well what a week, topped by an article in the Guardian online . So much going on, here is a synopsis:

Monday - Houses of Parliament to meet MP Mark Todd, spent an hour with him discussing governments view (or rather his view of it from the inside) on geographic data, trading funds and location issues. To sum it all - no real change for UK's trading funds too much else going on and no overarching policy/control, if anything more competitive trading funds.

Tuesday - finalised our demo data and started the process of cutting the data to service the 100+ requests - thanks for being so patient those who have sent back completed forms

Wednesday - GeoDATA 2009 - over 200 people listening to 11 different talks on GI data, meeting with 12 companies. A great day, we were very busy, huge interest - and yes pricing will be released - in September - and no we are not planning to do Cumbria!

Thursday - British Cartographers Society - guys who know about maps and creating them. Gave a paper on UKMap - stunned silence. They were figuring out what this means and how they can create wonderful maps with our data. Great stuff.

Friday - answering emails - don't have a 'crackberry'!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

iphone Mapping Apps

This looks a great app, particularly for us in the UK, handy and useful for both professional and consumer user too; no IP infringemnet as the UK National Grid does not attract such restrictions. See for more.
The pace with which location is being utilised by the new media and technology community is leaving many traditional users behind and also forcing us with location databases to think from fresh how we licence our location data.
Something we at the UKMap team are already engaged with a number of technology/solution suppliers who need high quality location this space. Maybe a iphone UKMap app one day !
Full link

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

UKMap Launch

Well, what a blast! We had our launch on Monday 8th at the British Computer Society with over 70 invited guests in attendance. It was really good to see such enthusiasm and excitement for what we have done. Excitement and geography don't often go together but this was one occasion it did!

We showed UKMap on a Mac (Ed was happy!) and in the usual GIS software. Our Oracle solution attracted much attention and a big thanks to the guys at STAR-APIC for pulling out the stops to deliver this.

Many of the guests were intrigued by our latest data collection device, supported by a grant from BERR we have created a rapid data collection PC complete with digital compass, camera, GPS and a bright screen - all with a long battery life and one that you can carry!

Our official press release gives some quotes from users, not for here, but we were genuinely surprised by the sense of surprise and awe at what we had achieved and for some how real this was as an alternative of other mapping sources.

Next up GeoData 2009, June 17th at the Emirates.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

We just announced that the UKMap team and I will be taking part in the GeoDATA roadshows.
These roadshows are free and offer attendees a great set of seminars and an exhibition with a chance to meet a good bunch of GIS and mapping guys, and girls too!

First one is at the Emirates Stadium on June 18th, and then we move on to Leeds, Edinburgh and Birmingham in the coming weeks.

We are really looking forward to getting out on the road and hearing what users have to say about UKMap. We take all comments on board, good and bad!

Pop along and get your first 'live' look at UKMap; GeoDATA is free and offers a great chance to see so many geo companies and technologies under one roof (CPD points available too), but register quickly as place are limited at this popular event.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Security Concerns

Had a strange one today, which goes to show how far the message about UKMap has reached.

A call from a Security Team leader of a major utility company who wanted to know what we were doing about publishing the details of their secure locations. They were concerned that as a commercial company we would publish maps that might help those who would seek to do harm to our critical national infrastructure.

We create our mapping from publicly available imagery (Cities Revealed), containing detail similar to that you will see on Google Earth or Microsoft VE; our content comes from field workers who record what they see by walking on public land. So if it is public we record it.

So to all those who think we know something of secrets sites - we don't. Please feel free to license some UKMap to check it out for yourself though!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Sample Data

Sample data has been much requested today and I suspect this will increase over the next few days as word gets out.

The demo data request forms are working perfectly so if you haven't received a response, don't worry.

Our next step will be to send you a demo data licence, when you complete that we shall send you the demo data.

The demo data licences will go out this week for those who have completed a form.

Demo data, for those who have signed the licence, will go out in the week after after the formal public launch event to be held on the 8th June in central London.

UKMap Launched

Well today we announced the launch of a new commercial large scale mapping programme for the UK that has been created independently of OS; UKMap.
We have ambitiously set ourselves the target of achieving coverage of 568 towns and cities within 5 years (We recently completed a similar product for two telecoms companies within 18 months, albeit to a much reduced specification).
Crazy or not we started with the obvious city if not the hardest - London, all 1,570 sqkms of it.

That is all digitised now and a large part of the field work is complete as I write, now it is a case of putting it all together. September will see the launch of the full London product, although we do have some customers already using parts of London now.

Look out Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, we come!

Very exciting, if not daunting to be the first (I think?) commercial company to come out with a large scale mapping product.
Check out the official web site for more details; or keep tabs on our progress through this blog.

Please feel free to contribute too!