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!