Zoomstack

Ordnance Survey releases Zoomstack after successful trial

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NICHOLAS FEARN

Following a 3-month trial with more than 1,200 people, Ordnance Survey has launched its geospatial software, which can be used and adapted for surveying utilities, flood risk, infrastructure, land and assets.

OS Open Zoomstack, a comprehensive mapping tool covering Great Britain, is now available as a fully supported data product through the Open MasterMap Implementation Programme. The product provides a toolkit to create personalised maps of the UK that can be used at national and local levels, with up-to-date data of buildings, roads and greenspace.

The tool has been launched as “part of OS’s journey to improve access to OS data, to reach new audiences and make our data easy for customers across all sectors to use,” according to Charley Glynn, cartographic design consultant at Ordnance Survey.

Josh Dickerson, associate at Deetu, the data and technology hub of multi-disciplinary engineering firm BWB Consulting, said of the launch: “Geospatial technology has played a lead role in the development of the property sector for many years. Now, open data products like OS Open Zoomstack act as a catalyst for proptech companies such as Deetu to harness the value of authoritative OS data in a much more accessible format, fit for the digital products expected by modern-day property professionals.

“In practice, this means that proptech companies can utilise OS Open Zoomstack as a near plug-and-play toolkit for their digital mapping products in the UK – allowing these companies to focus on adding their own value and resulting in people making smarter, faster decisions throughout all stages of an asset lifecycle.”

Richard Hayes, CEO of Mojo Mortgages, expects OS Open Zoomstack to have a transformative effect on the property and real estate sector: “Although the idea of computerised maps isn’t revolutionary, the digital transformation that OS has undertaken is a step in the right direction, particularly as the property sector has been severely lagging behind when it comes to technological innovation.

“The obvious uses for the OS Zoomstack would be for town planners and surveyors that are looking to find out certain pieces of data about an area or group of properties. The customisable platform makes it easy for the user to access the data they wish, whether it would be looking for a potential greenbelt/brownfield sites to build on, or the geographical data that could affect an eventual housing development proposal.”

After unveiling OS Open Zoomstack last July, Ordnance Survey launched a nationwide trial to help “shape the product ahead of its release”.

Trial participants included the likes of Met Police, National Parks, Esri, the BBC, AddressCloud and Europa Technologies, all of which have used the software in different scenarios. David Heyman from Axis Map created a map that shows housing data. AddressCloud uses the platform in its risk analysis tool for the financial services industry.

AddressCloud CEO Mark Varley told PlaceTech: “We were able to integrate the new format very quickly and were up and running in development in under an hour.

“Our insurance customers love the richness of the Ordnance Survey data, and this has been a huge uplift on the previous OpenStreetMap data we were using where coverage can be quite inconsistent across the UK. It would have taken us months to stitch together the various OS open datasets, and we are hugely grateful to the OS team for making this happen.”

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