Ordnance Survey (OS) – UK

Ordnance Survey (www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk), the national mapping agency of Great Britain, employs 1,113 staff and collects, maintains and distributes up-to-date, national coverage data of the topography of Great Britain at a range of themes and scales in both digital and analogue (map) form. Core activities are the capture, storage, management, production and supply of geographic information (GI) to a very broad range of customers.  Ordnance Survey maintains a core, large-scale database of the whole of Great Britain containing around half a billion records and makes an average of 5000 updates to this database every day, resulting in an underpinning reference framework which is heavily relied upon by its customers. Ordnance Survey is a non-ministerial government department and an Executive Agency responsible to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, operating as a Trading Fund.  It sustains itself by raising revenue through licensing the intellectual property rights in its data under Crown copyright.  Products are licensed both directly to customers and also via more than 500 private sector partners including value-added resellers, a specialist network of retailers and a wide range of publishers.

Ordnance Survey is highly respected throughout the world for its operational capability and the quality of its data products.  It is active in the development and deployment of GI data standards.  In 2001 it became one of the first major data providers to publish its core products in GML, and more recently it has been highly involved in the development and publication of CityGML.  Ordnance Survey is taking a leading role in the UK implementation of INSPIRE.

Role in the project

OS will deploy its world-renowned expertise in geographic information and infrastructures in support of this project.  OS will

  • develop and extend CityGML data models based on the requirements identified within the project
  • work with the Open Geospatial Consortium to align future revisions of CityGML with the outcomes of i-SCOPE and feed the latest developments into i-SCOPE
  • provide Ordnance Survey data in project areas and provide consultancy to ensure data can be exploited
  • make experience in maintaining geographic data available to develop long-term strategies and operational guidelines to support the maintenance and hence long-term sustainability of 3D models
  • feed experience gained within i-SCOPE into future product development work to create geographic data products that support 3D models or can be used within 3D environments

The overall value that OS will add to the i-SCOPE project will be to ensure that the application of CityGML technologies is supported with robust standards, specifications to maximise its enduring value.

Key Staff involved in the project

Carsten Rönsdorf has overall responsibility for the central production repository for OS products.  Having worked with geographic 3D models since 1996, he is an acknowledged expert in 3D city models.  He is OS's nominated representative in the British Standards Institution and ISO TC211 technical committees on geographic information. As chair of the CityGML specification working group at the Open Geospatial Consortium, he has delivered the first version of the international CityGML standard in August 2008.  Peter Parslow leads data modelling work at OS for deriving products at multiple resolutions from a single database.  He is custodian of OS's product GML schemas and GML best practice, and provided technical input to various INSPIRE data and metadata documents.  He previously led the UK Hydrographic Office's data modelling work to establish a single consolidated Hydrographic Database suitable for all their navigational products, building on the ISO TC211 standards, in particular the General Feature Model.  Mark Stileman is responsible for defining the future development of 3D products.  He has a central role in developing OS's position with respect to the third dimension and has extensive experience of the GI market in Great Britain.  Dave Capstick has extensive experience in working with 3D city models, data modelling and database technology.  He has responsibility for much of the 3D research that is conducted within OS.  He has been highly involved with CityGML through the CityGML SIG 3D group and has much experience in the generation of CityGML datasets. Lynne Allan is responsible for the technical development of Ordnance Survey product portfolio with particular interest in elevation and 3D. She previously was the senior technical manager for all elevation products and is currently a member of the INSPIRE Elevation Technical Working Group.