Ordnance Survey Data Hub marks first anniversary with developer highlights

by Jeremy

One year on from its launch, the Ordnance Survey Data Hub has reported a 50% increase in like-for-like OS Open Data downloads. The hub was one of the first things to emerge from the Geospatial Commission’s Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), launched in April 2020.

Ordnance Survey said the online resource proved its mettle during the Covid-19 pandemic. Call handlers at the London Ambulance Service received unprecedented volumes of 999 calls from outside its area but did not have systems to verify and check addresses from those locations.

The OS Data Hub was able to offer the UK-wide OS Places application programming interface (API), which, it said, requires modest storage of files to work immediately. Call handlers were then able to search and verify unfamiliar or incomplete addresses more quickly.

The organization also said NHS Digital had contacted it to support the delivery of Covid-19 home testing kits. Using the OS Places API, NHS Digital has captured the addresses of people requesting kits via the Gov. uk website.

Charley Glynn, OS API product manager, said: “For those developers that will be searching for a map API or an address API, they are more likely to land on our pages now and discover the OS Data Hub. It is a much nicer shop window because once you land on the hub, you can quickly and easily see what is available and how to use it.  Visitors can sign up to the OS Data Hub within minutes.

They can create an API key, add an API, follow the documentation, find a code example, and then copy and paste it. From start to finish, we are talking five to 10 minutes before you are up and running. That is a massive change for our users, and that matches the expectation of developers.”  Ordnance Survey said 8,326 users across the public and private sectors are now signed up to the OS Data Hub, increasing more than 600% from a year ago.

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