back to article Hero Ordnance Surveyors dodge bullets, tweet as they map

Surveyors for Ordnance Survey maps have taken to Twitter to help the public understand what they are doing, with a Twittermap of the UK plotting their thoughts and observations as they roam the country, looking at roads and measuring things. The OS Mastermap receives 5,000 changes every day, as houses are taken down, roads are …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Andrew Moore Silver badge


    they should put that money into updating their GNSS kit. The System 500 that the surveyor is using is over 10 years old and practically obsolete now (it cannot handle the GLONASS constellation or SV32).

    1. Alexander 3


      It's a well-tested bit of kit that does the job needed. Seems unnecessary to update...?

  2. Jim 59

    OS Maps made by Ninjas

    OS_Dom appears to be a Ninja. Ditto OS_Matt.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A couple of cm?

    That's nearly an inch! That doesn't even sound like the OS's level of accuracy from the days before GPS.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge


      Clearly you've never dealt with surveyors ...

      Look, Surveyors used to be able to say here's a property stake and give a rough approximation. They they can take more accurate measurements between that stake and another stake using lasers.

      However, in terms of finding your X,Y,Z coordinates the best you can do is only within a couple of cm. (that would be slightly more than an inch.)

      There's a couple of factors, ranging from clock synchronization, accuracy of all clocks, atmospheric interference, and use of a radio signal from a known geographic point and how accurate its position is known. (Also its clock accuracy and synchronization to yours. )

      So really a couple of cm is 'state of the art'.

      And this is assuming that we're talking about being in an open field and have clear reception. When you go into an urban environment, you will lose accuracy. (Note there are ways to compensate...)

  4. Christoph Silver badge

    I'm not surprise that landlord didn't co-operate

    Why should the landlord give them information for free, that they'll then sell back to him?

    It's well past time the OS data was made freely available. There are all sorts of useful things that could be done with computerised access to top-quality mapping. The original maps were made using tax funding, and councils have to give them free information. Why are they still charging?

    1. Colin Millar

      Get your hand out of my pocket

      If you want a map go and buy one. Don't ask me to subsidise you. I've got enought to pay for with all these illegal wars, aircraftless aircraft carriers, warplanes that are built to be mothballed, subsidising middle-class people to buy the latest resource eating green gizmo and paying Fred Goodwins pension.

    2. Helena Handcart

      Do you mean _this_ free data?

      Then what about all the European INSPIRE data? And all the geographic data the UK government has made available through INSPIRE? You too could run a query to find all the comprehensive schools with greater than 1000 pupils within 1 mile of an A Road with a 6 in its number, and get the name and address of its headteacher.

      Oh, then of course, there's the Vector District Raster, where the OS has kindly rendered its vector data with standard OS cartographic styling, not to mention the smaller-scale stuff.

      OK, I grant you its not direct access to Mastermap, but all the data (apart from some of the legacy stuff like Landform) there is derived from Mastermap. OS Vector District is more than adequate for GIS needs, if you want greater detail, survey it yourself or buy it. You won't find that sort of quality in the US, TIGER is in a shocking state (being surveyed by individual census areas, with limited quality control), and has only just made it into OpenStreetMap due partly to the problems integrating it with existing (and sometimes more accurate and up-to-date) OSM data.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        That sounds impressive, and yet there is still an imaginary made-up road running through my garden that has never been there (Before my house was built, everything was a field with no roads within 1/2 mile).

        I don't mind the imaginary road too much (it's better than imaginary numbers!), but it was a bit of a headache when I tried to sell my house!

        1. BoldMan

          That'll probably be one of their deliberate mistakes they put in to track who is nicking their data and selling it on for profit...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hi Cristoph

      May I kindly suggest you look up the concept of the past tense.

  5. Ben Liddicott

    The poor dears! How they must have palpitated.

    They met a man headed for his own back door carrying a shotgun. Perhaps he'd just been shooting.

    Not pointing it at them or anything. Some exaggeration there perhaps.

    (Maybe he was keeping down the pigeons who were eating the corn that goes to make our bread. Or maybe he just bought the land so he could go shooting on it...)

  6. Spiracle

    Dodging pellets

    "There was no reply so they tried to go round the back of the house and met the landlord approaching with a shotgun."

    They knew it was the *Ordnance* survey when they signed up. What's the problem?

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    A couple of CM...

    I'm assuming that's accurate to a couple of CM on the ground, as opposed to a couple of CM on the map?

    : D

  8. Paul Johnston

    There has to be one!

    Waiting for the first joke about "pundits"

  9. Your Retarded

    Ordinance Survey team

    "How satisfied are you with the performance of your local priest over the last year?"

  10. Pink Duck


    Actually the modern OS GPS sticks have sub-millimeter precision using OS' own radio broadcast network of around 85 high frequency stations from known positions.

  11. gerdesj Silver badge

    Just read some of the tweets on the website - crap. Just like all other tweets really

  12. Alan Denman

    Why stick your head above the parapet?

    The Dickheads should know better.

    They have all of our data so why be stupidly visible?

  13. AdamWill


    Shotguns don't fire bullets, Reg. They fire shells.

    1. elderlybloke



      Shotguns fire pellets

      Similar to Grapeshot.

      1. rh587


        Airguns fire pellets.

        Shotguns - amazingly - fire Shot.

        1. AdamWill

          okay, okay

          they _use_ shells to fire a bunch of pellets which are indeed called 'shot'. or they can also fire a sodding big bullet-y thing called a 'slug'. everyone happy now?

          so we were all sort of right except el reg, which was utterly wrong, as bullets aren't involved at any point in the shotgun process...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019