News Items


Ordnance Survey to become a GovCo at the end of the financial year

Ordnance Survey to become a GovCo at the end of the financial year

Matthew Hancock MP has just posted this statement. 

I am today announcing the Government’s intention to change Ordnance Survey from a Trading Fund to a Government Company at the end of the financial year.

The change is operational in nature, and is aimed at improving Ordnance Survey’s day-to-day efficiency and performance. It will provide the organisation with a more appropriate platform from which to operate, and one which provides greater individual and collective responsibility for performance.

Ordnance Survey will remain under 100% public ownership with the data remaining Crown property, with ultimate accountability for the organisation staying with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Further to this change, in the coming weeks I will also be setting out more details on how Ordnance Survey will be building on its existing extensive support for the Government’s Open Data policy and on some senior appointments which will further strengthen the management team.

Ordnance Survey exists in a fast moving and developing global market. There has been rapid technology change in the capture and provision of mapping data, and increasingly sophisticated demands from customers who require data and associated services – including from government. To operate effectively, Ordnance Survey needs to function in an increasingly agile and flexible manner to continue to provide the high level of data provision and services to all customers in the UK and abroad, in a cost effective way, open and free where possible. Company status will provide that.

Mapping data and services are critical in underpinning many business and public sector functions as well as being increasingly used by individuals in new technology. Ordnance Survey sits at the heart of the UK’s geospatial sector. Under the new model, the quality, integrity and open availability of data will be fully maintained, and in future, improved. Existing customers, partners and suppliers will benefit from working with an improved organisation more aligned to their commercial, technological and business needs.

The relationship with Government will be articulated through the Shareholder Framework Agreement alongside the Company Articles of Association. The change will be subject to final Ministerial approval of these governance matters.

Ordnance Survey will also continue to publish a statement of its public task, to subscribe to the Information Fair Trader Scheme and comply with the relevant Public Sector Information Regulations, including Freedom of Information legislation, and make as much data as possible openly available to a wide audience of users.

Please click More Information text (lower right) to read OS statement on their website.

Date January 22, 2015
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Five PhD Awards in Retail Big Data and Geographic Data Science: UCL and University of Liverpool


Deadline: Friday, 6 February 2015

Five PhD awards to begin September 2015, (one including an additional MRes award in Urban Sustainability and Resilience in collaboration with UCL’s Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience), are available for work associated with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded Consumer Data Research Centre, based at University College London (UCL) and the University of Liverpool. One of the studentships is the Boots Health Informatics Award that will have specific focus upon health and wellbeing.

The awards are open to social scientists with a background in geography, social statistics, political science, applied mathematics, planning or sociology, to work with the retail sector as part of an exciting multidisciplinary research centre. Working with academics and the retail industry, you will investigate multidisciplinary topics such as the future of the high street, the development and application of new methods of retail analysis, the analysis of online and social media data relevant to retailing, or the relationship between online and conventional shopping opportunities.

The Boots Health Informatics PhD Scholarship 2015 will provide an opportunity to work with cutting-edge data science technologies while carrying out pioneering research in Geographic Information Science. The successful applicant will also work in collaboration with the Boots’ data analytics team and gain first-hand experience of working with a range of unique consumer insight datasets.

Geographic Data Science at the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC)

The CDRC is a new Big Data investment that is passionate about data and unlocking value through retail analytics and linkage to other Big Data. We apply advanced social science analytics to better understand the motivations and behaviours of consumers, and develop applications that are relevant right across society. Award holders will be responsible for developing and applying analytics, and linking datasets in order to develop insights into today’s dynamic and fast-moving consumer markets. They will join a team of researchers and retail analysts that is seeking to reshape the ways in which consumer data can be used for the benefit of society at large. You will also gain first- hand experience of working with one or more of the UK’s leading retailers.


University of Liverpool: 2 x 3 year ESRC North West Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) Research Studentships.

Both studentships include an annual tax-free maintenance stipend for full-time students of £14,210*. In addition, the studentship will pay for all tuition fees.

University College London: 1 x 3 year ESRC project linked DTC Research Studentship; 1 x 3 year UCL funded Research Studentship; 1 x four year (1+3) ESRC/EPSRC multidisciplinary studentship.

All studentships include an annual tax-free maintenance stipend for full-time students of £14,180* and an additional £2,000 London Allowance. In addition, the studentship will pay for all tuition fees.

In both the UCL and North West ESRC DTCs, Research Students will have access to central funds to cover research related expenses, fieldwork, collaborations and overseas institutional visits. Successful candidates may be eligible, dependent upon circumstances, for stipend enhancements in relation to multidisciplinary research and/or use of advanced quantitative methods.

* This is an indicative amount. The exact amount is confirmed by RCUK annually.

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will have a 1st class or high upper 2nd class BSc degree or an MSc with Merit or Distinction in a quantitative social science discipline. They must share our passion for data and be equally fascinated by what we can learn from them. In addition, we welcome candidates that also bring some practical experience gained in a commercial setting. There are strict ESRC eligibility criteria; please click the More information text below to read the details.

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting letter of application, demonstrating how you feel your skills and experience are relevant to the CDRC, to Sarah Sheppard s.sheppard at ucl.ac.uk. Please also state whether you would wish to be considered for the 4 year ESRC/EPSRC multidisciplinary studentship and whether you would like to be based at the University of Liverpool or UCL. Candidates must also include a clear statement that they have read and understood the ESRC eligibility criteria and confirm how they fulfill them.

Date January 21, 2015
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Postdoctoral Research Associate: Geographic Inequalities: University of Liverpool


Postdoctoral Research Associate: Geographic Inequalities: University of Liverpool

Closing date for receipt of applications: this Friday, 23 January 2015 17:00:00 GMT

This exciting opportunity arises from a recent ESRC award to support a project which focuses on geographic inequalities in the UK and how these have changed over the last 40 years. 

The project will involve the development of a set of population surfaces for a wide array of socio-economic and demographic variables for the UK Censuses of 1971-2011. These population surfaces enable assessment of changes over small geographical areas. The production of surfaces will allow detailed analysis of, for example, the persistence of social deprivation at the neighbourhood scale or the ways in which housing tenures have changed across the regions of the UK. 

You should have a PhD in Population Geography, Geographic Information Science, or the broader Social Sciences (with a quantitative focus). Experience in manipulating large datasets and some programming experience would also be desirable.  

The post is available until 31 July 2016.

For informal discussion about the post, please contact Chris Lloyd ( C.D.Lloyd at liverpool.ac.uk )

Please click the link below to apply for the post.

Date January 21, 2015

Clark Labs now shipping TerrSet

Programming RS GIS

Clark Labs now shipping TerrSet

Clark Labs is pleased to announce that the TerrSet software is now shipping. TerrSet is an integrated constellation of software applications for monitoring and modeling the Earth system. Developed in close cooperation with leading institutions focused on sustainable development and environmental conservation, TerrSet provides groundbreaking tools for addressing major challenges to smart growth - climate change: trends, projections and adaptation; land cover conversion: trajectories and impacts; ecosystem services: present and future value.

TerrSet = Space + Time

Built upon three decades of leadership in the development of GIS and image processing tools (IDRISI), Clark Labs has added the critical element of time to create what can now be called a GeoTemporal System (GTS).

TerrSet components include:

  •     Land Change Modeler 
  •     GeOSIRIS 
  •     Habitat and Biodiversity Modeler 
  •     Ecosystem Services Modeler 
  •     Earth Trends Modeler 
  •     Climate Change Adaptation Modeler 
  •     IDRISI GIS Analysis 
  •     IDRISI Image Processing 

Date January 21, 2015

Research Assistant, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis at the University of Manchester


Research Assistant, ESRC Secondary Data Analysis at the University of Manchester

Closing date : Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Reference : HUM-05871
Faculty / Organisational unit : Humanities
School / Directorate : School of Environment, Education and Development
Division : SEED Research Centres
Employment type : Fixed Term
Duration : from 1 March 2015 until 31 May 2016
Location : Oxford Road, Manchester
Salary : £27,864 per annum
Hours per week : Full Time

The Centre for Urban Policy Studies (CUPS) is seeking to appoint a Research Assistant to join their busy team. You will work directly with the Principal Investigator Richard Kingston to support the delivery of high quality research on the funding received from ESRC, "Transportation and the socio-spatial equity dimensions of travel to work flows”, part of their Secondary Data Analysis programme.

The main focus of your role will be the sourcing and analysing of appropriate flow data from the 2001 and 2011 Census of Population. You will be responsible for collating and analysing local administrative data from secondary sources and overlaying these data in GIS with the results of the commuting analysis. You will work closely with our web-programmer to ensure datasets are open and interoperable with the online toolkit that is a major output of the project.

You will also undertake a range of other research activities including literature reviews, qualitative interviewing with professionals and practitioners, and any other methods appropriate to the project.  You will have an administrative role in ensuring that the project is correctly recorded and documented in accordance with RCUK standards. You will also liaise and communicate with the project partners throughout the project. Dissemination is key to the project and you will undertake such activities amongst academic communities, and the general public using a variety of media as befits the project. On a day to day basis you will also provide project management functions in supporting the PI meet the objectives of the research.

You will have excellent quantitative analysis skills, particularly in the analysis and interpretation of spatial data and using GIS.

The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Please note that if you do not have permission to work in the UK, the University of Manchester will not be able to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship for you to take up this position. All non EU/EEA candidates must have valid immigration status and/or a UK visa valid for the duration of the contract in order to be considered for this appointment.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Richard Kingston

Email: Richard.Kingston at manchester.ac.uk

Date January 21, 2015

GoGeo Mobile has been released

Mobile Free

GoGeo Mobile has been released

The GoGeo Mobile iPhone App was created by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh to support teaching, learning and research. 

Jisc provided support for the GoGeo App project as part of its commitment to encourage the use of new and emerging technology to support research and learning in the UK.

GoGeo Mobile is an app that allows you to keep abreast of news and events in the geospatial sector. GoGeo Mobile is separated into a number of channels including News, Events, Jobs and Resources for Teachers. Each channel contains useful and relevant resources for anyone working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing or spatial data. 

In addition, GoGeo Mobile allows users to perform targeted searches for spatial data. Searches can be defined by keyword and/or location and return a brief description of the data and users can then forward themselves a direct URL to the metadata record so they can download the data when they are back at their desk.

Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimised for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.

You can download the GoGeo Mobile App from the UK iTunes App Store (link below).

Please provide feedback to edina@ed.ac.uk with GoGeo App entered in the subject field of your email.

Date January 20, 2015

Esri UK appoints new managing director

Esri UK appoints new managing director

Esri UK has announced the appointment of Stuart Bonthrone, currently Sales and Marketing Director for Esri UK, as its new Managing Director. Stuart takes over from Richard Waite who takes on the role of Chairman with immediate effect.

Stuart has been with Esri UK since July 2012, before which he was Vice President of Pitney Bowes Europe and Managing Director of Pitney Bowes UK and Ireland.

Date January 20, 2015

Geospatial Apps with Open Data

Geospatial Apps with Open Data

This meetup is all about understanding how geospatial apps use open data to deliver decision support and insights, exploring together the challenges within the existing use cases, the opportunities, and some of the cutting edge technology available for creating geospatial apps.

The event will take approximately two hours, followed by the usual CartoDBeers at The Artillery Arms pub nearby. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

18:00 to 18:30 Welcome
18:30 to 19:20 Presentations
19:20 to 19:40 Break
19:40 to 20:30 Presentation
20:30 to CartoDBeers

3rd Floor of Google Campus London,
4-5 Bonhill St, Shoreditch EC2A 4BX, London 


Date January 19, 2015

(Q)GIS Trainings: Functionality Vs. Application webinar

GIS Free

(Q)GIS Trainings: Functionality Vs. Application webinar

Date and Time: Monday, January 26, 2015 4:00 to 5:00 PM GMT

The ICA-OSGeo Lab Network, MundoGEO and UN Environment Programme are now pleased to inform the first webinar in 2015 of the ”Open Geospatial Science & Applications” webinar series. This webinar will be open and free to all on first come register basis, 

This webinar will be based on more than 20 years of experience in geospatial education gathered by UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre. There will be a discussion about ‘functionality vs. application’ methods applied in their geotrainings, based mainly on QGIS. Example of the ‘INSPIRE Academy’ will be used to show specific approach to development of complex geotraining programs. Webinar will include short live presentation of QGIS online course developed as a part of geospatial education programme. 

Webinar is dedicated to all members of geospatial community interested in development of effective geotrainings, in particular, educators working with students and trainers providing geoinformation courses for companies and individuals. It is also suitable for all professionals looking for new ways to broaden their geoskills. 


Mrs. Ela Woloszynska-Wisniewska: geographer and hydrologist. Coordinator of geospatial education activities in UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre. 

Mrs. Monika Rusztecka: geographer and geoecologist. Head of the Geoinformation Unit involved in development and implementation of spatial information systems, web-based applications and geoportals as well as GIS data processing, spatial analyses and environmental data management. 

Attendees will be able to interact with the speakers by sending their comments and questions through chat. All attendees of this web seminar will receive certificates for their participation.

Please visit the webinar website to register.

Date January 19, 2015

Geographic Analyst post at Defra


Geographic Analyst post at Defra

Salary: £26,745 - £31,078

The RPA Geographic Information Technical Team (GI) is based at Reading and forms part of the RPA Design Directorate, an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The team are responsible for the administration of the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) which is the RPA’s corporate Geographic Information System (GIS) spatial repository of rural land. As well as the administration of the LPIS the team are heavily involved with the Defra’s CAP Delivery Programme which is introducing new schemes and associated support systems.

This role provides an exciting opportunity for enthusiastic individuals with the right aptitude and geographic skills. Training and development building upon these core skills will be provided. As a analyst within a corporate GI team there will be the opportunity to work with other geospatial practitioners from suppliers and other government departments. 

The team functions fall into supporting seven broad business areas:

1) GI system development and enhancement

2) Spatial data management

3) Spatial analysis & Management Information reporting

4) Risk and Issue Management around key controls.

5) Strategic implementation of GI

6) Geomatics assurance

7) GI policies and methodologies

A core function of the team is to provide technical support by advising other business areas and internal stakeholders on land business rules and geospatial matters such as GNSS spatial data-capture; spatial data management and analysis; remote sensing and photogrammetry; cartography; geography; topography and Geographic Information Systems. 

Essential Criteria

  • Proven ability to apply technical GI knowledge in order to analyse complex spatial, imagery and data model problems, using photo-interpretation, and geo-processing to quickly identify key issues from complex information, separating essential from non-essential, and producing workable solutions
  • Strong GIS software skills, proficient with cartographic presentation techniques, geodatabases, geoprocessing techniques, map layouts and methods for delivering effective map presentations. Experience of working with ESRI ArcGIS 10.1+ and Safe FME desk-top/server. Oracle Spatial database skills and the ability to code PL/SQL for spatial queries.
  • Proven experience and understanding of a wide range of functional and non-functional requirements and supporting their transformation into IT solutions and business implementation e.g. GIS enterprise-wide implementation.

(Please note that candidates will also be expected to provide evidence of all essential criteria at interview).

Closing date: Wednesday, 28 January 2015

For further information and to apply online, please visit the GOV.UK Civil Service Jobs website and enter this post's reference number in the vacancy reference field: 1440064

Date January 15, 2015
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