Tuesday, 15 July 2008

OS OpenSpace Mapping: Deary me!

Encouraged by the 'Backpacking in Britain' blog's use of displaying his maps using 'OS OpenSpace' I registered for a key to have a bash at using it myself.

Deary deary me!

Who are the nerds who designed this appalling thing? I do not even understand the very first example of how to show a single point on a map:

"First, we need to tell the browser to pull in the OS OpenSpace JavaScript® API:

script type="text/javascript" src=""/script "

So we all understood that didn't we children? I don't think so! (I have had to remove some of the code so that it will display here - all sorts of 'bigger than' and 'less than' symbols...)

The rest is even worse.This is bloody ridiculous! If they think that this is what the average blogger on the top deck of the Clapham Omnibus wants, then they have another think coming!

This motley crew are partly funded by us - the taxpayer - so why are they talking like computers? They should be providing us with an interface like Memory Map or Anquet, so we ordinary mortals can use what is in fact OUR MAPPING! So I can plot my long thin line up the length of Britain, so you can actually see the route.

I see absolutely no difference in me exporting a Microsoft Exel file to Google (like I did this morning ; see previous post), so that it displays on my blog, than exporting my Anquet Maps to Ordnance Survey - or whoever can be trusted with them - so they display on my blog.

It should be as simple as that.

But No. OUR Ordnance Survey has seen fit to make this as terminally difficult as possible for ordinary (fairly bright, if I say it myself) chaps to display their own mapping as they obviously do not want us to. It can be my only conclusion!

I am boilingly angry that we have let the nerds loose in the asylum that the Ordnance Survey has obviously become, with its obsession in deliberately getting in the way of / defying (your choice) the European Directive for Public Sector Information.

I have waited quite a while to be 'allowed' to use this new device that will allow me to display MY maps on my personal blog. Now that I have seen the arcane way they wish us to do this, I am absolutely staggered that I have waited so long for it and that it is such absolute rubbish!


  1. I must admit to chuckling a bit when I read this: I can well understand the difficulty non-techies have in the computer world. After many years in the software industry I can say that the OpenSpace documentation and examples are actually very well written as these things go, and they have made an effort to make it clear. The OpenSpace interface (as currently provided) is not aimed at Joe Soap, it's intended for web developers with some experience of programming.

    To implement a simple Export interface we need a single object to export, which for mapping would be the GPX file containing the route and other stuff like icons and images. GPX is supposed to be a standard format but is honoured as much in the breach as the observance, but notwithstanding that it should be pretty easy to implement. There is probably other information that OpenSpace needs but is not catered for in GPX, like the map scale, where the user wants the map centred etc..

  2. Cor blimey Alan I don't even understand the simple explanation above. Time to get some old fashioned tracing paper out me thinks! While we are at it lets get back to proper maps, 1 inch to the mile! Enough of this French nonsense!

  3. Well, its cleared it up for me.

    Who am I again?

  4. Hi Geoff
    Well, I understood yuour first paragraph -It's not meant for me then!

    The second one might well have been in Serbo-Croat for all it meant!

    If the OS are serious about letting bloggers display their mapping on the web, why on earth do they not make it as easy as publishing a blog? It just does not make sense - so to my mind they are being deliberately obstructive while still being seen as offering to make their mapping publicly accessible.

    It's a total con!

    They leave me no choice - if I want to display my route I am going to have to put my Anquet maps on my blog 'illegaly' (in their eyes.)


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