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The Princess Royal Visits Emergency Services Showcase At Ordnance Survey To See How Cutting Edge Data Can Build A Resilient And Safe Britain

By Eric Van Rees - 16th February 2024 - 07:59

Ordnance Survey has held its first emergency services showcase, inviting in key representatives from Police, Fire and Ambulance, as well as HM Coastguard, Mountain Rescue and military, to show how they use cutting edge and up-to-date OS location data and tools to create a resilient and safe nation.

he special guest for the landmark event was The Princess Royal, who was given a tour of the OS head office including an introduction to surveying technology and the role of OS in mapping the nation, and an insight into OS’s work in supporting other nations and tackling climate change.

The tour then focussed on the emergency services with Her Royal Highness being given an exclusive preview of the exciting new OS Emergency Services Gazetteer. This is a new OS product which has been in high demand and keenly anticipated by the emergency services; it is due to be launched in spring.

The OS Emergency Service Gazetteer is a comprehensive and maintained database of locations. It currently contains 1.3 million features (names, places and objects) such as motorway junctions and roundabouts. It is particularly effective in identifying the location of those areas that have no addresses, like named cliffs and named waterfalls. Developed in close collaboration with the emergency services, it is designed to equip responders with the precise location information they need to act quickly to save lives and property during emergencies. The Gazetteer will provide a single, unified source of truth for accurate location information, aiding both those in control rooms and on the front line. It is a living, breathing resource, which will continue to adapt and grow after its launch as new information is added.

During her visit, The Princess Royal also had the opportunity to see a demonstration of the recently launched OS Vernacular Names tool, which will, in future, help power the Gazetteer with colloquial nicknames for features, landmarks and buildings. The tool is fully accessible to all emergency service organisations to input and read names and builds on a previous bespoke tool created for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which included over 8,000 vernacular names around Britain’s coastline. It helps emergency services to quickly find the location of callers and incidents by cross-referencing a database of alternative names with official place names.

Read More: Terrestrial Mapping Security & Safety

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