Last year the UK government released numerous datasets to the public, an example being the Ordnance Survey’s OS OpenData. FIND’s Personalise Your Map website is an interesting development that allows the members of the public to make use of UK government data for their own needs.
The site gives users access to a range of constantly updated maps and information from respected UK government sources such as Natural England, Ordnance Survey, Open Street Map, British Geological Society and Historic Scotland. For the first time users have been provided with a powerful mapping toolset meaning that rather than simply viewing a map users can now complete customise their own. Maps can be annotated with shapes, text, symbols, styling, and useful measuring tools then saved to PDF in a neat print template.
If you already enjoy using Google maps, you can customise your Find map styling to suit your own needs using the ‘Your Google Map’ feature. Additional layers give you instant access to a wealth of interesting information layers from respected UK sources. Just a couple of clicks will reveal administrative boundaries (wards), national parks, heritage sites, bird sanctuaries, geology and much more.
It’s a simple application that makes great use of the open data out there on the web, and combines a crowdsourcing element with it to improve that data from people on the ground. Free for non commercial use, it has practical benefits for anyone interested in local data, and makes some of it that bit more consumable.
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