Data - observations

Data: from paper ... to the data deluge!

When I joined Ordnance Survey in 1969 there was not even a whiff of data around apart from the finance department and as regards maps perhaps in a few select university labs. Organisations were only just getting to grips with computers to pay salaries and then manage wider accounting needs. When I left in 2011 - data was the lifeblood of the organisation.

At a personal level data and programming arrived during courses at North East London Polytechnic and University College London [UCL], during the 1980's. I bought a BBC-B micro computer in 1984 and used it for all kinds of things including a least squares program I developed during the MSc course. Though even then I had no idea how profound it's impact would have on my life - and not only at work!

We are all data collectors now

Today I don't go anywhere without a at least one camera or a gps - in fact I often have two of these with me. Returning from holiday the days of the tedious "write-up" at school has been swapped out and replaced by a day processing several gigabytes of data.

After I finished at UCL in the summer of 1986 - data is what I did for a living (but it was still about maps!):

  1. 1986-91: Photogrammetric data developments [data capture flowline/data plot program ...]
  2. 1997-2011: Head of Geographic Information Strategy - Ordnance Survey
  3. 1999-2011: Digital National Framework Expert Group Chair
  4. 2005- :INSPIRE Data Specifications Drafting Team (for pan European spatial data)
  5. 2007-9: Facilitated/managed the Thematic Working Group who created the Transport Networks Data Specification for Europe.
  6. 2010- : Supporting the adoption of Linked Data to maximise reuse, consistency and accelerate applications development.

.. data is absorbing, it should be easy, but the lack of big picture thinking has led to all kinds of issues in the UK eg addresses .....

The nice thing about this website is that I finally get back to playing with some real coordinates and making maps (via data!)

The Data pages

These pages will be used to reflect on some of the above topics or anything else that is current and relevant.

Topics in order of publication:

Date Title
20130609 no articles have yet been published on this topic




Start: 1983
End: ongoing