Friday, 24 April 2015

sketchmap gets OpenStreetMap, OS maps and greenbelt layer

As of now can view two new map layers - OpenStreetMap and OS Maps - on, as well as greenbelt land for the whole of England.

We have added OpenStreetMap (OSM) with MapBox customisation to give the map a clean and attractive look. OSM was inspired by the success of wikipedia and contains crowdsourced contributions from thousands of users around the world.
OpenStreetMap on sketchmap
To view OSM on sketchmap go to the top-left of the map screen and select ‘Mapbox/OSM’ from the dropdown.

>View OSM on sketchmap

OS Maps - Explorer and Landranger 
Two classic |OS maps, Explorer and Landranger, can now be viewed for free on sketchmap.
OS Explorer on sketchmap
To view the OS Maps on sketchmap go to the top left of the map screen and select ‘OS Maps’ from the dropdown. You will need to be zoomed into the map at least half way to view these maps, as they do not display at higher scales. The OS Map will automatically switch to the more detailed 'Explorer' map at lower map scales.

>View OS maps on sketchmap

Greenbelt map
We have added a boundary layer of all official greenbelt land for the whole of England to the ‘scenic interest’ map layer section on sketchmap.
Greenbelt land on sketchmap
To view greenbelt land just expand the scenic interest layers and tick the box next to ‘greenbelt land’.

>View greenbelt land on sketchmap

Monday, 30 March 2015

UXO legacy still causing problems for UK construction industry

Last week, a massive 1000lb bomb was detonated by the Army after construction workers discovered it on a site near Tower Bridge. This discovery underlines the importance of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) assessment during building development.

Before the bomb was removed by the Royal Logistics Corps it had caused massive disruption to the area. Both police and fire brigades attended the scene to evacuate hundreds of local residents, including two schools and a number of businesses.

WW2 UXO site contamination clearly remains a problem for many construction and development projects in the UK. By the end of the war London had become the most heavily bombed city in Britain. Between 1940 and 1945 there were a total of 71 ‘major’ air raids on the city, resulting in an estimated 190,000 bombs dropped. Much of this did not explode and remains hidden underground. Encountering UXO on a project not only exposes personnel to risk, it also results in delays and increase costs.

According to the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA), between 2006 and 2008 15,000 pieces of ordnance were found on UK construction sites, of which 5% was still fully functioning. CIRIA has developed a set of guidelines (CIRCA C681) on dealing with UXO risk. These recommend an initial review of potential sources of UXO. In partnership with BACTEC, FIND offers a specially tailored instant online report - BombRisk - for just that purpose.

BombRisk means that builders and developers can now access instant UXO risk assessments at the planning phase of a project. The report uses a unique nationwide geospatial database of known UXO risk factors and locations. These include not only unexploded bombs dropped during air raids, but also arms and munitions abandoned on land used for training, storage, testing, military establishments, defensive positions, decoy sites, and minefields.

A BombRisk report acquired early in the development cycle provides reassurance on UXO risk for a site and fulfils all industry standard CIRCA for Phase 1 Preliminary UXO Risk Assessment. BombRisk reports are available for £175 per site.

Read more on CIRIA C681 guidelines

Monday, 26 January 2015

FIND powers National Map Centre mapping and data system

FIND is pleased to announce a new partnership with the National Map Centre (NMC). FIND’s web mapping technology now powers NMC’s refreshed mapping and data system, replacing their existing e-commerce mapping delivery system. mapscreen  
The new National Map Centre website – – has now been completely refreshed and features an online mapping system provided by FIND. Through the site customers can register and instantly download Ordnance Survey map data and create plot ‘prints’ used for a variety of planning purposes, as well as annotate maps with a range of easy-to-use tools.
National Map Centre provides mapping services, in addition to its website, at its own centres and through an extensive network of partners throughout Britain. FIND’s mapping system will be used at both over-the-counter service and through the NMC website. map annotation tools 
Julie Cleary, Manager of National Map Centre, commented: “FIND’s system has significantly streamlined the process of ordering data for our clients. We are able to offer a whole new range of products, like aerial imagery, and we really look forward to expanding our offerings in future.”
SuiWin Hui, Head of Consultancy at FIND, said:  “Working closely with the NMC we’ve developed and delivered a mapping system that works for them and for their clients. We’ve also ensured that the system has the capacity to grow as the NMC expands its range”.
Simon Lewis, Managing Director of FIND, commented: "FIND is all about delivering solutions for users of complex spatial data. It’s been extremely satisfying to work with the NMC and provide the engine for their new site. But our technology delivers much more than an upgrade for the NMC’s website it’s the foundation for a long-term relationship from which both companies will undoubtedly benefit."
The mapping and data system functionality includes:
  • Site search by postcode, coordinate and address.
  • Ordering 5 different map types, including OS MasterMap and aerial photography
  • Ordering map data in four different GIS/CAD formats (DWG, DXF, SHP, TAB)
  • Advanced ‘cookie cutter’ tools for data exports (MasterMap polygon shape trace, buffers, free-draw, as well as, square and circle)
  • The ability to save map annotations and export areas
  • Cross-browser compatibility with IE, Chrome, Safari and Firefox
  • Advanced ‘desk-top GIS’ annotation tools including buffering, ‘node’ tracing and shape-joining.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The most detailed tweet map ever

Mapbox have produced a map of over six billion tweets collected over the last few years. Each geolocated tweet is represented by a green dot. The below map is fully zoomable and interactive.

What makes this map different from other twitter maps is the sheer size of the dataset used  - 6,341,973,478 tweets! Time has also been taken to ensure sure the map looks good. Without careful fitlering of the data, unsightly and odd looking banding and splotching would appear on the map.

Banding and splotching in unfiltered tweets    
You can go to the Mapbox's blog to find out how to make a similar map for yourself:

Monday, 8 December 2014

FIND's marine division, MarineFIND, and EOMAP partnership to produce easy access marine bathymetry data

Working together, EOMAP GmbH & Co KG and MarineFIND, the specialist marine data and service division of FIND Maps, have formed a partnership to offer easy access to coastal high resolution and global bathymetry.

Collecting nearshore zone bathymetry data has, until recently, been an expensive undertaking. However, advances in the processing of satellite imagery means that low-cost, accurate, high resolution bathymetry to a depth of 20m is now available. The EOMAP/MarineFIND partnership has developed a new method for easily distributing this data for preprocessed areas and allows the production of cost-effective custom datasets.


Satellite derived bathymetry from EOMAP and MarineFIND Dr Thomas Heege, CEO of EOMAP, said: “We’ve worked with MarineFIND on several recent projects and the partnership has delivered excellent results for our clients. Building on the work we’ve already done together, we can now deliver bathymetric and other marine data to many more clients worldwide.”

Jon Coleman, Marine Business Manager of MarineFIND, said: “ is already one of the industry’s leading GIS portals for marine data. Our expert developers have improved delivery mechanisms – allowing us to serve cost-effective high quality marine GIS data directly to client desktops via WMS technology.

 Nigel West, Consultant at ABPmer, said: “We’re very happy with the satellite derived bathymetry from EOMAP/MarineFIND. It has proved invaluable for the characterisation of shallow coastal areas in the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea. In our areas of interest, satellite imagery showed shallow bathymetric features that were either inaccessible to survey vessels or beyond the remit of the original surveys. The data we received from MarineFIND showed good validation with our echo-sounder collected data.”

EOMAP is the leading commercial supplier of satellite-derived data for the marine environment. Core services include very high and medium resolution bathymetric surveys, as well as near real-time water quality monitoring. EOMAP holds a unique shallow water bathymetry database that is now available through MarineFIND. Other new products include:

  • Water quality 
  • Water depth 
  • Seafloor/benthic mapping 
  • Subsurface reflectance 

Since 2006, EOMAP has provided marine services to clients in the O&G, coastal engineering and environmental sectors. Applications of their large scale techniques include mapping benthic habitats and bathymetry for the Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi and mapping the whole of the Great Barrier Reef. Recently, EOMAP launched a WaterQuality App to provide easy access to demo data for Australia ( The aim of their latest partnership with MarineFIND is to extend the provision of easy access to usable, complex data.

Dr Thomas Heege, CEO of EOMAP, said: “MarineFIND is a unique portal for marine data and we’re happy that it now offers our competitively priced Satellite Derived Service”.

To find out more go to:

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Video overview of FIND Maps Autumn 2014 updates

If you have a few moments to spare why not watch our short video presentation on FIND Maps new features, including widescreen map viewing, more precise exporting and annotating.

>Register for free to use

Friday, 5 September 2014

More accurate exporting and annotating with FIND Maps September 2014 update

FIND Maps now has the ability to create export areas and annotations more accurately by typing in exact values, such as centre points, radiuses and buffers. We've also added dynamic 'widescreen' map viewing.

Simpler and more accurate exports

  • New easy-to-use step-by-step ordering
  • Rectangle export: enter exact area size and corner coordinates
  • Circle export: enter exact radius and centre coordinates
  • Free-draw export: add a buffer
Key benefits: Save time and order exports more accurately.

Map annotation tool enhancements

  • Enter exact rectangle dimensions and corner coordinates
  • Enter exact circle radius and centre coordinates

Key benefits: Create more accurate annotations by typing in exact values.

Widescreen map viewing

  • The map screen dynamically resizes to your web bowser window creating largest map screen possible
Key benefits: Make the most of your screen real estate with a large window to work on your mapping.