Thursday, 30 September 2010

Michael Palin launches ‘Britain from the Air’ aerial photography exhibition

100 stunning aerial photographs of Britain’s natural and human landscapes accompanied by a huge OS walk-on map will be launched by Michael Palin, President of the Royal Geographical Society, in Bath on September 28.

Oare's heart-shaped wood features in the aerial photo exhibition in Bath

Free to view and accessible 24 hours a day, this extraordinary outdoor exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to see Britain as they have never seen it before and to walk the length and breadth of the country over a 16x8m Ordnance Survey map, exploring the precise location of each large-scale image.

 Michael Palin says: "Our landscapes in Britain tell the stories of our heritage, bring alive the beauty of our environment, and challenge us all to understand the changes taking place in our towns and cities. All too often, chasing far-away places, we forget just what beauty we have on our doorstep and just how varied Britain is, even today.

"This exhibition is designed to celebrate this diversity and shows us, very powerfully, just what we're missing down here on the ground. The stories of these landscapes are revealed – so visitors can truly explore and discover something new," he said.

Created jointly by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with street gallery pioneers Wecommunic8, and supported by the Ordnance Survey, Britain from the Air captures Britain’s beauty as seen from its skies. Mountain valleys carved by glaciers, saw-toothed coastlines edged by glistening waters, abandoned villages and sprawling transport networks – all the aerial images tell their story with text, historical images and maps.

More information from Royal Geographical Society
Need aerial photography? FIND offers both Historical, Modern and High resolution aerial photography

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Have you signed up for the FIND newsletter yet? Its free so there’s no reason to miss out

Our monthly newsletter has been out for a number of issues now and we thought we’d give the heads up to people that haven't signed up for it yet.

For those who don’t know it contains pertinent news on developments in the property and environment sectors, top map annotation tips, product spotlights showing how data can enhance your business, as well as links to our most popular blog posts.

To sign up, simply go to the ‘Sign up to the FIND newsletter’ panel on the FIND front page and enter your email address to receive monthly newsletter by email:

To read previous newsletters go to:

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Get ahead by adopting modern mapping practices

With smartphones and netbooks becoming the norm, our personal use of technology has rapidly become sophisticated. But what about the use of technology in the work place to help us be as efficient and smart as possible?

Microsoft's internet browser, Internet Explorer 6, is a prime example of redundant technology still present in the workplace; many large web companies such as Google, Youtube and Facebook have all begun ending support for it, with world usage of IE6 at 8.9% in July 2010, down from 48.5% in July 2007. Yet many large and small businesses and government agencies continue to use IE6 as they have come to rely on it for their internal software.

Its not just on the web where trends are changing in the workplace; most architects have moved on from pen-to-paper drawings in favour of CAD, and developers and surveyors have moved from Google Earth to a dedicated mapping provider like ourselves; those that are adopting modern practices will quickly be ahead of those that do not. People don't like changing their old habits, but if they ignore new technology, they could find themselves far behind and paying a heavy price.

Even some mapping providers seem to be trailing the pack in keeping up with trends and satisfying clients' ever growing needs. Here at FIND we understand those needs, and therefore we strive to be leaders in our field rather than followers.

To start using FIND register for free here

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

London Design Festival architecture highlights

The London Design festival is a nine-day celebration of design in the world’s creative capital between 10-26 September. We take a moment to look at some of the stunning architecture related highlights.

Bygone era architectural placemats
New from ‘people will always need plates’, these placemats and coasters that 'pay tribute to the architecture of Britain throughout the ages'. They've been selected by Hidden Art as part of their Hidden Art Select 2010 range launched during the London Design Festival.

Get these placemats and more from the Hidden Art Stand during the festival:

Model city and other models exhibition by drdharchitects 
In December 2009 drdharchitects participated in the Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale 2009. Responding to the theme of ‘City Mobilisation’, they sought to address the individual and collective lives of the inhabitants and future inhabitants of the World’s big cities. With the help of local school children from Shenzhen, they created a miniature city made of clay. Ten workshops were organised in local schools where 500 children between the ages of 7-11, participated in the making of the clay houses.

The exhibition is accompanied by a selection of models and photographs of the practice’s work.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel 
This summer the Serpentine presents the 10th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. The Pavilion project, conceived by Julia Peyton-Jones in 2000, remains unique worldwide and has established London as an international site for architectural experimentation, challenging the world’s greatest living architects to present their best work to the British public for the first time. 

John Pawson ‘Plain Space’ exhibition at the Design Museum 
Plain Space celebrates Pawson’s career from the early 1980s to date and includes a selection of landmark commissions including the Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the new Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Novy Dvur in the Czech Republic and Calvin Klein’s iconic flagship store in New York, as well as current and future projects.

Using a rich range of media the exhibition will explore projects from Pawson’s career. Specially commissioned, large-scale photography will look at his architecture in the landscape.

Feel free to let us know your festival highlights and we will add them to the list.

FIND is fast becoming architects' favourite source for mapping with its competitive pricing, easy-to-use export tools, a wide range of height models, aerial photography and over 100 other datasets. Use FIND for downloading MasterMap for use in your CAD system, printing maps for planning applications as well performing an instant desktop site analysis for your project area. Compatible with Apple Macs and all internet browsers.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Scale matters when using digital maps for surveys

Misunderstanding the meaning of scale and its application to surveys can result in products which don't meet anticipated needs. Scale is important because it defines overall content and accuracy of a survey in a very basic way.

Fundamentally scale is not absolutely related to accuracy but in a graphical product it will limit the accuracy that can be achieved.  For example, 1:1 means what it says; a survey which is life size. It does not mean ‘dimensioned in metres rather than drawing millimetres’. For example, 1:100 means that an object 1m long on the ground will be 10mm long on the plan. When talking about relative scale size, a scale of 1:50 is larger than 1:100 and would require a larger hardcopy plan to represent the same physical object or area.

Understanding how scale are used in surveys means producing the required amount of detail to the desired accuracy, without needing to understand all the processes involved. Of course, if you are familiar with specifying surveys then a full specification will get the best for your project, but if that is not your favourite pastime then getting the scale right is a good second best. However, remember for unmapped territory you need a full Chartered Surveyor.

So where do we start? First of all, what accuracy do we need? Traditionally, surveyors will show detail correct to within 0.2mm at the plotted scale. So, if you want detail to be accurate to within 50mm, you should specify a plot scale of 1:250. But don’t forget that this is a guide. It does not apply to underground services and if the accuracy of any feature is critical you should tell the surveyor. Secondly, what detail needs to be shown (resolution)? Normally we show any point objects to scale if they are larger than 1mm at the plotted scale.

Read more on the RICS website about scale
View, print and export maps at different scales on FIND