OS Puts its Mapping Knowledge to the Test

by | Oct 1, 2015

October 1, 2015 ” OS has been supporting A Streetcar Named Hyundai, the latest campaign from Hyundai Motor UK. This world first initiative involves driving, photographing and filming all 2005 miles of central London's streets as defined by the world-famous cabbie ˜Knowledge'. The drive will be undertaken in a car that emits nothing but water “ the world's first commercially-available hydrogen fuel cell car – and will create the first ever single mosaic image of up to 650,000 street pictures, and a 200.5 second time lapse video of the whole journey.

OS took up the challenge to create a continuous 50 day drive starting from Charing Cross covering every road within a 6 mile radius. The team of geospatial technicians who had worked on the 2012 Olympic torch route and recent Tour of Britain routes were called upon to use their expertise and experience.

Simon Willcocks, from OS who created the London route, said: This challenge was far more than a standard A to B; it involved plotting a continuous route weaving its way through one of the busiest cities in the world.


The challenge was unlike the routing for the Olympic torch and Tour of Britain as unfortunately we couldn't close any roads! As a result we had to use our intelligent street and transport data to identify road features and restrictions which would impact on the routing. By running a series of queries on the data we were able to identify road routing information including “ private roads, pedestrian streets, bus and taxi lanes, roads with time restrictions, one way roads and turning restrictions. This vital information was added to a routing algorithm to generate the continuous route. Without this information the route would have inevitably, and quickly, experienced problems.

The detailed route was plotted and calculated using OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Layer and OS MasterMap Topography Layer. The two highly accurate datasets enabled the team to confidently plot the route and export a series of GPX files and maps for the Hyundai team to navigate with. In addition to the creating the complete route over 2,000 miles were split into 100 routes to be driven over the 50 day challenge. The segments were created taking into account the London location, time of day and average vehicle speeds.

Pivotal to the challenge and plotting a route which could be trusted was up to date mapping. London is a vast city consisting of a huge network of roads and streets, and over the years London has changed, and still is changing, at a phenomenal rate.

Keeping the mapping database for London up to date is a continuous job and OS has a team of specialist surveyors armed with the latest GPS technology to capture the changing landscape of the capital. From new buildings to kerb stones and new address information to road restrictions OS captures a wealth of information which people are relying on every day. Up to date mapping data is being used daily by the emergency services, bus routing, insurance companies, online mapping providers, sat nav manufacturers and utility companies to name a few. Today accurate location data is playing a vital role in underpinning thousands of products and public services across Great Britain.

Nigel Clifford, Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey said: From the outset of the challenge it was clear that detailed digital mapping and accurate routing would play a vital role. At OS we map Great Britain to amazing detail making over 10,000 changes a day to the mapping database. This up to date, detailed mapping allowed us to confidently plan and plot a continuous route weaving through the capitals road networks. This is, in fact, the most challenging routing project that we have ever undertaken and are delighted to be supporting Hyundai and look forward to seeing the end results.

The challenge launched on 29 September and will run to 19 November. During the 50 day drive several well-known names and employees of Hyundai Motor UK will join the car.

Nicola Adams, Hyundai ambassador and British Olympic Boxing Champion, launched A Streetcar Named Hyundai and drove the first leg with Hyundai UK's President and CEO, Tony Whitehorn. Nicola commented: I've never been one to shy away from a challenge, and this one's really amazing. I'm thrilled to be taking part and this will be the first time I've driven a Fuel Cell vehicle so I can't wait to get behind the wheel.

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai Motor UK's President and CEO comments: A Streetcar Named Hyundai is an ambitious challenge and another ˜first' from us that marks our journey from 2005. I'm very excited to see the outcome of this challenge, and it's fantastic that it will be completed in a car that not only looks good, but is also environmentally friendly as it emits nothing but water!

More information can be found at www.astreetcarnamedhyundai.com


October Issue 2023