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Cessation of Ordnance Survey Dynamic maps on Happyhiker.co.uk

Since I started this site, all my walks have been accompanied by a link to what I call a "Dynamic OS Map", meaning that the route can be seen on a 1:50000 scale Ordnance Survey Landranger map, which can be moved about and zoomed, This facility takes advantage of the Ordnance Survey Open Space facility, which is straightforward to use. It needs to be because I am no IT expert!

Regrettably Ordnance Survey have advised that this facility is to be retired from Autumn 2021. The replacement system Open Data system is unintelligible to me, and is clearly aimed at commercial companies who have the backing of technical experts or "geeks" (no offence intended) who can learn all this stuff. I am afraid my ignorance of the coding aspects of the new system mean I will not be able to deploy it. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, below is the response I received from Ordnance Survey in Email 1 below.

I contacted them again pointing out my technical ignorance and they said they would look into the issue.

They have now responded and this is at Email 2 below.

The options do not provide a way of incorporating OS maps into my website, so it looks very much as though this facility on my walks will cease in Autumn 2021.

Clearly there is now little point in producing the OS maps on the existing platform for any new walks I add for the remaining few months.

The sketch maps I draw will enable you to work out the route on your own OS maps.

I have not investigated any alternatives to Ordnance Survey maps but as there are over 300 walks on my site, having to redraw them all is probably a task too far. In any case, users of my site are unlikely to find trying to relate routes shown on alternative map styles to OS maps particularly helpful.

I must apologise for the loss of this facility and feel I am letting visitors to my site down but I would rather spend my time on other things than learning this particular "foreign language"!


Email 1

Hello John

Thank you for your feedback and apologies for the delay in responding.  I had to reach out to colleagues around the business for the best next steps for you.

Ultimately getting the first map updated/working is key.

You should be able to make use of the JavaScript wrapper file which is available at https://github.com/OrdnanceSurvey/openspace-migration.

First you would need to download a copy of the script (which should then be uploaded to your web server).

You can then reference the Route Map (GPX) example as the basis for updating your pages [attached is a copy which has been modified to reflect your original OpenSpace code].

This should replace the existing content between <!--webbot bot="HTMLMarkup" startspan --> and

<!--webbot bot="HTMLMarkup" endspan --> on his Dynamic OS Map page.

NOTE: All that will need to be changed is the text I have highlighted in red on the two lines below:

<script src="/<path_to_script>/mapbuilder.js"></script>

var apiKey = 'INSERT_API_KEY_HERE';

If you could work on the first map and confirm that it works, we could look to see if we can help reduce the manual effort involved with the others.  For each “Dynamic OS Map” on your site we will need to know the map center; zoom level; and GPX route [filename].

Given a list of the pages – we hope it should be possible to use a custom script to scrape your site, extracting the above information, in order to generate a series of HTML files which can act as replacements for upload to your web server.

I hope that this helps and once again apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

Could you let me know how you get on with the above suggestions from my API colleague?  I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards


Email 2

Hi John, 

This query has now been passed onto me by Emma. 
 
The technical team have reviewed your information but we are unable to simplify the set up of the OS DataHub APIs any further.  Incorporating an interactive map on a website is always going to involve some level of coding with current HTML sites and API services. 
 
The much less technical and less commercial option is to look at the consumer service OS Maps. This is Online and through iOS or Android mobile apps. 
You can as a free registered user create and save .gpx routes files to the 'standard' map layer.  These .gpx route files could be what is shown on the happyhiker website so when Users click on the file the route can be imported into and opened on OS Maps - Online or OS Maps - App for mobiles and tablets. 
https://shop.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/os-maps-web-faq/#routes
 
As .gpx files are user created and not (C)Crown Copyright in any way these can be shared, published, imported and exported however you wish. There are already lots you can access for free on the Standard map layer under Routes > Discover Routes. 
 
As a Premium subscriber from £2.99 per month or £23.99 per year you get the digital view of all Explorer and Landranger mapping too, though these map views cannot be embedded or screen dumped into other websites currently. https://shop.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/apps/os-maps/
 
The terms of this service are in full here - https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/legal/os-maps-terms
 
As you already have some gpx files it should be possible to import and view them in OS Maps, and signpost your happyhiker community to OS Maps too so then its up to individuals to see maps for free or subscribe to get the Leisure Map view. 

This is the best low tech and low cost option we can offer, tailored towards the general public web and app user.
 
I hope this helps to explain but do get back to me if needed. 
 
Kind regards

 

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