What we get up to in the Esri UK Tech Research team

Do you want to see what Esri UK Tech Research team get up? Alongside understanding and exploring new releases from Esri Inc, we also get the opportunity to innovate with the Platform and explore the art of the possible. To date this has been behind closed doors, with many of our projects being for internal viewing only. That is now going to change, and we will be sharing our work through Esri UK Map Labs… 


This is an online showcase of projects, hacks, apps, research and other initiatives that use content from the Esri platform.

Current projects that we have on Map Labs are:

The Esri UK Chrome Extension

My favourite app so far - it allows users of Google Chrome to install a plugin which displays an interactive Esri UK map every time they open a new tab.
So what are you waiting for, get exploring now!

Travel like Royalty

To celebrate the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, we developed an immersive map of her 265 oversea visits; working with cutting-edge technologies such as D3 & CSS3 alongside Esri Tech. This interactive map explores data visualising techniques not used before by Esri UK.

Digital Scratch maps

An interactive scratch game that asks players to name the landmark by scratching and guessing! Can you beat the clock to get the highest score?

Please let us know what you think of the Map Labs, or get in touch with ideas for great showcase pieces.


Earlier this month, 40 participants entered Inmarsat's offices on Old Street roundabout to participate in GeoHackDay. GeoHackDay was an opportunity for developers, designers and idea makers to get together to help build software applications and/or hardware integrations to tackle real life problems. 

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New OS Open Basemaps available for free in ArcGIS Online

With the latest release of ArcGIS Online you now automatically get access to free high quality basemaps for Great Britain. We have created the new basemaps using the latest Ordnance Survey Open Data products and enhanced them for use in the ArcGIS platform. Enhancements include a consistent cartographic style to provide a clean and consistent mapping from small to large scale, as well as additional road and street labels at mid and large scales.

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GIS in BIM: plan, design, build and operate

In a previous post I looked at the BIM process as it is being defined in the UK and where GIS fits in. BIM isn’t just about using attributed 3D digital design or facilities management with maps - but is about collating and managing digital data throughout the lifecycle of a building, site or other infrastructure. This post takes a closer look at how some of the tools in the ArcGIS platform can play their part.
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Working with OS MasterMap Water Layer in the ArcGIS Platform

Ordnance Survey have released OS MasterMap Water Network, a new OS MasterMap layer. It provides the flow, centre line geometry and height of all rivers, streams, lakes, lochs and canals across Great Britain. The layer is a structured link/node representation of all connected watercourses including the underground network (inferred based on entry and exit points). This article takes you through loading (Productivity Suite is not required), merging, de-duplicating and creating a geometric water network.
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Esri UK are preparing for the OS AddressBase Schema Changes

The Ordnance Survey have announced schema changes to the AddressBase products. These schema changes will impact Esri UK customers who are using the AddressBase products within the ArcGIS platform. There will be new releases of Esri UK’s Productivity Suite and LocatorHub products to handle data in the new schema. Customers will be required to upgrade to the new versions if they are using this data and want to continue to apply updates.
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New Capabilities added to Esri UK’s Premium Online Content Services

We have recently added capabilities for WMS and offline caching to our premium data services and would appreciate feedback from our customers so that we can ensure that these capabilities meet your requirements. If you are already a customer of our Premium Online Content then you can start using these straight away. If not, free 30 days trials are available for customers who are licenced to use the premium Ordnance Survey data (e.g. under the PSMA).
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BIM for GIS people

The term BIM (Building Information Modelling) has been around for a while but has become a really hot topic. I thought it might be useful to share a high level view of what BIM is and how we – as GIS professionals – fit in. The UK government define it as: 'a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining our assets'. We are seeing GIS being used throughout the stages of the BIM process.
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It just got easier to add Esri UK Online Content into ArcGIS Online

Do you use Esri UK’s Online Content, either the free or premium Services? Ever wanted to make use of them in ArcGIS Online? There is a new Marketplace app that will add all your maps and gazetteers to your ArcGIS Online account at the click of a button. And it’s free!
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This weekend 80+ hackers took to GoCardless's office near Angel tube station in London for the ICHack student hackathon. Hackathons allow people of all backgrounds to get together and build small projects with code that they demo at the end. Hacks can often feature location and mapping elements and I was at the hackathon to offer teams assistance with this and making use of Esri developer technologies. Within is my breakdown of what happened at the event.
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The Esri UK Open Data site is here and here’s how to set up your own

Have you seen ArcGIS Open Data, which you can set up free from your ArcGIS Online Organization Subscription? This article will give you a broad introduction into what ArcGIS Open Data is, how you can activate it and show you examples of Open Data Portals already available for you to use.
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