Digimap OpenStream

As most of you will know, earlier this year the Ordnance Survey released a batch of data that was free to use and redistribute. OS OpenData has been a huge success and has been welcomed by just about everyone involved with GIS and spatial data.

Digimap OpenStream is a brand new service, developed by EDINA, the national Data Centre based at The University of Edinburgh, that is freely available to everyone with a valid .ac.uk email address and allows users to access OS OpenData in a number of different ways:

  • Within a web mapping system for viewing online
  • As downloadable data
  • As an map stream for use with an API key

But why go to the bother of doing this?  The data served by EDINA is often in a more digestible format, so users can choose which chunk of data you wish to download rather than having to download a national data set. Data is transformed into the popular GIS formats (shp, tab) and often themed to make it easy for users to use.

Downloading OS OpenData from EDINA Digimap

If you have a digimap login you will find the OS OpenData products in the OS collection section of the Data Download service. The interface for selecting the data you want should be familiar to Digimap users.

OpenStream

The latest addition to the tools created by EDINA for OS OpenData is something called “OpenStream”. OpenStream is an API key that you can apply for and then use in a variety of ways. You can plug maps from OpenStream into web pages, display OS OpenData in Google Earth and to feed it directly into the desktop GIS of your choice. The mapping products that you have access to through OpenStream are:

  • GB Overview
  • Miniscale
  • 1:250000 Colour Raster
  • Vector Map District Raster
  • OS Streetview

So, how do you connect to OpenStream and pump maps straight into a GIS? It is not possible to describe the process for every GIS but over the next couple of days we will cover the main GIS systems which should help most users.

ArcGIS 10.3 and earlier

  • Open ArcCatalog
  • Scroll down the data list on the left to find “GIS Servers”
  • Double click “GIS Servers”
  • Click “add WMS Server”
  • In the pop up add the URL shown below, replace [API KEY HERE] with your own API key. Remember to delete the square brackets [ ]as well so it should look something like this: http://openstream.edina.ac.uk/openstream/wms?token=8c0e792e28ffab921fcff0f2c7176f0db2c8df8b12ed7fxxxxxxx
  • :
http://openstream.edina.ac.uk/openstream/wms?token=[your_aipkey]
  • Hit the Get Layers button, you should now see the available list of layers.

That should be Digimap OpenStream set up for ArcGIS. To access the data:

  • Hit the add data button in ArcGIS
  • Scroll down to the GIS Server section. You should now have OS OpenStream listed.
  • Select this and click Add. The data will now display in ArcGIS.

ArcGIS 10.4 and later

  • Open ArcCatalog
  • Scroll down the data list on the left to find “GIS Servers”
  • Double click “GIS Servers”
  • Click “Add WMS Server”
  • Enter the following URL in the URL field of the “Add WMS Server” pop up:
    http://openstream.edina.ac.uk/openstream/wms?
    arcgis_104_add_wms
  • In the Parameter field enter “token” (without the quotes), and in the Value field enter your OpenStream API key
  • Hit the Get Layers button, you should now see the available list of layers

That should be Digimap OpenStream set up for ArcGIS. To access the data:

  • Hit the add data button in ArcGIS
  • Scroll down to the GIS Server section. You should now have OS OpenStream listed.
  • Select this and click Add. The data will now display in ArcGIS.

ArcGIS Pro 10.2 and later

Setting up a WMS connection in ArcGIS Pro is slightly different, but we’ll run through the steps here:

  • On the Insert tab click the dropdown next to Connections and select the ‘New WMS Server’ option
  • Enter the following URL in the Server URL field:
    http://openstream.edina.ac.uk/openstream/wms?
  • Expand the ‘Custom Request parameters’ section
  • Enter “token” (without the quotes) in the Parameter field and enter your OpenStream API token in to the Value field
  • Press the OK button, at this point you will be taken back to the main ArcGIS Pro interface

That should be Digimap OpenStream set up for ArcGIS Pro. To access the data:

  • Go to the Map tab and press the Add Data button
  • Under the Project section select the Servers option and you should see an option called ‘OS Open Data on openstream.edina.ac.uk’ listed
  • Select this to add the data to your map, note you will need to drill down a few levels to select the individual data layers to add to your map.

A note about projections and transformations

OpenStream data is available in two different projections: GCS_WGS84 and OSGB 1936. GCS_WGS84 is the WMS standard but most data from Digimap for Great Britain is provided in OSGB 1936 projection. OpenStream will automatically pick the correct projection based on the projection set on the Data Frame in ArcMap so all your data should align correctly. However, if you notice that your data is no aligning correctly against the OpenStream backdrop map then you can change the Trasformation settings in ArcMap to ensure data transformations are as accurate as possible. The Digimap help pages explain how to set up an accurate transformation between GCS_WGS84 and OSGB 1936 in ArcGIS.

In the next post we will go through the process of adding Digimap OpenStream in QGIS, in the meantime be sure to check out Digimap OpenStream.

About Addy Pope

Addy is a member of the GeoData team at EDINA and work on services such as GoGeo, ShareGeo and the FieldtripGB app. Addy has over 10 years experience as a geospatial analyst. Addy tweets as @go_geo
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