Guests from Saudi Arabia call on British mapping expertise with a visit...

Guests from Saudi Arabia call on British mapping expertise with a visit to Ordnance Survey’s head office in Southampton

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A visit by some of Saudi Arabia’s top mapping experts to Ordnance Survey’s head office in Southampton is the latest stage of efforts by Britain’s national mapping agency to share expertise and exchange information with similar organisations from across the globe.

Saudi Arabia’s Director General of Surveying, Mr Al Rajhi, and his technical advisor, Mr Vahan Grigorian, follow a line of international guests during the past year. A whole host of nations – including Brazil, China, France, Hungary, India, Kenya, Korea, Switzerland and The Netherlands – have all sent representatives to Ordnance Survey’s head office in Southampton to seek and exchange expertise in a variety of subjects.

Like other recent guests, Mr Al Rajhi was able to see Ordnance Survey’s new digital map of Britain – OS MasterMap. In Britain, businesses, local authorities and government departments can all benefit from this revolutionary dataset. Every building and field – and features as fine as railway signal lights and free-standing letter boxes – have all been given a unique computer-friendly reference number to allow the easy linking and analysis of information from many different sources.

The mapping agency is now organising a major conference of national mapping organisations, set to take place in Cambridge next summer. The Cambridge Conference for National Mapping Organisations is a four-yearly gathering of mapping chiefs from all over the world.