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Ordnance Survey welcomes first commercial partner for GPS network

The first public service based on Ordnance Survey’s national network of GPS base stations has been announced recently. Great Britain’s mapping agency has developed the network to support its own field staff. Now Leica Geosystems is the first organisation to announce a publicly available GPS correction service derived from it. The commercialisation of the network reflects growing demand for a wider choice of positioning applications among high accuracy GPS users such as surveyors, engineers and utility companies.

Ordnance Survey’s network can support different levels of improved real-time accuracy for any GPS positioning application anywhere in Great Britain. It is made up of around 100 permanent base stations linked in real time to a server hub at Ordnance Survey’s Southampton head office. Data collected by the stations is sent in real time to the hub, where it is transmitted for partner applications within milliseconds. Partners then generate various correction models to improve the typical 10-metre accuracy of raw GPS readings to between 1 m and 2 cm, depending on their customers’ choice of GPS equipment and the sophistication of the modelling software. Ordnance Survey’s development of the network was recognised at this month’s Information Management 2005 Awards. The network was runner-up for the GIS Award and shortlisted in the Premier Project category.