Bringing the OS Data Hub to Desktop GIS
Blog from Martin Daly, technical director at Cadcorp
At Cadcorp, we have, for the best part of 30 years, endeavoured to ensure that Cadcorp SIS - Spatial Information System® suite of GIS software supports all of the wide variety of Ordnance Survey® data products, in all of the wide variety of data supply formats, in as simple and effective a way as possible. We've worked very hard over those years to allow end-users to, for example, drag-and-drop file-based data in the format supplied by OS®. That capability began all the way back with Land-Line NTF in the 1990s.
It was therefore entirely natural for us to add support for the OS Data Hub when it was announced, and entirely natural for us to make it as simple, but powerful, as possible. The easiest thing for us to have done would have been to piggy-back on the user interface in Cadcorp SIS Desktop for OGC Web Feature Service (WFS, as used by the OS Features API), and OGC Web Map Tile Service (WMTS, as used by the OS Maps API). However, the UI for these is - especially in the case of WFS - quite complex and necessarily technical, which could have easily been an barrier to entry for those not familiar with the terminology and intricacies of OGC W*S standards.
Instead, during the initial OS Data Hub Beta phase, we designed and implemented new UI in SIS Desktop 9.0 to streamline and simplify the user experience for our users, and had it ready for release in a Cadcorp SIS 9.0 service release shortly after the OS Data Hub went live. More