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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 is announced today.

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.

“We welcome this first commercial application of our GPS network,” says Ordnance Survey’s Director of Data Collection and Management, Neil Ackroyd. “Leica Geosystems have specific expertise and resources to derive added value from our underpinning network for the benefit of their customers. Over the coming months we expect to see more examples of real-time and post process correction services offering GPS users a greater choice of accuracy levels for their work.”

John Fraser, Regional Director UK and Ireland, Leica Geosystems, says: “I am delighted to announce Leica SmartNet, our new commercial RTK correction service for Great Britain. This is an exciting innovation and I am proud that Leica Geosystems have been able to undertake this bold initiative. Leica SmartNet provides corrections for all users – RTK for precise applications at the centimetre level, and DGPS sub-metre corrections for navigation, GIS and other requirements. As positioning in all its forms becomes more important in our lives, the introduction of Leica SmartNet will allow the surveying industry to provide a seamless, precision coordinate service to an ever-more diverse client base.”

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.

As well as partner services coming on stream, Ordnance Survey’s own free web-based GPS service for non-commercial post-processing and coordinate transformation will continue to be improved for GPS users at
Notes for editors

* Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.
* For more information from Leica Geosystems, contact Paula Cooper on 01908 246247 or email


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