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Plucky British company could change the face of orienteering...

Plucky British company could change the face of orienteering...

UK high-tech outfit Tadpole Technologies has won a multi-million pound contract to provide the Ordnance Survey (OS) with software to help it update its map database. The project will use new peer-to-peer technology to complete a contract which it hopes will provide a model for mapping agencies around the world. In combination with US firm ESRI, Tadpole will provide software which allows field staff taking ordnance data to update the database as and when readings are taken. Previous systems have only allowed one member of staff to edit ordnance data at a time, because of the potential confusion this causes to the core OS database. It is the largest contract ever for Tadpole's geospatial information systems subsidiary. Bernard Hulme, CEO of the Tadpole Group, said: "We're obviously delighted to have been chosen as the prime contractor for this massive project. The Ordnance Survey has somewhere in the region of half a billion data points in its maps of Britain, and say this is the most advanced project ever undertaken by any mapping agency in the world." The scheme will also see the current digital information held by the OS broken down into a much more accessible form, allowing the OS data to be manipulated quickly for different requirements. Hulme added: "This can map the shape of buildings, the width of roads, even the street furniture with amazing accuracy. And because of the way it's digitised it can assume many different forms for all the different users - from pizza delivery boys to housing developers." Key to the contract for Tadpole is the ability to go on and licence the software to other mapping agencies across the world. A spokesman for the Ordnance Survey said: "The world sees us as being at the cutting edge of mapping technologies - making this a pioneering agreement." Tadpole and the OS will share any royalties they get from licensing the technology. The UK firm is clearly hoping the win will prompt other interests from foreign mapping agencies. However, Hulme said no revenue projections had been made based on this. Shares in Tadpole rose 25 per cent on the news to 18.5p.