Ordnance Survey - English
Stinky Bay? How local names can protect lives on the coast this summer
Ordnance Survey (OS) and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are ready to help protect people visiting the coast this summer, following the national roll out and ongoing expansion of a mapping tool containing thousands of nicknames of coastal locations.
Stinky Bay, Crazy Mary's Hole or Nuncle Dicks are all nicknames, which along with thousands of others, feature in the mapping tool FINTAN, and can be accessed and located on the OS map to assist emergency response teams.
In 2020, the MCA was called to over 33,000 incidents around the coast of Great Britain. Responding to these incidents poses some key challenges with callers often using nicknames for beaches, rocks and other areas that have other names on maps or don’t exist within gazetteers. This can make the identifying the location of the incident difficult for a 999 operator when time is critical.
To help tackle this challenge and ultimately speed up response times, OS in partnership with the MCA developed FINTAN. The easy-to-use tool is built on OS's trusted and accurate digital data and works as a crowdsourced gazetteer that references local names for various features and areas. The tool which has recently been rolled out across the nation, allows MCA staff to add local names and nicknames for beaches, rocks, waterways and other features onto the existing mapping data.
MCA is using FINTAN across Great Britain to pinpoint locations with certainty, enabling rescue teams to respond quickly and more efficiently.
Through the mapping tool, the rescue service can reference nearly 500 thousand coastal place names, which includes 7,500 local nicknames and alternative names of landmarks along the coast of Great Britain; names which would rarely appear on a map or navigation device.
Chris Chambers, Head of OS National Mapping Services, said: "At OS we have a long history of supporting all the emergency services with our mapping data. FINTAN is a great partnership project which gives MCA critical information and delivers vital minutes to help responders save lives.
"I am delighted that this is now being used by the MCA across the nation. Now our ambition is to make the service, as part of our public duty, accessible across every part of Great Britain to support all our emergency services. It's not just coastal areas that have alternative names, across the country people refer to many other locations with nicknames - from buildings to parks and roundabouts to road junctions."
The project began with a pilot on the south coast with MCA staff entering nicknames for offshore rocks and islands against maps. It has now developed into a national system allowing MCA to quickly identify locations in an emergency. From only having a rough idea of location and needing to search the map to confirm the right place, staff can now simply type in the location nickname in FINTAN and be told where it is.
Chief Coastguard Pete Mizen said: “We are here to save lives and our biggest priority is reaching people in need of our help as quickly as possible. A great deal of hard work has gone into the creation of the FINTAN database, which delivers so much local knowledge and there is no doubt that having this extra information at our fingertips cuts down our response times and saves lives. We are expecting another busy summer at the coast with many families and water sports enthusiasts enjoying holidays in the UK this year and this database will no doubt yet again prove invaluable to us.”
Latest News from
Ordnance Survey - English
Start-ups aim to tackle climate emergency13/05/2022 13:15:00
Four new Scottish start-ups are aiming to help tackle the climate crisis after securing places on a government-backed programme.
New GeoTech and PropTech start-ups to join Geovation Accelerator Programme22/04/2022 13:15:00
Geovation, Ordnance Survey’s (OS) geospatial innovation hub, has revealed the next cohort of GeoTech and PropTech start-ups joining their Accelerator Programme.
Expand your horizons with OS Maps app for New Zealand12/04/2022 13:15:00
New Zealanders will never be far from a good walk in the great outdoors with OS Maps app, whether it is from their front door or out on a mountain peak.
Geospatial leaders to reinforce climate action commitment at prestigious Cambridge Conference08/04/2022 13:20:00
Leaders from mapping and geospatial organisations around the world will reinforce their commitment to providing trusted location data to support climate action at the 2022 Cambridge Conference in April.
Winners of Geovation’s Diffuse Coastal Pollution Challenge scoop £5,000 each04/04/2022 12:43:00
Two companies celebrated success as the winners of Geovation’s Diffuse Coastal Pollution Challenge were announced.
Geovation named as a finalist in the Go:Tech Awards .2225/03/2022 09:10:00
Geovation, Ordnance Survey’s (OS) geospatial innovation hub, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Incubator or Accelerator Programme Award category at the Go:Tech Awards .22.
Has walking the dog made Britain fitter?24/03/2022 10:15:00
New survey results say 75% of British dog owners believe having a dog made them walk more than they ever did without one. OS wants to keep this going.
Thousands of teachers and pupils are set to benefit from Ordnance Survey support to access University of Edinburgh education resources in 202218/03/2022 09:33:00
Hundreds of thousands of pupils in England are set to benefit from new developments in how schools, teachers and students work with Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping.