Prior to joining Ordnance Survey, John spent ten years studying mathematics at university, culminating in a PhD in Relativity. John joined Ordnance Survey's IT department in 1998 where he stayed for two years. After a brief stint in the private sector, John returned to Ordnance Survey in 2001 where he moved to the research department and was tasked with looking at something called the 'semantic web' and determining possible implications it might have on Ordnance Survey as an information provider.
Initial work involved constructing ontologies in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) to describe Ordnance Survey data to aid data integration and reuse. In more recent years, John's focus has shifted to the linked data web. To this date John has been responsible for producing Ordnance Survey's linked data offerings.