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30 June 2006

How much does it cost to display an Ordnance Survey (OS) map on a website? contd.

How much is that map on your website? well for a charity this would be...

"For a single scale mapping of the country - say, at 1:50,000 scale - including Code Point for finding postcodes (so you can get a map of a postcode's location), the annual licence for a website serving 20,000 map images per day, every day, would be £18,200 per year."

Using multiple scales will, of course, ramp up costs very quickly - as will being popular. But even licensing seven scales will only take your annual costs to around £100,000* ($181,980)- not into the millions.

sources:The Guardian

CTO at Ordnance Survey Ed Parsons

If Ordnance Survey reduced costs and therefore gained customers numbers, surely they would recover the costs of surveying and updating their digital datasets?

previous post on this article

1 Comments:

At Wednesday, July 05, 2006 4:31:00 pm, Blogger Sean McManus said...

I'm guessing that the OS business is based on making a small number of high value sales, a bit like a wholesaler.

I think they would have to drop the price so much to make a difference, that they could end up less profitable than before. If their costs went from £18k to £10k, it's not going to attract many new customers. If they went from £18k to £100, they'll broaden the market significantly, but they'll need to make 180 times as many sales as before. That seems like a risky proposition - especially since there's a cost associated with servicing those sales.

For most small businesses, anything over £100 is too much, and that's where most of the UK economy is. Most web hobbyists won't pay for any content at all.

The question is, how much do you think this data should cost, and will the OS be more profitable at that price?

There is an argument for saying that OS data should be free because it's gathered in part with taxpayers' money. There's also an argument for saying that if it was free, taxpayers would end up subsidising the current mapping users.

I'd be interested in knowing whether there are accounts published for OS. They would make a valuable contribution to this debate.

 

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