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17 November 2009

Ordnance Survey Maps to go FREE Online

Ordnance Survey Maps [and Data] to go FREE Online by April 2010.

updated: 18th November 2009.

News coverage on this story

Ed Parsons (former CTO at OS now
Geospatial Technologist at Google)
http://www.edparsons.com/2009/11/now-why-was-that-so-difficult/

BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8366190.stm

Number10
http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page21343
The Times
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6920761.ece
TechRadar
http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/ordnance-survey-maps-now-free-online-652001
eGov
http://www.egovmonitor.com/node/30951
PublicNet
http://www.publicnet.co.uk/news/2009/11/18/plan-to-make-os-data-available-to-improve-public-services/


Groundbreaking News this is amazing turn-around for UK Government Geo-Spatial Datasets.

Freed our Data

Thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee
(& inventing the World Wide Web)

"The government is to explore ways of making all Ordnance Survey maps freely available online from April"


Today's announcement will be followed by a speech, due next week by the chief secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, explaining how the freeing up of data, alongside the scaling back of other functions of central government, could lead to a "smarter state".
1:10,000 Raster Maps might be available for all in April 2010

1:10,000 Raster Maps might be available for all in April 2010....
image source for illustration only.
http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/images/userImages/misc/products/10kraster/map-image-10k-lrg.gif

This is likely to include Flood Mapping Data, 1:10,000 data [Vector & Raster Datasets], Highways Agency Traffic Data and much more.
reports are conflicting whether 1:25,000 data will be freed (to be confirmed)
"sets of public data currently not freely available include wills dating back to 1858, house values recorded in the Land Registry, maps, and flood-risk data for individual homes"

***More important is vector data as users can create thier own maps/styles with it.
Will be interesting to know the re-licencing of these products and deriving from such sources conflicts with crown copyright.

The online maps would be free to all, including commercial users who, previously, had to acquire expensive and restrictive licences at £5,000 per usage, a fee many entrepreneurs felt was too high.

Noted on the Guardian:
Today the union representing staff at the OS stated that Brown's pledge was in "complete contradiction with the OS's own plans to explore commercial opportunities and find new ways of raising revenue".
Read more
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/nov/17/ordnance-survey-maps-online
(and thanks for running the Free Our Data Campaign over the years)

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3 Comments:

At Tuesday, November 17, 2009 9:49:00 pm, Anonymous David Medyckyj-Scott said...

Best to go to the source i.e the actual announcement (http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1385429). It is quite specific about which data and doesn't say 'All'. "Data relating to electoral and local authority boundaries as well as postcode areas would be released for free re-use, including commercially. Mid-scale digital mapping information would also be released in the same way."

However, there is the issue of what constitute mid-scale products? According to the OS web site mid-scale are products in the scale range 1:10,000 - 1:49,999. OS products falling into this scale range include OS VectorMap™ Local, 1:10 000 Scale Raster and 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster i.e. a scanned image of OS Explorer Map.

This is still a huge step forward and might mean that the OS can still earn enough income from sales of its largest scale data to maintain the quality we have come to expect.

 
At Wednesday, November 18, 2009 11:56:00 am, Blogger by James said...

Agree with David, source is best, "all" a kite flier only.

Mid-scales products strictly speaking are OS StreetView (a raster street mapping product typically for use at 1:10 000 scale and 1:25 000 scale colour raster); all other products are either detailed and are excluded or "small scale" and likely will be included. This latter group includes possibly the most widely known, the Landranger equivalent 1:50 000 scale colour raster.

 
At Wednesday, December 09, 2009 2:26:00 am, Blogger James D said...

Better than nothing, but 1:2500 and 1:1250 (and their historical 25" predecessors) are the scales with which one could make the most interesting free use. This material's already online behind an academic wall at Edina.

 

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