19 December 2007

Ordnance Survey - OpenSpace API ( now with Demo)

update: Found a Demo Page with using OpenSpace API

OpenSpace Map Image for Illustration
Image is for illustration only.

On closer inspection there is a lot of content which has been removed at the larger scales.
Live Demo

Ordnance Survey - OpenSpace API

Ordnance Survey OpenSpace Logo

"Got a great idea? Make it work with the best mapping in the world."
(well Great Britain anyways)

"OS OpenSpace is a free Ordnance Survey service that allows you to embed Ordnance Survey maps covering England, Scotland and Wales in your web applications using our Javascript® application programming interface (API)."

Some Functionality :

The OS OpenSpace API and all the data provided is in British National Grid (ESPG 27700).
The API also provides the ability to covert between National Grid and latitude and longitude (ESPG 4326) and vice versa.

OS OpenSpace allows your API key to access up to 30 000 tiles of data and up to 1 000 place name look-ups per day for free

Can you add Ads to the API?
No, please see the OS OpenSpace Developer Agreement (there can be no form of financial gain).
FaceBook, MySpace apps?
No, The application you build cannot result in any financial gain to you (the developer of the application), the user or any other party; please see the OS OpenSpace Developer Agreement .

Note: Any Content you create using the Open Space API - Will not be yours, as it is 'dervived' from Ordance Survey Products.

the ownership and licensing of the copyright and other intellectual property rights in:

* any data supplied to you by us; and
* any data created by you.

Primarily, you cannot use any data you create for any commercial purpose.

No 1:25,000 (Explorer range) or 1:10,000 Rasters

More Information:
The Guardian

Ed Parson's (Ex CTO Ordnance Survey) briefly mentions it too

OS OpenSpace is currently running as a closed alpha test service.

OS OpenSpace Developer Agreement is 16 Pages long.


It's a good step forward, but very restrictive in use.
Hopefully can be developed for Educational and Charity Institutions

At least Microsoft haven't bought them yet.

Stefan Geens writes an excellent roundup of the implications of this API. Removing ads from his site could only run the OpenSpace API on the Ogle Earth site for 12 hours a day due to the amount of traffic it generates.
(But I think he will stick to his current formula with ads.)

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At Thursday, December 04, 2008 1:31:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


i'm looking to do a website which'll need much mapping and address info. i've submitted the idea, belatedly, to the Show Us a Better Way competition in the hope to at least to be able to use the data which is/was available to entrants. (not heard anything from them yet, nor has it been listed on their site)

i've had a look at OS's forum page and there doesn't seem to be a single post (maybe signing up is required to see posts but that was indicated).

just to confirm are the restrictions "up to 30 000 tiles of data and up to 1 000 place name look-ups per day for free" per key not per user of the website which uses this stuff?

to get more than that you have to pay? and it still remains restrictued to non commercial ventures? (whatever that "non commercial" actually means)

does the OS stuff allow any kind of routing? like insert two locations and it shows a route?

any ideas what data services might make this possible?:

i want to allow people to type in a location (by address or just postcode or longitude+lattitude coordinates). see that location on a map, and in addition see points plotted on the map whose data would come from my server, based on of course the location the user's inserted -- points in the vacinity of the inserted lcoation.

also i want to do much the same thing but for a route. allow people to type in two locations thus specifying a route, make my server aware of the route, so the server can provide appropriate points which are in the vacinity of the route.

the additional points need to have tooltip type popups and be links.

so how tinkarable with are the maps? is it possible to add points like i'm describing above? what kind of location look up does OS allow?

i suppose, seeing as the OS maps are javascript, when the user does a location search that search goes to OS's server and the map image data plus location data is sent back to the user's browser, at which point it'd be possible to then pass the necessary info to my server which would then reply with the additional info to be plotted onto the map -- all the part from after OS replying to user's request would be separate and additional to what OS does.

all this is pretty moot though if there's a 1000 look ups restriction per day per api key really. seeing as my project probably won't make me any money, and will cost me loads in time and effort, there's no way i'm going to also shell out money to do it.

i suppose i should look into google which i think works in much the same way as i'm describing above but, geniously, without the restriction.

i believe the OS map goes to a larger ratio. that doesn't worry me too much. google's is ok for what i want. doesn't actually look quite so appealing visually though.

any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated.

thanks, Ben.


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