Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Devil is in the detail!

Well just about everyone else has blogged about this so I thought I would too, but with questions that we should ask about the announcement that OS data will be free.

At the high level this is good, very good, not just for us at UKMap, not just for professional map users but for all levels of society that will now benefit from increased applications and services that will undoubtedly arise as a result of this.

But, and it is a big BUT, the devil is in the detail.

1. Specifically what datasets will be considered free, all down to 1:10k, vector and raster, ONS boundaries? Need a list!

2. Postcode boundaries to what level, areas- rubbish, districts - mmmm - Sectors - Ok, Units yes please, but doubt it?

3. No mention of the Royal Mail?

4. What will the extent of derived data be, just on those datasets that are free - very difficult to police, so all datasets?

5. What will be the definition of derived data be. I would say KISS, check out UKMap's view. The simpler the better, adopt a policy of cooperation and then go after obvious infringements and not scare everyone.

6. Implementation time, all go on April 1st (make that the 2nd)?

7. Derived data on archived material, surely it must relate to all data created not new data?

Key of course this represents very little revenue to Ordnance Survey, so it will be interesting to see what the quid pro quo is for them for taking this step. A more commercialised Ordnance Survey – watch out partners?

So roll on the 14th Dec - is the date I heard for the release of the consultation - and lets all make a positive contribution to the future of GI in this country.

1 comment:

  1. Knowing the OS and its customer service (8 years of past experience) it will 30th April 2010 at 23.59 data will be freed.
    Yes your right to question what data is going to be available and the restrictions imposed.

    I don't think even the OS know, they had it all figured out wit thier 'international expert' saying keep it locked up.

    Until Sir Tim Berners-Lee did something special and went direct to the top.

    Remember the initial surveying/mapping was paid by the tax payer many moons ago.

    Its a positive step forward.