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Government signals Ordnance Survey access moves


  Roger Milne, Planning Portal, UK, November 19, 2009:

  Ministers have announced greater access to Ordnance Survey mapping from next year as part of the administration’s drive to open up data.

  Under this initiative the Government and Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency, will open up its data relating to electoral and local authority boundaries, postcode areas and mid-scale mapping information. The changes are anticipated to take effect from April 2010.

  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, the highest-specification Ordnance Survey products and services – such as those used by property developers – would continue to be charged for on a cost-reflective basis.

  Communities secretary John Denham said: “Ordnance Survey is a world renowned mapping expert and making the data they hold about local areas, like council boundaries and postcodes, readily available is an important first step to a more open government.”

  Stephen Timms, minister for Digital Britain, said: “This is an important step in our public data strategy. About 80 per cent of public sector data mentions a place. Making Ordnance Survey data more freely available will encourage more effective exploitation of public data by businesses, individuals and community organisations."

  Read CLG press-release "Re-mapping the future for Ordnance Survey - making public data public"

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