14 September 2007

Telling the Ordnance Survey to Get Lost

Ordnance Survey is trying to get Web 2.0 hip:

explore is a new beta application from Ordnance Survey, allowing you to create and share your routes with the world, and join in with ones that already exist. Find out more about explore.

As this is a new application we need your help to build up the content. Please submit your routes and make explore a useful and exciting tool for all our users.

So it wants to tap into user-generated content. Which would be fine, were it not for the fact it doesn't play fair: its maps, funded directly by taxpayers, and often drawing on information provided by local authorities, also funded by taxpayers, aren't made freely available to those self-same taxpayers (ever heard of open access, chaps?). Why should people contribute to an enclosed commons? This is our data: free it, and then we'll make it soar.

Bottom line: ignore this until the Ordnance Survey (and its masters in the UK Government that lay down how the service must operate) get a real clue. (Via Ogle Earth.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ordnance Survey is not tax funded. It relies entirely on licensing receipts and direct sales to cover the costs of data collection, maintenance and supply, and then to hit a specified return on capital plus pay a dividend to government. There is no tax funding in the outdoor exploration portal. This is about encouraging people to go out and walk and maybe use a bit of digital mapping to help.

Anonymous said...

Of course, you could always upload your routes to http://www.openstreetmap.com wnere the data is free (not just for streets)

glyn moody said...

Well, it depends how you define "tax funded". As this posting indicates, we, the tax-payers are paying for this stuff many times over: isn't about time we had proper access to it?