12 November 2008

Why Ordnance Survey's Management Must Go

After the results of the Show Us A Better Way competition - the X-Factor for web services (as I think I dubbed it) - now here’s the letdown. Ordnance Survey has emailed local government organisations waving its copyright stick. And it’s quite a bit stick. One which, in effect, could prevent many - perhaps all? - of the SUABW winners (Free Our Data announcement; BBC announcement), and certainly those which might rely on local authority data that is in any way geographically related - from being implemented, certainly on Google Maps.

Ordnance Survey is a drag - not just metaphorically, but literally: a drag on UK innovation. It clearly doesn't understand the 21st century Web, and therefore deserves no serious role in its evolution. Remember, this is *our* data that it is refusing to allow local authorities to hand out for *our* benefit. This is intellectual monopoly hoarding at its most selfish and counterproductive.

Time to fire its entire, witless, self-serving management, and spend the money saved to pay its fine cartographers to generate scads more lovely data for other people to use in innovative mashups, which will contribute far more to the UK economy than the Ordnance Survey ever did or ever could.

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