Your thoughts on one year of OS OpenData

opendata2It’s one year to the day that we launched OS OpenData and made a range of mapping data and administrative geography available for free for the first time.

You can read our news release to get our take on the past 12 months, but I really wanted to know what you think. Has OS OpenData lived up the hype? Are you using it, and if so what for? We’ve shared some of the applications we’ve come across on the blog, like the award winning DataTap, but what impact do you think it’s had?

To get the ball rolling, I asked a few people in and around the world of geo to share their thoughts on what has been a pretty interesting year…

Chris Holcroft, Director and Chief Executive of AGI:

“The launch of OS OpenData was a big shift in Ordnance Survey digital data supply and a positive one. Stimulated by significant changes in public data policy, it was a reflection of how Ordnance Survey evolves to serve the world within it operates. A far greater community of innovators and users can now access, exploit and benefit from geographic information output from the National Mapping Agency.

“Can I put figures to any economic stimulus and innovation this has created? At this point, no. That said, I’ve met many organisations, some outside the traditional heartland of GI, now positively taking the opportunity to use Ordnance Survey data for the first time.

“We will look to the next 12 months to see how the story develops.”

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Changes to the OS OpenData licence

opendata2From today, anyone who visits the OS OpenData site, where they can download a wide range of Ordnance Survey mapping for free, will notice something a little different.

That’s because we’ve incorporated the Open Government Licence, the new government wide licence, developed by The National Archives, which enables easy access to public sector information.

The Open Government Licence is a key element of the Government’s commitment to greater transparency. It is the licence used by data.gov.uk and provides a single set of terms and conditions for anyone wishing to use or license freely available government information.

The licence is designed so that developers and entrepreneurs wishing to use government data to create new applications will no longer need to formally apply for permission. And, the new licence is interoperable with other internationally recognised licensing models, such as Creative Commons.

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Top 5 moments of 2010 – a big year for geography

Well the turkey has been eaten, the crackers pulled and a small mountain of wrapping paper is now sitting on the driveway waiting to be taken away…

But wait, the party season of excess isn’t quite over yet as New Year’s Eve now looms large – and with it come the obligatory reviews of the year.

The last 12 months have been a watershed year for Ordnance Survey. So much has changed in a relatively small space of time it’s quite incredible to think back to how things were beforehand. So without further ado, we’ve made a list of what we think are the top 5 stories of 2010.

If you think we’ve missed something, or have got it completely wrong, feel free to suggest a list of your own highlights, and have a great New Year’s Eve, whatever your plans are. Continue reading “Top 5 moments of 2010 – a big year for geography”

GeoVation seeks ideas to get you moving

A few months ago I wrote about the launch of this year’s GeoVation Challenge. After the success of last year’s inaugural awards, the geography focused innovation programme is back and looking to support another group of exciting, innovative and worthwhile ideas.

This year, GeoVation has been split into three separately themed challenges, the first of which was ‘How Can Britain Feed Itself?’ I say ‘was’ because it’s actually now closed to new entries, although you can still visit the site to read and rate the 52 ideas that have been contributed.

But fear not, the chance to be involved has not passed you by; for the next Challenge is due to open on Tuesday and is entirely focused on how geographic data can help us get from A to B.

Bumper to bumper. Photo by Lynac via Flikr

Bumper to bumper. Photo by Lynac via Flikr

There are huge and exciting opportunities for geography to be harnessed to solve transport related problems, especially with the influx of open data releases that we’ve seen over the past months. Those include Data.gov.uk; Ordnance Survey’s own OS OpenData portal; a number of local authorities; and most recently transport data from Transport for London.

Continue reading “GeoVation seeks ideas to get you moving”