Ordnance Survey’s open data journey

Today’s announcement is the latest step on Ordnance Survey’s (OS) open data journey.

In the past eight years we have seen our open data downloaded 1.9 million times. On average, 150 people download OS OpenData every day. That’s 54,750 people a year.

OS OpenData was made freely available for the first time in 2010, when 12 OpenData mapping products were released. Ever since OS has updated and added to its open data sets. In 2015 it released OS Open Map - Local, OS Open Names, OS Open Rivers, and OS Open Roads. In 2017 OS Open Greenspace was launched.

Licensing was simplified through the Open Government Licence (OGL), which made it easier for customers to do more, and an Exploration Licence was created for products not included in the open data portfolio. This gave anybody free access to premium OS data, such as OS MasterMap, to explore how it could benefit their own products or business.

The desire to be part of the open data revolution saw the birth of Geovation in 2010, with a series of annual challenges designed to get entrepreneurs working with open data and geography. OS opened the Geovation Hub in Clerkenwell, London in 2015. The hub runs the Geovation Programme to help start-ups using third-party property or location data to accelerate and grow.

OS toured the country with OS OpenData masterclasses, showing people how to work with open data and put it into their own products and services. We launched an SDK software development kit to make it easier for people to plug the data into apps and onto mobile.

OS has released open data in alternative formats, including the creation of a Minecraft map of Great Britain which had over 250,000 downloads.

Watch the video here.