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Open Season: Open Standards, Open Source and Open Data in Ordnance Survey
Peter Ter Haar, Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey is the national mapping agency of Great Britain. Since April 2010, we have made a range of mapping data, which previously we charged for, available for free to foster innovation and encourage government transparency. Anyone from entrepreneurs and web developers to ramblers can download data from the OS OpenData service to help them build applications underpinned by geography. Postcode and administrative boundary datasets are among those freely available and have already been used in a variety of interesting and innovative uses.
We also offer free access to our mapping through the web mapping API OS OpenSpace, based on the open source Open Layers framework. It is an easy way to get Ordnance Survey mapping embedded in a website or online application, with the ability to plot routes, pan and zoom through mapping scales and search via place names or postcodes. There is a Web Map Builder service, which removes the need to write a single line of code.
The final piece of our open innovation programme is GeoVation – an initiative set up to provide seed funding for sustainable business ventures based on geography. First established in October 2009, GeoVation helps entrepreneurs and developers bring their map-based ideas to life by running themed challenges.
The presentation will reflect on the first 18 months of OS OpenData and the effects of the innovation strategy on the Geospatial industry in Great Britain. It will also reflect on the use of open source technology throughout Ordnance Survey and how contributions to open source and open standards are made.