Ordnance Survey data is being published on the internet today, making it available to developers and the public for free.
The move is part of the government's drive to open up public data, enabling technologists to build applications such as the recent Asborometer, which tells residents how many people have been awarded Asbos in their area.
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The Department for Communities and Local Government said the Ordnance Survey data would be useful for applications such as Fix My Street or crime mapping. The department said, "These changes aim to drive new markets and unlock new potential for jobs in existing and new technologies."
The information will mostly relate to administrative boundaries, postcode areas and mid-scale mapping.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web and head of the new Institute of Web Science, said, "I'm delighted that the Ordnance Survey is releasing this data for free re-use. It will help people make fuller use of other government data on data.gov.uk, as well as stimulating innovation in mapping itself."
It is hoped the data will be used by companies not currently active in the geographical information market. The department said the companies "could deliver new products by adding data or information they might have themselves or from elsewhere, including other government data, to 'mash' with the free for re-use data from Ordnance Survey to create new commercial products."
The following data is available from today on data.gov.uk:
- OS Street View
- 1:50,000 Gazetteer
- 1:250,000 Scale Colour Raster
- OS Locator
- Code-Point Open Meridian 2
- OS VectorMap District (available 1 May 2010)
- Land-Form Panorama