Ordnance Survey To Release OS OpenMap To Help Developers Build Mapping Apps

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Ordnance Survey says it wants to help developers create new kinds of application through open data and better licences

The Ordnance Survey (OS) wants to make it easier for developers to use the its mapping data and has affirmed its commitment to supporting the open data movement.

OS OpenMap is described as the “most detailed” open data mapping product available and will be released to the development community at the end of March. OpenMap is a street level vector dataset containing an “enhanced” level of building detail, extended naming of roads and identifies key sites such as hospital and schools.

The OS says the map will provide an ideal backdrop map for integrating, visualising and analysing other open datasets. It is targeted at both the public and private sectors and the OS claims it can power a host of new desktop, web and mpbile applications and services.

OS data

Ordnance survey 1Also set to be released is OS OpenMap Water, which covers the UK’s rivers and provides network data for flood management and pollution control. Finally an update to the OS OpenMap Gazetter will provide developers with up to date, place names, road names and postcodes.

“Over the last five years Ordnance Survey has been committed to supporting the open data programme in a sustainable way,” said Neil Ackroyd, acting director general and CEO of OS. “I am confident these new open data developments will be welcomed across the public and private sector and that it may inspire a new wave of developers and entrepreneurs to work with OS data.

“We are delighted to be releasing a new range of open data products, and I am particularly keen to see the new street level product being used across mobile and online services and applications, as it provides an unmatched level of detail at the national level. At Ordnance Survey we believe that open data releases are best supported by additional resources and we have explored ways to improve and modify our licenses and provide supporting initiatives to aid further innovation.”

Open Data Camp

In addition to the open product launches, the OS says it will improve licence terms for developers so they can get the most out of its data and is planning to launch a ‘geospatial innovation hub’.

The organisation has also pledged to support the UK’s first ever Open Data Camp in Winchester this weekend, which will be attended by 200 developers, innovators and entrepreneurs and is being held to coincide with International Open Data Day.

“Open data is a new raw material and today’s Ordnance Survey announcement builds on the progress which has seen us recognised as the world’s most transparent government,” added Francis Maude, minister for the cabinet office. “Transparency is an idea whose time has come and we must keep challenging ourselves to do more.”

The Open Data Camp will also be attended by Open Addresses, which will be unveiling a set of APIs at the event. Open Addresses makes use of a number of open data sources and hopes to eventually launch a dataset containing all UK addresses.

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