The image below tells us quite a lot about own the GI industry is developing.
What do we have here…
1. Cadcorp a progressive but mainstream GIS vendor supporting open source data!
2. OK, it is Isle of Wight data, where OSM has particularly good coverage, but as one can see community generated open source data is comparable geometrically with “professional” Ordnance Survey data.
3. OSM data lacks the rich attribution of Ordnance Survey (e.g. classification A road, B road, Minor, path etc), which will restrict its use in many applications, but which will still meet the needs of many.
The story the image does not illustrate are the difficult problems of keeping the data current, and completing national coverage, areas which will be future challenges for OSM.
As I have blogged before the “Traditional” GI industry is only slowly beginning to wake up to the potential of community generated geodata, so full marks to Martin Daly and Cadcorp for recognising the potential.
One day very soon, community generated geodata will sit side by side with commercial professionally produced data for many GIS applications – as of today that day is a little closer.
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.