OS OpenSpace thank you !

OK so it’s a lot more limited than many other mapping API’s out there, and it has certainly taken a long time to reach this point but the fact that OS Openspace is now open for business is a huge achievement, and believe me I know personally what a great achievement getting to this point is.

For many the people the limited nature of the API will not be an issue, they and the users of the applications they build will get access to the high quality cartography OS is famous for. Yes of course this is not quite what I had opened Openspace would be, but given the constraints that the OS has supporting commercial partners with less functionality than you or I now have, what we have is a great first step and will hopefully lead to the much needed rethink on how OS data and services are licensed.

However, (you knew there would be a but…) why does the OS need to know so much about any potential Openspace developer, you get your API key you need to complete this form.

Registration form

I don’t understand why the OS needs more than the url of the site that is going to be used, and it is unforgivable with the poor reputation of UK government in managing personal information that there is no promianate statement of how the data submitted will be managed and used or no clear privacy policy.

This needs to be changed immediately !!

Written and submitted from the BA Lounge , SFO, using the t-mobile wifi network.

6 comments

  1. Chris Hunt

    Are the OS not subject to the Data Protection Act? It’s against the law for them to collect data without a valid reason. Might be worth tipping off the Registrar, in the mean time I’d enter “mind your own business” in the fields which I don’t think they need.

    It doesn’t matter, though, as who is going to use this service? Not only to you have to worry about running out of tiles if your site becomes popular, but you’re not allowed any advertising anywhere on the site – even the pages that don’t have maps on them! Not only do they want all your personal data, they want to dictate the content of your entire website too.

    A mapping service based on OS data could be brilliant. Such a shame it’s being so hamstrung

  2. Simon

    What are the costs of using this API for commerical purposes? If we are doing projects for clients such as the Environment Agency/Defra (Pan members) is it then free to use? Does the site have to be open for all users or can it be accessed via a login/password or hosted on an intranet?

    Ill read the small print in the license agreement later today…

  3. Duncan Garratt

    Perhaps someone may wish to use the Freedom Of Information Act to find out how much OS Open Space cost to develop/run and how much take-up there has been and what the revenues are!

  4. Ed

    Hey Duncan,

    You need to give them a chance to get going… but Simon I’m sure speaks for many who would like a commercial service soon

    ed

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