Category: Open Government Data

So does Open GovData allow SME’s to flourish?

Within the first few weeks of joining the Ordnance Survey 10 years or so ago I was shown a prototype map of the New Forest printed on silk, for reasons anyone who has read the “Innovators dilemma” will understand it was never turning into a product, and I still have  the prototype in a drawer at home.

So when my old friend from the OS David Overton  launched SplashMaps via Kickstarter last month I immediately supported the project.

I supported the project not just because I think the product is a great idea, but that is is a real example of Open Government Data supporting small business innovation.  As David points out, he was willing to license commercial data from the OS, but the usual licensing maze in Southampton actually made using the newly available OS Open Data and OpenStreetMap data a better alternative.

If you believe in the principle of open government data, support it with your bank account and help SplashMaps meet it’s target.

Written and submitted from the Hilton Hotel, Vienna  (48.206N, 16.383E)

The new opengov data poster child ?

You may not like the symbology used in this map.. but you can’t deny that the “Interactive map of England’s green belt” published by the Telegraph Newspaper yesterday is an another important milestone in the opening up of Government Geodata.

It is important for a number of reasons..

Firstly it liberates data that was previously difficult/expensive to obtain from the Department for Communities and Local Government both displaying it on a Google Map, but also making it available for download  as a shape file for use by others – Kudos !

Secondly and rather parochial I accept, it is an example of data that was based on Ordnance Survey mapping published on the web.. not exactly case law but a good precedent supporting the view that a feature must exist as an object in the original OS data for it to be derived !

Thirdly and I would argue of most importance is that this data is really useful.. it is timely as it helps to inform the current debate around the planning system, and it is of real interest to citizens who can easily view areas protected by the planning system close to their homes !

Seems that there is healthy competition in data journalism !

Written and submitted from the Google London Offices  (51.516N, 0.127W)