It was always going to happen, in fact there have been many rumours over the years of similar projects, but today the UKMap website has gone live announcing the first serious competition for Ordnance Survey large scale data.
It is still early days for UKMap, which although in many ways similar to OS Mastermap is a radical departure from the OS offering.
Unlike the OS which must offer national coverage, The GeoInformation Group will focus on mapping the top 500 urban areas in the UK where there is most economic activity and hence where most change takes place. This is a sound economic move reflecting the realities of the potential market.
London will be the first city complete when UKMap is released in September, which will be available in a wide range on industry standard data formats.
Key for many potential users will be more flexible licensing terms than offered by the OS, in particular a clear definition of derived data rights.
Personally I wish all the best to Seppe and Alun, my partners in crime is setting up the GIS Degree at Kingston all those years ago, competition is always a good thing for consumers and at last the OS monopoly faces a challenge.
Written and submitted from the Google Office, London.