Ordnance Survey opens up MasterMap data to boost UK tech sector
More data likely to be made available under government licence in due course
The government has made “key parts” of Ordnance Survey’s MasterMap available for use by individuals and businesses in a move it claims will add £130m a year to the UK economy.
Data being made freely available under Open Government Licence includes information on property boundaries created from the OS MasterMap’s topography layer. Topographic identifiers from that layer will also be “incorporated into the features in OS OpenMap-Local”. The remainder of the OS’s MasterMap data is also “being made freely available up to a threshold of transactions”, the government said.
This data can now be used by individuals, organisations, and companies to undertake research or develop products and services. The government claimed the data’s release would boost the economy by an estimated annual total of £130m.
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Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington said: “Location-aware technologies – using geospatial data – are revolutionising our economy. From navigating public transport to tracking supply chains and planning efficient delivery routes, these digital services are built on location data that has become part of everyday life and business. The newly available data should be particularly useful to small firms and entrepreneurs to realise their ideas and compete with larger organisations, encouraging greater competition and innovation.”
This initiative was conceived by the newly formed Geospatial Commission, the establishment of which was announced in November’s budget. Over the course of the next year, the commission will work with OS and other public- and private-sector partners to explore the possibility of releasing further information, including the unique reference numbers for every street and property in England, Wales, and Scotland.
Neil Ackroyd, interim CEO of Ordnance Survey, said: “Since its launch in 2001, OS MasterMap has been one of the most comprehensive and detailed geospatial reference datasets in the world. This latest development is another step on Ordnance Survey’s open data journey. We’re looking forward to supporting the Geospatial Commission in making this data more accessible and more widely used.”
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