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OS Open Data

April 1 2010 : posted under open data maps gis ramblers

For several years I worked as a web developer for the Ramblers and this experience very much colours my view of todays release of free maps and postcode data.

This is a fantastic and significant step in the direction of ensuring that some of the worlds best mapping assets do the most good for society as a whole.

It will no doubt lead to an explosion of new applications and innovations.

Not least I expect we’ll see much better maps being used everywhere that couldn’t previously negotiate an OS license - not only were licenses expensive they were notoriously unclear.

However I can see why the Ramblers are unhappy at todays release

If I want to show a map of a walk in the Lake district

That’s the Lakes…


Near Ulswater…


It was from Glenridding up towards Helvelyn…


…Er.. yeah that’s the place - but where’s the path!

So this is a brilliant release and even for the Ramblers there’s loads of stuff they can do today that they either couldn’t do yesterday or it would have been more expensive and complex.

And loads of smaller organisations will benefit from free maps and postcode data - these will become common on small websites.

But the release doesn’t quite give out the assets required to build the apps I always wanted to build for the Ramblers (walking routes, enhanced walks finder, path problem report tools etc).

Contains Ordnance Survey data (c) Crown copyright and database right 2010