UK: Ordnance Survey makes digital maps freely available to the public

Individuals and companies will be able to use and copy mid-scale maps, as well as data relating to electoral and local authority boundaries and postcode areas.

Communities Secretary John Denham said the opening up of OS data would “unlock real potential” for the private sector. Companies would be able to create new products by “mashing” OS data with other information.

Mr Denham said: “This shows the UK is at the cutting edge of a digital revolution. The move to free up public data encourages fresh thinking – people re-using information in different and more imaginative ways than may have originally been intended. A seemingly endless stream of new applications and websites continues to show the potential of combining information, creative vision and digital technology.”

He added: “Increasing access to OS data will attract a new wave of entrepreneurs and result in new solutions to old problems that will benefit us all. It will also drive a new industry, creating new jobs and driving future growth.”

Internet founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee said: “I’m delighted that the Ordnance Survey is releasing this data for free re-use. It will help people make fuller use of other Government data on data.gov.uk, as well as stimulating innovation in mapping itself.”

The OS is an executive agency of Government and was originally a military mapping organisation.

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