[Talk-GB] Ordnance Survey

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Thu Apr 1 09:25:54 BST 2010

Gregory wrote:
> Without restrictions? Does that mean no attribution, it sounds like PD.
> Or does it mean they haven't told us the exact license yet but it will
> be "nice"?

The latter, I think. http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendata/ is either 
still password-protected or Slashdotted as I write (well, more likely 
Guardian-ed)... a prize to the first person who can get through and find 
out. ;)

> Should we be importing anything to OSM? Or at least making comparison
> tools around this OS data to compare our coverage? If there is tracing
> to be done then it might make a great project of the week.

My _personal_ opinion is that there's no need to rush.

A large-scale import won't work technically (too many areas of 
duplication) and is likely to prove very disruptive to the existing 
community. Matt and Andy can give you chapter and verse on this, but I 
think we've pretty much established by now that unthinking imports can 
basically nuke people's motivation.

A more sensible approach:

Let's use OS data as one of the many sources that helps us map. Quite 
often I'll add something to the map based on a combination of survey, 
previous experience, out-of-copyright sources (e.g. NPE), maybe an 
openly licensed photo (e.g. Geograph), other map information (e.g. 
street names on NAPTaN nodes), and so on; I'm sure most OSMers are 
similarly catholic.

OS data is one more source. I'd be happy using OS data to help complete 
Banbury and Worcester, for example, because these are places I know 
well; I can bring something extra to the map. But I don't think it would 
do OSM, or any users, any favours if I were to import OS data for 
Bradford, where I've never been. If you want the raw OS map of Bradford, 
you might as well use the OS map. The guy who knows Bradford should be 
the one to add those streets into OSM.

JOSM of course can load arbitrary .osm files. Potlatch 2 has a new 
'vector background layer' feature which is designed for exactly this. 
It'll be interesting to see how people work with OS data and learn from 
each other as to the best way to use it.

Incidentally, there's an interesting report at grough.co.uk 
which says that the new free VectorMap District product won't be ready 
until May, so it'll just be Meridian2 for now. Another reason not to rush.


More information about the Talk-GB mailing list