[Talk-GB] Geospatial Commission

Andy Robinson ajrlists at gmail.com
Fri Nov 24 11:22:26 UTC 2017

Indeed Bob’s may be the best case scenario and I note perhaps the more cynical view taken by the likes of Ed Parkes.


I let out a little wee in my pants when I heard the budget announcement. Geospatial doesn’t get mentioned much on the floor of the house! So it’s an encouraging further nipping at the heels of the giant.


Each time I hear a welcome apparently positive announcement like this it makes me pause and wonder whether the tail is wagging the dog. The chancellor might be making funds available but the campaigning to get it is not done by the politicians but by those who feel it’s a worthwhile cause, they needed to sell it. So what influences drives like this? It’s easy to dismiss the role of OSM, in fact OSM may have never figured in the discussion about this new money, however I like to think we have influenced the marketplace for geospatial data in the UK and will continue to think we are (in our little world) the tail.


So that brings me on to the what next for OSM. Could it indeed have the potential to be the end of contribution to OSM in the UK?  Fortunately I think not. We are unique in the marketplace that we can react to new cheap technology much quicker than the giants like the OS. Around the corner is the prospect of the L1/L5 GNSS dual frequency exploitation to bring us sub metre positional accuracy with a standard smart phone. While the claimed 300mm accuracy is still a long way short of the OS’s 30mm surveying target for MasterMap products its getting us closer to being able to verify the near precise position of objects, better local rectification of the imagery we trace from and I’m sure lots of other things I’m just not thinking of right now. If we combine this with where technology is leading us – driverless devices, autonomous drones, improved remote sensing from satellites etc – we can expect the tools we use today to add to and maintain OSM in the UK to be every improving. 


I believe there is another important point too. MasterMap may be a great product today but I’m not convinced its fit for even the next 10 years. Some of the industries that uses MasterMap in the UK, engineering and the building industry to name just two, are rapidly moving to a 3 & 4 dimensional BIM approach. The 2D MasterMap looks more like an NPE sheet in the BIM field. 


But, I hear you say, OSM is mostly a 2D product! Right! While we may be winning the battle on getting the OS to open up its data we may be losing the war if OSM doesn’t react to the future direction of geospatial data. In an increasingly 3D and 4D geospatial world OSM is starting to look like a rather clunky model. If a new Steve Coast starts a 4D mapping project and it gains initial traction would we jump ship?


I’ll leave that one with you for the weekend J





From: SK53 [mailto:sk53.osm at gmail.com] 
Sent: 23 November 2017 19:14
To: Gervase Markham
Cc: Talk-GB at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] Geospatial Commission


The twitterverse has been talking of nothing else.

Personally, I will be very cautiously optimistic.

The best case scenario is one suggested by Bob Barr:

*	OSGB changes it's business model from pay-to-use to transaction based (a la Land Registry). 
*	The £80 million (2 years at £40 million) is used to cushion revenue & staff implications
*	Master Map is then released under OGL going on

Perhaps more likely is a special free service agreement for restricted classes of businesses (SMEs) along the lines of PSMA (I blagged this point from someone else).

Even if MM is all under OGL I suspect OSGB would not acquiesce to the current form of attribution on OSM.

Owen Boswarva's asks if this would  <https://twitter.com/owenboswarva/status/933477244269481984s> mean the end of OSM mapping in UK. A provocative thought.



On 23 November 2017 at 15:56, Gervase Markham <gerv-gmane at gerv.net> wrote:

This sounds... vaguely positive?


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