Ordnance Survey has today launched an online portal providing free and unrestricted access to a large range of mapping and geographic information.
The launch of the new OS OpenData portal follows the announcement by prime minister Gordon Brown in November last year that some Ordnance Survey mapping would be made freely available as part of the "Making Public Data Public" initiative.
The OS OpenData portal allows users to download and view maps and boundary information for the whole country and develop web-map applications using Ordnance Survey’s OS OpenSpace application programming interface (API).
With the new availability of Ordnance Survey mapping data, developers can create maps to give people information about their local area, such as which council is responsible for fixing a particular lamppost, where they can build public footpaths, and the location of their nearest polling station.
Championed by the inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and Nigel Shadbolt, professor at the University of Southampton, the project aims to provide greater transparency and accountability within the government, improve public services and create new economic and social value.
"I'm delighted that the Ordnance Survey is releasing this data for free re-use,” said Berners-Lee. “It will help people make fuller use of other government data on data.gov.uk, as well as stimulating innovation in mapping itself."
Users can visit www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendata to start downloading data.
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