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Britain's map data goes "open source"

  • 01-04-2010 9:11pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,055 probe


    Britain's quaintly named Ordnance Survey (surveyor of military supplies!) has finally (sort of) decided to make their maps open source. Which should improve the detail and resolution of GPS maps on that island.

    Meanwhile Ireland's similarly (braindead copycat quaintly named) agency maintains strict copyright controls over everything.

    As a digression, it reminds one of title page on government publications. In the English language they call themselves "The Stationary Office" - copycat of "Her Majesty's Stationery Office - HMSO in GB. They don't manufacture or sell stationary - anymore than OSI is involved in state terrorism and military activity.

    Is it not time that the OSI woke up and re-branded themselves "Maps Ireland" or the "Irish Mapping Agency" or similar?

    The un-refreshing, un-innovative, un-thinking, slavishly copycat side of Ireland :-(

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/01/ordnance_survey_opendata/


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,638 Zoney


    Presumably like most "services", the UK Ordnance Survey is funding by taxpayers and the Irish one has to make up a shortfall with commercial activities?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Zoney wrote: »
    Presumably like most "services", the UK Ordnance Survey is funding by taxpayers and the Irish one has to make up a shortfall with commercial activities?

    The Brits have more artillery than survey staff where we have more than one staff member per gun :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,967 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Does that mean the whole lot can be integrated with OSM?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,105 larryone


    . I wonder if it's another April fools thing on the Register - they're fond of those.
    . The name is partially a hostoric thing. The 1846 survey completion was a world first.
    . Yes, OSi have to turn a profit through commercial licensing, etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,072 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai


    OSi does not turn a profit through commercial licensing!

    http://www.osi.ie/en/alist/annual-reports.aspx

    Only around two-thirds of the cost of running OSi comes from 'commercial' licensing. (22m of 27m or so.)

    Of that 22m, 2.5m comes directly from local authorities. Another couple of million comes from sales relating to planning permission applications (i.e., indirectly from local authorities) Other state agencies also contribute a chunk of the 'commercial' revenue.

    I am not saying this is bad, this is very good in many ways, but there is certainly scope for collecting the same revenue in different ways whilst open-licensing a lot (not all) of the data.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    The feckers pulled the entire ( c. 1905) 25 inch to a mile series off their (unstable) online site early this year but the 1846 series is still up....in colour :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,638 Zoney


    I am not saying this is bad, this is very good in many ways, but there is certainly scope for collecting the same revenue in different ways whilst open-licensing a lot (not all) of the data.

    Much as I can see the appeal of open source, far too many people have bought the cool-aid that you can make money from it. If you can, it's far more difficult than the traditional closed-source approach.

    If people want these things for "free" the only way is to pay for the service through tax revenue. This won't happen as Ireland is low tax (income and corporate, and even on indirect taxation is no worse than average). You can't still have your cake and eat it too.


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