Ordnance Survey Proposals

The Ordnance Survey has now published proposals to make changes to the way it makes its data available in a new Business Strategy.

The key aims are described by the OS as:

Within this framework, it has been agreed with Ministers to focus the business around five key areas. These are:

1. Promote innovation for economic benefit and social engagement
2. Increase the use of Ordnance Survey data
3. Support the sharing of information across the whole of the public sector
4. Increase efficiency to develop a sustainable business for the future
5. Enhance value through the creation of an innovative trading entity

The overall aim of this new business strategy is to provide the best balance between making information more widely available and creating a sustainable future for Ordnance Survey and the wider market.

The document is open for comment and is already attracting some interesting feedback.

Richard Allan, Taskforce Chair

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Ordnance Survey Proposals

  1. Form a strategic partnership with Google.

  2. tom

    about flippin time :)

  3. tom

    is this not a contradiction?

    This service will benefit individual developers and organisations such as commercial companies, local community groups, national special interest groups and smaller charities that will be able to develop applications as long as there is no direct commercial gain from the specific application itself. Advertising and sponsorship alongside the application will be encouraged.

  4. Des McConaghy

    Spelling corrected – try this then! Where is your moderator…or anyone? Des

    “This remains a fudge while the primary concern of OS remains “to thrive in the consumer market place”. Beyond that one suspects that privatization is on the cards! But the relevant question for a Cabinet Office website is whether this achieves a more effective consumer approach for government. For example Ministers always say the want to purchase “outputs” and so it is nothing short of a scandal that public spending outputs are still consistently excluded from all our official UK geographical information systems. Here the OS is an important part of a problem within a problem. Dammit, a quarter of a century ago we were able to systematically provide online local spending outputs. But then in 1986 Heseltine introduced new DTI rules which required that Whitehall secured the maximum possible commercial returns for tradeable official data. What rubbish!

    That pernicious ruling immediately boosted many commercial information providers as each of pursued separate agreements with diverse parts of the Whitehall apparatus – and of course the same initiative also gave a massive encouragement to the early official “trading bodies” such as OS. But one major casualty (one especially relevant to OS) was the near impossibility of ever again routinely achieving a total view of what was going on in any specific local constituency area of the country – and relative to other areas. Because similar Treasury objectives for the purchasing of all central government and local services from the private sector was to spawn a host of diverse fragmented delivery agencies at all local delivery levels; the local budgetary haze!

    Now, for example, Birmingham is spending a lot of money trying to see how a total £7.5 billion for one million population connects to 43 very separate delivery plans – and how these deliver diverse outcomes. The Treasury may seems to encourage this but the Cabinet Office should register the bloody minded exclusion of spending from all official GIS strategies. There should be, too, a consistent approach in Whitehall. Thus the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 required publication of the spending reports of all local public agencies. But in spite of the assurances of Ministers this no longer applies (see current protest via Early Day Motion Number 1064)! However my main point remains; that OS holds a key position in all of this; and in making the constituency dimension of government much more explicit. Let’s get on with it – it’s too important for any further fudge”.

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