Following the news some time ago that most Ordnance Survey data (if not all - still waiting for details) is to be made available free of charge for re-use by personal and commercial users, the GI fraternity is abuzz with anticipation. I am also pretty excited about this development since it will make working with geographic data and using GIS in the United Kingdom much easier. It should also increase the number of users, as SalfordGIS point out.
The current understanding is that from April 1, 2010 several OS datasets (e.g. 1:50,000 colour raster) will be made freely available. What are the implications of this? Just some thoughts...
- Anyone will be able to download and print original OS maps, free of charge
- Anyone will be able to use OS data to derive new maps - previously this was forbidden
- GIS users will use data in new and innovative ways
- GIS consultants will increase in number
- In general, many good things will happen and geographic knowledge will increase
Much more will be written on this in the media in the coming weeks and there is no doubt it is an exciting time if you are in any way involved in the world of geographic information in the United Kingdom.
The future is full of possibilities!