Subsequent to the recent consultation on Ordnance Survey data and Gordon Brown’s commitment to opening up (an unspecified amount of) the data in a speech last week – today the UK’s mapping agency is releasing a significant portion of their data for free use by the public.

More information is available in the following report, published yesterday by Communities and Local Government:

  • The datasets which have been opened up include:

  • OS Street View

  • 1: 50 000 Gazetteer
  • 1: 250 000 Colour Raster
  • OS Locator
  • Boundary-Line
  • Code-Point Open
  • Meridian 2
  • Strategi
  • MiniScale
  • OS VectorMap District (available in May 2010)
  • Land-Form PANORAMA

We’re glad to see that it looks like the data will be available under an open license:

this licence will allow the data to be used and re-used for free by the public, including for commercial use. (p. 17)

The official link to the data on their website has been overwhelmed all morning (which surely says something about public demand!). Some downloads are available from mySociety at:

  • Big kudos to the folk at Ernest Marples, who did a great job in encouraging people to respond to the consultation and facilitated nearly a third of submissions through their online tool.

More information is available at:

This is excellent news – and we very much look forward to learning more about the details as they unfold. We sincerely hope (given the date) that its not an elaborate joke!

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

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