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A Guardian Technology campaign for free public access to data about the UK and its citizens


Ordnance Survey man finds UK map mashups: but are they truly British?

Ed Parsons, the chief technology officer of the Ordnance Survey, picked up on a comment I’d left on his blog about the number (or lack of them) of UK-based companies generating mashups. (A mashup grabs two sets of data and creates something new from them; here’s a Guardian article explaining it at length.)

He points to this page at programmableweb which has “at least 22 mashups in the UK, and yes they all contain Ordnance Survey data licensed through partners.”

My response (which I’ve posted on his blog as a comment to his post) is that none of the APIs comes from UK-based companies, apart from the BBC. They’re all American – Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Flickr (which is part of Yahoo), Feedburner.

Is it unreasonable to argue that we don’t have a homegrown map-API-offering company because we charge for access to that data, while it’s available for free in the US?

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