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Ed Parsons collects a list of OS consultation responses – with Goldilocks and elephants galore (updated)

Ed Parsons, once upon a time the chief technology officer of Ordnance Survey but now at Google, has blogged about the OS consultation, which he describes as a fairy tale:

The consultation understandably and in my mind quite rightly has remained focused on the specifics of making OS data free, and in the great tradition of Civil Service options papers offers a Goldilocks Choice; one too cold, one too hot and one option just about acceptable.

Option 1 appears to maintain the status-quo and I don’t see anyone outside the Romsey Road distortion field supporting it.

Option 2 is perhaps something that may be achievable in the long term with continued technological change and changing market requirements, however at the moment this would put Ordnance Survey in a position where it’s current operational processes are financially unsustainable.

So Option 3 represents the obvious compromise, some small scale data for free while allowing the cash cow of MasterMap to continue to fund a reduced but largely similar OS to the one we have today.

He also points to the elephants in the room – the issue of derived data (which is mentioned only once in the whole consultation, but which impinges crucially on so much geospatial work), and the lack of a national address register:

This is an issue bigger than Ordnance Survey, although OS has had its part to play in the current mess. This really does need strategic leadership from the centre.

Helpfully, he’s also collected a list of so-far published responses to the consultation, which we’ll shamelessly republish here. One large search engine’s response seems to be missing though… must be an oversight.

Let us (and him) know if there are more public responses to the consultation. We’re expecting to hear something relevant on Monday, by the way. More closer to the time.

3 Responses to “Ed Parsons collects a list of OS consultation responses – with Goldilocks and elephants galore (updated)”

  1. Tim Says:

    Meh. I doubt anyone would care about the other data if MasterMap were free. Anything less (especially raster-only data) will be disappointing (and expected).

  2. Gayle Gander Says:

    Intelligent Addressing has also published its response to the OS consultation from CLG. In its response, IA sets out its position for the changes required in order for OS to be left with a sustainable business for the future. See http://www.iahub.net/docs/1269337743868.pdf

  3. steven feldman Says:

    The AGI’s response is here http://www.agi.org.uk/SITE/UPLOAD/DOCUMENT/News/AGIResponsetotheCLGConsultationFINAL.pdf

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