Free Our Data: the blog

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

Islington: you want a map? You’ll have to pay

An intriguing move by Islington Council, which now demands that if you want to download something that has a map in, you pay. At least if that something is part of a planning proposal.

From its Planning Policy page:

Islington’s planning policies are set out in our Unitary Development Plan (UDP) – which was agreed in June 2002. The UDP provides the basis for all the council’s planning decisions. It contains broad strategic policies in part one of the plan, and more detailed policies in part two.

There is also a proposals map which shows areas where specific policies and proposals apply. You can see the text of the UDP on this site, but if you require the proposals map you will have to purchase a copy. [Emphasis added – CA.]

So why has Islington introduced this? (We may have been a little remiss in noticing this – the page says it was last updated on 31 October 2008.)

Could it be because of that famous Ordnance Survey warning of last year, made around that time? Is the council prohibited from providing any sort of map, or perhaps charged each time someone downloads a map? And if the latter is the case, is it making a profit, breaking even, or loss on the transaction?

(The page for the proposals map is confusing too. “click on ‘Interactive Maps’ on the top right hand side of the screen. A new window will open up.” it instructs. However, on my browser – a Firefox clone on a Mac – I don’t get any such “interactive maps” link. Is this a PC-only thing, or has that page just not been updated to keep tabs with the pricier new world? Its last update is the same as the parent page, so it surely can’t be…)

    The following posts may be related...(the database guesses):

  • Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function related_posts() in /home/customer/www/ Stack trace: #0 /home/customer/www/ include() #1 /home/customer/www/ require_once('/home/customer/...') #2 /home/customer/www/ require('/home/customer/...') #3 {main} thrown in /home/customer/www/ on line 20