Woefully out of date now, here’s a quick run down on theOSGIS 2011 conference, 3rd in that series, held at the University of Nottingham Centre for Geospatial Sciences in Nottingham over the 21st and 22nd of June. The 21st was a day of workshops, under the banner of Interoperability and the OGC. My new colleague, Matt, and I did a workshop on using Ordnance Survey Open Data and Mastermap with Mapserver and PostgreSQL, using the OSGeo Live DVD.
A short case study into flexibility, collaboration, and why open source software is so damned cool: At my new place of employment, we’re doing a lot of work with Ordnance Survey Mastermap data, so one of my colleagues built a quick python wrapper around the ogr2ogr script to easily pop the data into postgresql, or shape file, or whatever support format you like. This is now available on Github (caveat- it doesn’t do change-only updates yet- we’ll keep you posted on that).
So, we Brits are getting all excited because the Prime Minister gave a big speech about how Britain is going to be all fab, broadbandy, and “totally, like Web 2.0, man” soon. And all this data is going to be given away- look here’s some of it now. We’re all going to have instant access to Government services, free Ordnance Survey data, and a shiny Institute of Web Science to stick all the bits together.
So 10 days ago now, the UK Government announced that they would be freeing up some Ordnance Survey data as part of a “drive to improve transparency”. You can read reactions to this all over the geospatial blogs (see Mapperz excellent round-up), some ambivalent, others mostly positive. Me, I’m with the ambivalent crowd. On one level, assuming it’s actually useful datasets made available, and assuming we get to use them how we’d like to (using it in our internal GIS, for example), it will be great, and my colleagues will find their jobs considerably easier.
You might have seen this post last week about how the Ordnance Survey once again saved the universe from un-approved uses of “their” data, by blocking an incredibly useful application that overlays Ordnance Survey mapping over Google Earth. You might have seen this post about it too. You might even have written to the Ordnance Survey to complain about it. However, unless, like me, you had these posts tagged in your feed reader ready to write something about them, you might not have realised that the Ordnance Survey have (sort of) relented.
Time for another round-up… The Ordnance Survey have revised the terms and conditions of using their OpenSpaces mapping API (via Mapperz), which is a step in the right direction, since they now allow adverts on your site. There’s still a daily limit to the number of views/address lookups that you can do too. However, there are a couple of points that need mentioning/clarifying… firstly there’s a strange condition that you can’t use this for “internal business administration”.
Via the Guardian’s Free Our Data Blog, but with remarkably little fanfare elsewhere- the UK Government have released their new strategy for the Ordnance Survey. The results have the potential to be really good, but might also be a bit of a damp squib. The big concession is an extended OS OpenSpace service: It will provide greater access to free use of a number of Ordnance Survey products from 1:10,000 scale through to 1:1 million scale.
I started off this week with the intention of resurrecting and upgrading a demo openlayers map of all our sites, that had been stuck in a sorry corner of our corporate website being neglected. This tied in with moving the map to a different server, upgrading all the components, and generally giving it a shave and a haircut (it is male, that’s for certain). For those people interested in our wms and wfs data- these will be online again soon, I promise.
I mentioned a while back the cool competition that the government here in the UK were running, called “Show Us a Better Way”. The idea was that people could submit ideas for mashups with public information. Well, the contest appears to have been a great success- it closed at the end of September and the winners were announced earlier this month (no, my entry didn’t win, sob). Not unsuprisingly, the winning entries all had a geospatial component to them, but their future is already in doubt due to some over-zealous big-stick-waving from dear old Ordnance Survey.
I’m just back from the AGi Geocommunity 2008 conference in Stratford-upon-Avon. A very enjoyable time was had by all I think! I would have posted from the conference itself, but the hotel wifi wasn’t keen on playing with my linux laptop. I’ll talk more in other posts about the actual presentations, but this is just some of my general thoughts about the conference. My overall thought was that the AGI got it right with this event.