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Ordnance Survey amends developer agreement for online mapping portal

Ordnance Survey has unveiled revised terms and conditions for OS OpenSpace, its non-commercial web mapping service.

The OS OpenSpace API (application programming interface) is a free service that allows users to build mash-ups of Ordnance Survey mapping. It was launched to the public in January this year and to date has over a thousand registered developers.

The changes to the terms of use reflect the fact the components of the API are now available as a free open-source download – as OSGB Web Map Tools. Available from sourceforge.net, the tools allow Ordnance Survey data licensees to build commercial applications for the Web.

At the same time as amending the OS OpenSpace terms in relation to OSGB Web Map Tools, Ordnance Survey has taken the opportunity to make some further changes that aim to provide greater overall clarity.

Key amongst the revisions is the introduction of new definitions of ‘Your Data’ and ‘End User’s Data’ to complement what is already defined as ‘Derived Data’. It is intended that the changes will clarify the position on ownership of each of these types of data, and will set out in clearer terms the various licences that are granted in relation to each of them.

Peter ter Haar, Ordnance Survey’s Director of Products, comments: “With the launch of our open-source web tools, and the recent debate that has been going on around the use of mapping on the Internet, we felt it was right to make some important changes to the OS OpenSpace service.

“I very much hope that the revisions we have made will see more and more people using mapping data to create mash-ups on the Web, and I would encourage other mapping platforms to follow our lead.”

Unlike OS OpenSpace, the recently launched OSGB Web Map Tools is released under a permissive free licence and does not restrict licensed developers to non-commercial activities or the use of any particular data source. While the new map tools do not give free access to mapping, since the users must hold one of Ordnance Survey’s data licences, it does allow for third-party information to be freely overlaid and displayed.

To download OSGB Web Map Tools visit: https://sourceforge.net/projects/osgbwebmaptools/