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UK’s public sector to get access to OS data

UK: Public sector organisations in England and Wales will have access to Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping data under a single agreement for the first time from April 2011.

Local and central government organisations, as well as NHS organisations, will now benefit from being part of a single agreement for Ordnance Survey data. This new agreement, known as the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) for England & Wales, includes over 750 organisations, with provision for 1,000s more, and will result in significant cost savings for the public sector and greater data sharing.

On 31 March 2010 the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) published the Government’s response to its consultation on policy options for geographic information (GI) from Ordnance Survey, and OS OpenData was launched on 1 April. In its response, CLG set out its intention to move to a PSMA with OS. Since the publication CLG and Ordnance Survey have been developing a framework for a single agreement for England and Wales.

The new PSMA is expected to deliver significant efficiency savings and improvements in public service delivery for the benefit of individuals and businesses in England and Wales. The new agreement also introduces a new licensing framework that will enable more collaborative working with delivery partners and will allow public sector organisations to re-use the data for core non-commercial public sector activities. It will also enable sharing of the data, and derived data, with other third parties for specific purposes to support delivery of the member’s public sector activities.

The new deal replaces the local government Mapping Services Agreement, the Pan Government Agreement for central government and the NHS Digital Mapping Agreement.

Vanessa Lawrence CB, Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, said, “The PSMA will enable a different type of relationship between OS and public sector end users of our data. It will provide public services with greater and more flexible access to GI than ever before helping to drive innovation and underpin key public services.”

The PSMA includes a broad range of Ordnance Survey data, including OS MasterMap Topography and Integrated Transport Network Layers as well as almost all the supporting scales of mapping. In addition, all public sector organisations will have unrestricted access to OS OpenData, where they can download and order a range of raster and vector mapping datasets. These include the detailed 1:10 000 scale OS Street View, Boundary-Line, which provides the electoral and administrative geography of the country, and Meridian 2 and Strategi, which offer customisable views of Britain’s topography.

The PSMA datasets will support a diverse range of services, including land registration, grant and subsidy management, environmental protection, habitat mapping, emergency planning and response, community development initiatives, the digital television switch over and the provision of health and social care services.

Source: Ordnance Survey