On 23 December 2009 the Communities Minister of UK, Ian Austin, has outlined proposals regarding the enhancement of the public's accessibility to Ordnance Survey mapping data from 2010.
As part of the Smarter Government and 'Making Public Data Public' initiative, the Prime Minister and the Communities Secretary, John Denham, have previously announced the move to free up data, aiming thus to improve transparency.
In December 2009 the Communities and Local Government have launched a consultation according to which the Ordnance Survey datasets can be made freely available to support digital innovation and democratic accountability.
The proposals aim to harness the world-class expertise that Ordnance Survey, a Government Department with Executive Agency and Trading Fund status, has in the production, maintenance and application of high-quality geospatial information. The deadline for responses is 17 March 2010. Government Departments and agencies will contribute to the costs of these proposals in order to ensure that the changes are fiscally neutral and Ordnance Survey will have a sustainable funding mechanism to ensure the on-going quality of its data.
The possible range of products under consideration for release as part of the 'Ordnance Survey Free' includes:
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