Fri 23 Feb 2018

Geospatial Commission

GMD Gregory Marler (former Director) Public Seen by 385

Short notice, but through The ODI the government are soliciting thoughts about the Geospatial Commission.

  • 27th Feb Bristol
  • 28th Feb Cardiff
  • Possibly Aberdeen and Liverpool, but there's no central listing of these events.

I've just attended the Leeds event this morning, and I'll be writing a post about it shortly. OpenStreetMap UK CIC already published a statement, but it would be great to share if people have views about the Geospatial Comission and opening up OS Mastermap.


Dan S Fri 23 Feb 2018

Great work, thanks. I'm happy the statement prioritises "an open national address database", this is an important fundamental (for osm sure, but for the uk more generally)




Neil Sat 24 Feb 2018

I'm going to the Bristol one - so if there's anything (apart from OSM UK statement) that you recommend raising - then I may have an opportunity there...


RobJN Sat 24 Feb 2018

Hi @neil2: Try and raise the following if you can:

an open national address database
releasing aerial and satellite imagery as open data
ensuring that any geospatial data submitted in the planning system is made open

Neil Mon 26 Feb 2018

Looks like there might have been a fourth meeting -- only tangential evidence tho' https://companyconnecting.com/opportunities/odi-aberdeen-hosting-gis-mapping-fact-finding-workshop-aberdeen


Neil Thu 1 Mar 2018

Notes from "Geospatial User Workshop - Bristol"

These are necessarily incomplete and biased...

Meeting (1 of 4 - Leeds / Aberdeen / Bristol / Cardiff) organised via ODI -- this one through ODI Bristol Node
About 4/5 ODI/meetup organisers - Chris Chambers from Cabinet Office and 6/7 other attendees -- not all of those signed up to the meetup event attended.
Note: organisers have informal contacts with Bristol City Council and Defra through day jobs.

Chris Chambers gave a brief intro -- looking at correct response to Budget Statement in terms of Ordnance Survey mastermap. Noted first time geospatial mentioned in politics. Opportunities to influence. No decision yet been made -- aiming for May this year.
Mastermap: Very detailed. Ordnance Survey identifiers. Road database - routing. Imagery dataset. Address dataset.

10 people with expertise in different areas in Cabinet Office (Marcus Bell director & Ellen Jones deputy director) -- noted that budget quote, etc. has lots of caveats / options -- and they are looking at stakeholders to get the answer Working with Ordnance Survey not to undermine their core strengths. Concerned that Ordnance Survey has a sustainable future.

First set of questions was involved with Mastermap - what's stopping you using it. If you aren't using it, why not? What do you use? Looking for real world examples why doesn't work. What could be improved? Primary target small UK businesses.

Question from the floor -- why not just release Ordnance Survey mastermap under creative commons 4? licencing.

Attendees introduced themselves, interests included: OpenStreetmap (me), ODI Devon, Open Data Camp, University Chicago, linking geospatial data commercially, machine learning.

Attendees were asked to suggest an "ideal world solution" that releasing mastermap would mean for them.

There were then concurrent separate discussions between possible legal and technical issues with using mastermap data -- postit notes on flip charts.

Lastly there was a question how to release mastermap data, but keep Ordnance Survey "core strengths".

General impressions:
Meeting was intended to be informal / open / inclusive -- but there were no microphones or projectors -- so not the best for those of us with sight/hearing issues.
I'm not a fan of trying to condense points too early -- and write them on post-its.

Seems to be issues in some public sector organisations which has a "presume to publish" versus using Ordnance Survey data -- in particular, Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA?) and whether using mastermap data could be simplified in terms of releasing data openly.

Voluble inputs that everything should be released into the public domain or as Creative Commons 4? tended to dominate -- which might be an ideal approach, but probably less than pragmatic.

Got impression OpenStreetmap not always considered in the best light by several of the attendees -- ODbL not well understood, "viral" nature of share-alike, even the cabinet office representative said to me after the meeting "I didn't realise until recently that OpenStreetmap wasn't really open".
Maybe an input to the process about OSM licensing might help a bit.

Difficult to guess at the possible result/output -- might be seen as a box checking exercise -- lack of publicity through ODI. Think there might have been an AGI meeting the same day.



Thanks very much for your notes Neil!

OSM "not really open" might be a bit of general misunderstanding. Open should always be seen as a spectrum/multi-faceted rather than yes/no. I'm not sure that Creative Commons is legally suitable for Mastermap if it stays in vector form. Definitely something we could try to make clear/teach in future.