UK Government unlocks Ordnance Survey’s MasterMap

Ordance Survey’s MasterMap Topography Layer is to be available to everyone, the Government has announced at the Prime Minister’s London Tech Week roundtable.

It is estimated that this will boost the UK economy by at least £130m each year, as innovative companies and startups use the data. There is also an opportunity for the housing market to be boosted because of identification of potential development sites that aren’t currently registered.

The release of OS MasterMap data is one of the first projects to be delivered by the new Geospatial Commission, in conjunction with Ordnance Survey. The aim is to continue to drive forward the UK as a world leader in location data, helping to grow the UK’s digital economy by an estimated £11bn each year.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, said: “Opening up OS MasterMap underlines this Government’s commitment to ensuring the UK continues to lead the way in digital innovation. Releasing this valuable government data for free will help stimulate innovation in the economy, generate jobs and improve public services.

“Location-aware technologies, using geospatial data, are revolutionising our economy. From navigating public transport to tracking supply chains and planning efficient delivery routes, these digital services are built on location data that has become part of everyday life and business. The newly available data should be particularly useful to small firms and entrepreneurs to realise their ideas and compete with larger organisations, encouraging greater competition and innovation.”

OS MasterMap data already supports emerging technologies such as driverless vehicles, 5G and connected cities.

Today’s announcement follows the launch of the first GovTech challenge in May this year – a competition designed to incentivise Britain’s tech firms to come up with innovative solutions to improve public services. These competitions will be delivered using the £20m GovTech fund launched by the Prime Minister in November 2017.

Neil Ackroyd, interim CEO of Ordnance Survey said: “Since its launch in 2001, OS MasterMap has been one of the most comprehensive and detailed geospatial reference datasets in the world. This latest development is another step on Ordnance Survey’s open data journey. We’re looking forward to supporting the Geospatial Commission in making this data more accessible and more widely used.”

Read more about the Government’s plans here.

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