UK opens up its plans for transparency and open data

Source: UK Government 28th June 2013

UK opens up its plans for transparency and open data

The UK’s draft National Action Plan on open data and transparency for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) has been published for consultation.

The UK government today renewed the Prime Minister’s aspiration for it to be the most open and transparent in the world by inviting the public to comment on the UK’s draft National Action Plan on transparency, open data and open policy making.

The government, in collaboration with civil society organisations, has published a draft of the UK’s second Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan for public consultation. The draft plan, ‘From Open Data to Open Government’, sets out the UK’s commitments to:

  • improve accountability
  • increase citizen participation
  • release more open data
  • build international partnerships to achieve greater transparency worldwide

The UK will submit the final plan in October to the international Open Government Partnership, of which the UK is currently lead co-chair. The OGP brings together 59 national governments and civil society organisations.

Transparency and open data have been at the heart of the UK government’s reforming agenda. Last month, under the UK presidency, all G8 countries adopted an Open Data Charter. This set out 5 strategic principles, including an expectation that governments will publish data openly by default, alongside principles to increase the quality, quantity and re-use of the data released. G8 members also identified 14 high-value areas from which they will release data, to unlock its economic potential, support innovation and provide greater accountability.

On Friday 28 June, the Land Registry will begin to issue residential house price data dating from 2012 back to 1995 in an open format. This is expected to lead to the development of a raft of applications benefiting house buyers, the property sector and social welfare groups. The release follows similar open data releases, including on crime and justice, health and education, which have led to useful and economically valuable digital applications.

The UK National Action Plan will again focus on releasing more open data previously held within public bodies, to benefit society and the economy. The consultation process will also seek public and business views on the government datasets that should be made freely available as part of a National Information Infrastructure, as promised in the government’s Information Economy Strategy.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:

The draft National Action Plan shows open government and open policy-making in action. Now, we want businesses, entrepreneurs, civil society organisations and members of the public to play their part, get involved in the consultation and help shape the UK’s policy on open data and transparency.

Through world-leading open data releases, we have started to provide the raw material for a growing information economy in which small, innovative firms and civil society organisations can thrive – and have a real impact on growth and the well-being of society. At the same time, citizens are gaining more information with which to hold government to account and make more informed choices in how they run their lives.

I strongly urge businesses and civil society organisations to give us their views on the most important areas for the UK to take forward – on transparency, open data and open policy making.

You can contribute your views:

The consultation period ends on 19 September.

GIS Tips – Open data outside the UK

Here is the UK we are starting to get a plethora of free, open data in geospatial format, something I could never have imagined when I got into GIS 10yrs ago.

What about when we need to work on areas outside the UK (or if you are outside the UK looking for UK data?), we’ve all been there at some point, looking for geospatial for some random town that you’ve never heard of…..Well, today I came across a list of other countries Open Data websites, although not worldwide, I know that I will be going direct to the source next time I go data mining:

  • – Bahía Blanca municipal open-data website. Launched in Oct 2012.
  • – Brazilian government open-data website. Launched in December 2011.
  • – Portuguese government open-data website.
  • – Belgian government open-data website. Still in beta, but usable.
  • – Canadian government open-data website. Launched in March 2011.
  • – French government open-data website. Launched in December 2011.
  • – U.S. government open-data website. Launched in May 2009.
  • – Australian government open-data website. Launched in March 2011.
  • – India Government open-data website. Launched in 2012.
  • – Italian government open-data website. Launched in October 2011.[9]
  • – Moroccan government open-data website. Launched in April 2011.
  • – U.K. government open-data website. Launched in September 2009.
  • – New Zealand Government initiative to publish Government Data under Creative Commons licences, defined further at NZ GOAL. launched in Nov 2009.
  • – Austrian Government open-data website.
  • – Norwegian government open-data website. Launched in April 2010.
  • – Dutch government open-data website. Launched in Oct 2011.
  • – Moldavian government open-data website.
  • – German Government open-data website. Launched in February 2013.
  • – Chilean government open-data website. Launched in Sept 2011.
  • – Spanish government open-data website. Launched in October 2011.
  • – Uruguayan government open-data website. Launched in November 2011.
  • – Costa Rican government open-data website. Launched in Oct 2012.
  • – Greece’s open government geospatial data Launched 21 July 2010, as a state initiative.[10]
  • Ghana Open Data Initiative – Ghana government open-data website, GODI. Launched in February 2012.
  • – Metropolitan Municipality of Lima open-data website.
  • – Estonian government open-data website.
  • – European Commission Data Portal.
  • – Kenyan government open-data website. Launched in Jul 2011.
  • – OpenGovData Russia Catalog. Launched in 2010, private initiative.[11]
  • – City of Palo Alto municipal open-data website. Launched in Aug 2012.
  • – Rotterdam municipal open-data website, launched August 2012.
  • – Indonesian Government open-data website.

Hope you find this useful, if you know of any more, please feel free to ping me and let me know so I can add it on 🙂

Nick D

Free OS Open Data via WMS? Now you can…

Source: Ordnance Survey blog 26 June 2013

OS OnDemand is expanding web service access options

By , 26, June, 2013 8:00 am

Our OS OnDemand web map service delivers data over the internet directly to our customers, wherever and whenever it’s needed. We have two versions of the service, a web map service (WMS), typically for geographical information system (GIS) access and and a web map tile service (WMTS), up to now accessed only on a browser using our API.

From today, in response to a growing customer need, our WMTS has been upgraded to full OGC standard, enabling users to access via a GIS as well as web browser.

OS VectorMap Local in OS OnDemand

In addition to API access, where you add our API into your web application’s html code, WMTS now supports access for:

  • OGC WMTS tile requests
  • XYZ style tile requests

This enables customers to use existing client software (GIS or web based clients) removing the requirement to use Ordnance Survey’s API to develop web applications. It enables them to integrate the service with their existing GIS databases and programme/solutions.

We have also made improvements to our OS OnDemand WMS, with new content. Have a look at our new video to see how we can now deliver our 25 cm imagery products direct from our database into your internal business applications too.  Benefits include:

  • Reduce lengthy load times
  • Improve panning and zooming experience
  • Free up internal networks
  • Always the latest view
Watch our latest video:

Find out more:

Where is QGIS 2.0?….

For many of us in the GIS community June 8th 2013 was going to change the way we worked with spatial data, we were excited…..we were wrong….All over the internet chat was going wild as to where the latest version of QGIS had gone.

What happened?

We had been teased with offerings of an updated templating system (print composer) and some really nice touches to the GUI…so where did it go?

The day before release there was a flurry of activity on the QGIS developer network, as the developers tried to work out what to do, just days before release a flurry of over 100 bugs were found (called blockers as release cannot be commenced whilst unfixed), which, even though not severe, would flaw the expected “pure” release which was planned…..and so the release was delayed while these blockers were fixed.


Blockers sounds amazingly severe, though in many cases it is a function which may have worked in a previous version that does not work in the new version….I am guilty of sending one of these myself, where I found that the grid spacing on the print composer didn’t allow for any spacing smaller than 10pt. Very, very minor BUT it worked in 1.8 “Lisboa” and not in the 1.9.0 nightly build….

So, where does that leave us?

Understandably, everyone I speak to in the QGIS camp is VERY stressed, there is a way to go and conversation on the developers network today hinted that they were now HOPING to release before FOSS4G…as you know, this is in SEPTEMBER

Angry of proud?

Should we be angry that the promised release of the next-gen open GIS has been shelved for now or should we be proud that the developers have done something that ESRI hasn’t done in any of their releases and decided to provide users with an almost clean release?

Personally, I am proud AND glad that they have taken this decision, it gives me more faith in the software that will be released. It shows how dedicated the developers are to the quality of their product and the painstaking detail which they go through the software in preparation for release…just think, they’d rather hold off the release and get some abuse than release some “make-do” software that will sink like a duck…that takes serious guts, something ESRI and a few other software companies should look at!

My only gripe in all this is that there is no statement or new timescale for the thousands of GIS users who are now waiting….

Please note that these views are my own and I have no affiliation with either QGIS or ESRI.

Nick D

90 Great GIS Blogs to read (AFTER THIS ONE!!)

Blog  Subject  Author  Link 
All Points Blog Catching geospatial news that others miss Adena Schutzberg
AnyGeo A GISuser blog about GIS, the GeoWeb, Mobile, Social, and Location Technologies Glen Letham
arcOrama A blog about GIS Gaëtan Lavenu, Christophe Tourret
The Big Blue Thread A blog for spatial science and the environment in America’s heartland. Jeffery Robichaud and Casey Mclaughlin
Bird’s Eye View GIS blog Serving conservation and community organizations worldwide Kurt Menke
Blom-UK Blog Weekly blog by Blom-UK presenting new products, free desktop geo-backgrounds, and stories in the lives of geo-professionals. Blom-UK Software Development with a Spatial Twist Dave Bouwman
CloverPoint Blog Redefining the boundaries of traditional GIS. Multiple authors
Cartogrammar A blog about cartography Andy Woodruff
The Daily Viz A blog written by a data journalist at NPR. Matt Stiles
Depiction Blog The blog of Depiction, Inc., makers of Depiction mapping, simulation & collaboration software. Multiple authors
DGDC News GIS news of and for the state of Delaware (USA) GIS Community Mike Mahaffie
Digital Urban Modelling, visualising and communicating urban environments Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith
Digital Geography GIS, WebMapping, Open Source, E-Learning, Tutorials Multiple authors
EPC Updates Cross-cutting geospatial and related technology news focusing on the Emergency Services Sector. A weekday information service originally provided by the Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office Steve Swazee
ENTCHEV GIS Blog GIS industry news and commentary from an industry veteran Atanas Entchev
Esri Blogs A list of Esri blogs about products and solutions, developer tools, GIS communities, training and support, and events Multiple authors
Esri Insider Blog Esri visions, strategic initiatives, and trending topics Bern Szukalski, Matt Artz, Victoria Koumoujian
Esri Mapping Center Facilitates communication among GIS users about how GIS software can be used to make better maps Multiple authors – Maintained by Aileen Buckley
Esri Australia Understanding the advantages and potential applications of using GIS Multiple authors
Esri Australia Technical Blog Targeted at those who are interested in the technology aspects behind the ever-changing world of GIS Multiple authors
Exploring Local Mike Dobson of TeleMapics on Local Search and All Things Geospatial Mike Dobson
The Field Guide Most commonly the blog discusses themes surrounding Remote Sensing and GIS. The blog’s name was borrowed from the “ERDAS Field Guide,” first printed in January 1990. Paul Beaty
Floating Sheep Cyberspace. Places. Users. SMUSH! Wow! Multiple authors, founded by Dr. Matthew Zook and Dr. Mark Graham
FracTracker Combination of a blog and light-weight GIS tool to track and visualize the impacts of natural gas extraction Multiple authors, Maintained by the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities -and –
GeoBLOGtastic NorthSouth GIS New Zealand blog on GIS and GIS related thoughts, issues and developments Multiple authors from the NSG NZ team
GeoChalkboard Earth, Google Maps, Esri, Arc2Earth, and Microsoftt Bing technologies. Eric Pimpler, guest authors
GeoCurrents The people, places, and languages shaping current events Multiple Authors
GeoDesigner Exploring themes related to GeoDesign and GIS Elliot Hartley
Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes Facilitates discussion on virtual globes and related technology Josh Bader, Alan Glennon and Karl Grossner
Geolassi – Transforming Spatial Data Blog about GIS and spatial data transformation. Lassi Tani
Geo Observatory Focuses on the academic uses of geospatial technologies Andy Anderson
GeoPlanIT Geodesign, GIS, ArcGIS, CityEngine, Town Planning, Mapping, Geography, IT, 3D modelling, Opinion… Elliot Hartley
GeoRezo The french portal of geomatics Multiple authors
Geospatial Buzz Coolest buzz in the geospatial world Sentil Prakash Chinnachamy
Geospatial Talk – What is special about Geospatial This blog contains stories about the IT world, mostly pertaining to new software and hardware innovations which are related somehow to Geoinformation (GI) and the GeoWeb. joesonic
geothought Thoughts on geospatial and location technology Peter Batty
GeoTribu Documentation and tutorials about webmapping Arnaud Vandecasteele
GeoWebGuru News, technical overviews, and how-to articles concerning the geospatial web Richard Marsden
Geoxchange This blog is written by the people of Esri UK as a way of sharing what we get up to, what inspires us and how we get the most out of Esri technology Multiple editors from Esri UK
GIS and Business How GIS is used in various business applications Multiple authors
GIS and Cartography GIS cartography technique, some map art, GIS analysis, and other commentary Gretchen Peterson
GIS and Science News, resources, commentary, and interviews on the use of GIS for science. Matt Artz
GIS CAD Interoperability My ideas for GIS and CAD integration, discussion, tips and work flow suggestions Don Kuehne
GISCafe Today Coverage of the latest news and trends in GIS Industry Susan Smith
GISCovery Channel Lidt om alt og meget om GIS – A little about everything and a lot about GIS. Sik Cambon Jensen
GIS Education Community Blog Facilitates commmunication among GIS users about how GIS is being integrated and used within the field of education Multiple authors – Maintained by Joseph Kerski
GIS Lounge Information on data and applications and about GIS careers Caitlin Dempsey
GIS GPS Geodesy Bookmark Tips, links, projects, fun and discoveries about GIS,GPS,Geodesy and some dose of open-source and free GIS, GPS and geodesy softwares Melanie Abuel
GISNuts Where we’re nuts about GIS! Leslie H. Morgan, Ph.D.
GIS Obsessed Observations about various GIS and consumer mapping topics with a focus upon ESRI software, 3D GIS and GIS events in the northeast US. Mike Olkin
GISVirginia All things geospatial in the Commonwealth of Virginia VGIN
GISCircle Assorted GIS news of interest from Ahmedabad,India rajakrishna kambhampati,HFT Stuttgart & CEPT
Integrity Product Blog Product information, support, updates, and tutorials for Integrity web-based mapping software, built by Midland GIS Solutions and powered by Esri ArcGIS Server. Midland GIS Solutions
Intermap Technologies Information about 3D digital elevation data, products, and industry-specific applications Multiple Authors
It’s All About Data – Safe Software Blog The official blog of Safe Software where we share our thoughts and opinions regarding the complex world of spatial data interoperability. Dale Lutz, Don Murray, Paul Nalos, and Michael Weisman
James Fee GIS Blog Geospatial Technology, Web Mapping and Spatial Services James Fee GIS blog for web based mapping (special emphasis on oracle spatial and groovy/grails) Multiple Authors
Midland GIS Blog GIS-related tech news, GPS data collection techniques, company news and other happenings in the geospatial world. Midland GIS Solutions
MapSAR (Search and Rescue) GIS for Search and Rescue Paul Doherty GIS and Mapping for NPOs/NGOs/grassroots organizations Multiple Authors
The Marauding Carto-nerd An eclectic array of the weird and wonderful in cartography and mapping. Kenneth Field
New Jersey Geographer Specializes in geospatial data and analysis. Believes in the free exchange of ideas and advocates open source software. John Reiser
Node Dangles GIS and programming tips and information including a lot of code snippets Map Rantala
North River Geographic Systems Blog of the Life and times of North River Geographic System, inc. Conferences, Data, GIS, Open Source, and all things Spatial Randal Hale
novotX Blog GIS in Asset and Work Management for Government and Utilities Justin Gough
NSGIC News News of and for the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) Multiple Authors
O’Reilly Radar Covers many topics including geospatial Multiple Authors
Off the Map A source of information, perspectives, and dialogue on the hot issues, innovations and news of the day concerning mapping and the Web Sean Gorman
On WebGIS, Web and GIS A blog on WebGIS and GIS technology focused on WebGIS usability and management. Karolina van Schrojenstein Lantman – Orlinska
Open Source GIS Blog A blog devoted to Open Source GIS, Image Processing, Data, Analysis, and Web Publishing… Jonathan Gross
Pakistan GIS A free source of GIS/RS Data about Pakistan Khydija Wakeel and Muhammad Qadeer
Planet Geospatial A window into the world of geospatial technology Collaborative blog – Maintained by James Fee
Prioleau Advisors Strategic and M&A Advisory Services for the Location Market Marc Prioleau
Python, GIS, and stuff… A technical blog concerning Python programming and, in particular, GIS applications StacyR
Sanborn LiDAR Blog Total Geospatial Solutions Sanborn’s LiDAR team
Sean Gillies Blog About Python, the geospatial business, and the web Sean Gillies Community-driven news about everything geospatial. It also aggregates the most pertinent geospatial news from 50+ sources. A team of volunteers
Spatial 21 Spatial Information in the 21st Century Maurits van der Vlugt
SPATIALGURU Covers many topics focusing on Open Source Tyler Mitchell
Spatial Scrawl Sharing GIS, GPS and Remote Sensing knowledge. Focuses on practical tools and examples on the web Mike Morellato
Spatial Sustain Covering GIS topics with a focus on sustainability and the environment Matt Ball
TatukGIS Covers tools and tricks about TatukGIS Brian Brown
The GIS Lens News about the latest video interviews on GISCafe Sanjay Gangal
The Map Room – A Weblog About Maps Covers everything from collecting to the latest in geospatial technology from a generalist’s perspective Jonathan Crowe
Über UI/UX Design Designing map interfaces including code samples, best practices, and web design considerations. Michael Gaigg
Vector One “A spatially related blog” from V1 Magazine Jeff Thurston
VerySpatial Blog A location for the hosts and participants of A VerySpatial Podcast to link to interesting sites and articles on Geography and related information Sue, Jesse and Frank – VerySpatial, LLC.
web-gis Blog A blog about web mapping, GIS and all things spatial Chris Ewing
Geoinformação on-line The GIS market in the Portuguese speaking countries Luiz Amadeu Coutinho.
Fernando Quadro A blog about OpenSource GIS, GeoServer, PostGIS, OpenLayers, and Location Technologies Fernando Quadro
GIS-Lab Blog A blog about GIS and Remote Sensing, both proprietory and OpenSource Group
MAP THIS! A blog that creates and shares valuable geospatial content and an initiative that believes GIS technology, coupled with applied geographic knowledge, can help solve some of the most complex global problems we face today. Fun GIS community dedicated to fostering geospatial growth through education.
菩提老王的葡萄架 ArcGIS Server & Mobile GIS & Miscellaneous 菩提老王
Iranian GIS Professionals Teaching and spreading use of Spatial Data and GIS systems Amir Alavi

SeaZone Hydrospatial One free to browse!!

SeaZone’s flagship ‘HydroSpatial One’ free-to-browse at

SeaZone is proud to announce that its flagship product HydroSpatial One is now available to view free on-line from the SeaZone web-store,  Focusing on UK waters, HydroSpatial One is the original and leading “off-the-shelf” authoritative digital marine map, engineered and maintained using raw material from hydrographic offices and other agencies managing marine data.

HydroSpatial One provides the most comprehensive single source reference information for the marine environment and is designed for easy access and cost effective use in desktop and WebGIS, satisfying the majority of user needs and applications. Users can now browse this unique and comprehensive mapping data on-line to select what’s most appropriate for their area.

HydroSpatial One can be viewed and purchased either in its entirety or broken down into its six constituent topics layers;

BE – Bathymetry & Elevation, NP – Natural & Physical Features, SO – Structures & Obstructions, SE – Socio Economic & Marine Use, CE – Conservation and Environment and CO – Climate & Oceanography

Full details of HydroSpatial One and its topic layers can be found at

HydroSpatial One significantly enhances the suite of marine mapping products available on-line from the SeaZone web-store  Our worldwide products include the vector products HydroSpatial Base and HydroSpatial Global and the raster product HydroView Charts.

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Happy Birthday Ordnance Survey!!

Source Ordnance Survey June 21st 2013

We’re 220 years old today

By , 21, June, 2011 9:01 am

On this day in 1791, Ordnance Survey was born. Our arrival was marked by the payment of the princely sum £373.14s to Jesse Ramsden for a three-foot theodolite. That purchase was made at the request of the Master General, the 3rd Duke of Richmond, and is now generally accepted as the founding action of the Ordnance Survey.

Surveyors from Ordnance Survey in the mid nineteenth century.

That theodolite, and others like it, were used to map the south east coast of Britain for fear of invasion by the French, and ever since then, all the way through to the modern digital age, Ordnance Survey has played a constant role charting the changing face of the nation.

Today, to mark the anniversary, dignitaries and senior military officials from the Royal Engineers, will gather to dedicate our new War Memorial which remembers the sacrifice of the 123 Ordnance Survey staff who gave their lives during the two World Wars.

The design of the memorial echoes the iconic shape of an Ordnance Survey trig pillar.

It should be quite a spectacle.

The presence of the Royal Engineers harks back to our military origins, where that fear of invasion promoted the Board of Ordnance, the Ministry of Defence of the day, to order a  survey of the south east – hence our rather unusual name.

EastEnders 1801 – an extract of the first Ordnance Survey map printed in 1801.

The art of map making subsequently played a major role in both World Wars, with Ordnance Survey staff being dispatched to map the trenches throughout The Great War, whilst during World War II some 342 million maps were printed for use by the Allied forces.

By 1944 maps were off the presses and in the hands of men at the front within 24 hours.

So it’s a day to remember our past, but given that the ceremony is in the grounds of our new head office, it will be a unique mix of old and new.

We’ll post the best of any photos later today.