Interesting issue that I guess I should have picked up on before, since I’ll usually jump onto any bandwagon that means justice and value for the ordinary citizen, but The Guardian are running a campaign to make public-funded information freely available. The Free Our Data campaign by the newspaper’s technology supplement is calling for government data held by taxpayer-funded public bodies such as the Ordnance Survey (OS) to be made available to companies and members of the public without charge.
Chris Hancox (wonder if this is the CH that once worked for the Cabinet Office) has revealed that British citizens pay repeatedly for the same OS data when applying for planning permission. He has revealed how local gov bodies pay for OS map information as part of planning applications, with planning authorities paying again for similar OS map data. In all, eight different payments are made to the OS, according to Chris. There has been little response so far from the government (no surprise there then!).
Worth keeping an eye on this one methinks – check out Freeourdata