Feeds

Cambridge boffins draw map to Free Our Data

Campaign to open up Ordnance Survey adds up

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Top boffins have given economic backing to a campaign to relax access restrictions on government-collected databases, such as the Ordnance Survey's unrivalled stash of UK mapping information.

The Department for Business, Employment and Regulatory Reform (BERR, formerly DTI) released the analysis, commissioned from a team at the University of Cambridge, last week. It refutes the oft-cited government line that allowing free access and reuse of national data assets would harm the economy.

The Free Our Data campaign has been arguing against that line for two years, and now has the sums to back up its smack talk.

In fact, 147 pages of number-crunching led to the conclusion that opening up the data vaults at the Met Office, Land Registry and a host of other agencies could benefit the economy to the tune of net £164m. The vast majority of that sum would come from the Ordnance Survey, however.

Subject to a policy review, charges for accessing and reusing reams of data should therefore be dropped, they argue. It would mean developers could freely access mapping data to create their own location-dependent apps, rather than be reliant on Google Maps, for example.

Most pleasingly, an enormous administrative bureaucracy involving government departments paying each other for access to information could be torn down.

The government argues that businesses and individuals who use the data should contribute to the cost of collecting it. The counter-argument is damning: Ordnance Survey makes a profit for the Treasury, but locking down its maps suffocates a potential boom in Geographic Information Services and other businesses, that would funnel much more back into the economy.

The full report available here (pdf) from the BERR website (caution: only suitable for differential equation fanciers).

Guardian writers Charles Arthur and Michael Cross have been banging the drum with the Free Our Data campaign since the start. You can learn more or join here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.