Open Data


The next PSMA may reshape Ordnance Survey 3

This advert recruiting for a “Head of Public Sector Mapping & Addressing Agreements Team” reminded me that the current Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA for OS geeks and followers) is coming up for renegotiation with a deadline of end 2017 (presumably the new renegotiated agreement will come into effect on 1st April 2018). This a 2 year contract at a fairly senior level: We are looking for someone with strong commercials skills and ideally experience […]


Long walk to open data 1

Excuse the corny link to Nelson Mandela’s autobiography but this morning it feels as if we are on a pretty long walk to the nirvana of open data and that we are going to need the patience and determination of Nelson to get there. Last week my friend Giusseppe Sollazzo published a report “Open data in the health sector – Users, stories, products and recommendations“. Giusseppe suggested that I might be somewhat critical of his report @StevenFeldman looking forward […]


Stretching FoI beyond a reasonable use case? 8

“The Freedom of Information Act is a good thing” – sounds like a reasonable statement that would attract a lot of support from many who read this blog or who live in the open data, open source, open whatever communities. In line with my position on the cost/benefit of Open Data, I have occasionally wondered whether some people/organisations are ‘taking the mick’ with their FoI requests. The act applies to all and any requests regardless of the […]


Child Poverty in London 17

This is another post about making maps from OpenData. I am trying to learn more geeky stuff rather than my usual blathering about the map and data business, things open and stuff, so I am playing with PostGIS, QGIS, taking some tentative steps into CSS and JavaScript and generally having lots of fun. But hey, you can burn a lot of time wrangling data and making maps. A week ago I saw this tweet Mapping […]


Why OS refuses an exemption request

A few weeks ago I wrote about Ordnance Survey’s response to my FoI request regarding data exemptions and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the high proportion of requests that were granted. The FoI response left a gap as far as I was concerned so I asked a follow up question “You state that refusals were because OS “considered the risk of release of the dataset, to OS or our partners, outweighed the positive […]


A tale of two datasets 2

This is a tale of two datasets – an open data set and a free dataset. Last Tuesday at GeoMob, Anna Powell-Smith gave an absolutely brilliant talk about the work that she had done with Private Eye to uncover the extent of foreign company ownership of UK property. It wasn’t straight forward as the Land registry seems to be reluctant to make the data available (there is a lot more than raw Land Registry data in […]