Derived Data – simple takes a little longer


The 1st of October, hereafter to be known as Double D Day, will be marked in the annals of the Free Our Data campaign and the those supporting Open Data and the reuse of public sector information and within local and central government and within the world of geogeekery and perhaps even at Google Towers. We now have a Derived Data policy that we can read, understand and most importantly that enables lots of data created by OS licensees to be shared, re-used and published. This may well prove to be a more significant day than Gordon’s Day (the announcement last November that some Ordnance Survey data was going to be made freely available).

Derived Data thanks to 1sock

This is good stuff and the OS should be complemented for presenting the policy in a fairly simple to understand manner. Basically if

  • you create the data independently of OS mapping (by GPS for example) the data is yours to do with as you wish
  • you infer it from OS base mapping but do not capture it from any existing features or attributes it is “free to use”
  • data created must be new and not be a proxy for existing features within an OS map.

There are some examples given to illustrate different scenarios.

So once you have created your free to use data OS say

‘… we grant you a non-exclusive, royalty free, perpetual licence to use and sub-license Intellectual Property Rights in Free to Use Data.’

Royalty free means it’s free for you to use without charge.

Perpetual licence means that you can continue to use the data you have created for ever. You don’t require an ongoing licence for the Ordnance Survey dataset from which you inferred the data (unless you intend to use it to display your data).

Sub-license means that you can make the data you have created available to others. You can do so on a commercial basis too if you wish.

‘The licence granted does not entitle you or your sub-licensees to re-create, reproduce or represent any Feature Attribution or any Feature in any Topographic Dataset (or any substitution of such Feature Attribution or Feature).’

That pretty much covers what most people will want to do.

Now of course there will be some scenarios that will still not be met by these new licenses and there will inevitably some grey areas in interpreting the guidelines but we are a long way from the situation we used to be where you could ask different people and get different opinions at least one of which would be no. This is definitely progress and the simplicity of the underlying principles should help to get widespread understanding and usage.

And that is a nice way to finish the week.