The Guardian has a good article on the DCLG announcement that the NIMSA will end in December. Basically no subsidy to OS for surveying the big unpopulated areas of the country. Worth a read.

Interesting how the Free Our Data folk have now started to realise the potential (unintended) consequences of their campaign. Look forward to hearing how the “innovative commercial sector” will come up with a way to keep these areas mapped for nothing.

From the Guardian article

Ordnance Survey said that it would continue to provide some Nimsa-funded services including supplying emergency maps for floods and other contingencies, and coastal mapping.

“We have accepted that we will continue to do these things in the national interest despite the extra cost burden,” it said in a statement.

Commercial providers of geographical information have long been critical of the subsidy. Last year’s consultation report cites “concern over the potential for cross-subsidy of commercial activities”.

Michael Nicholson, chief executive of Intelligent Addressing, which earlier this year had a complaint against Ordnance Survey’s competitive behaviour upheld by the Office of Public Sector Information (, said: “It seems surprising that they can be so sanguine about losing this money if they needed it so badly.”

It does seem that poor old OS are damned whatever they do or say at the moment