Following the news that Ordnance Survey has released their map data, we’ll be watching with interest to see how they compare with the omnipresent Google Maps.
Google Maps have been open-source from the beginning, meaning that they have been ‘mashed up’ and used in online projects from the sublime to the ridiculous. Council websites use them to show where their public loos are situated; holiday rentals websites can show local attractions and amenities; one enterprising soul is also mapping the cost of a Cadbury Twirl in shops across London. In short, there are few projects which cannot be illustrated with one of Google’s familiar rectangles of cartography, small or large scale, satellite or street view.
Ordnance Survey, which held out against unauthorized usage of its data for so long, has a long way to catch up. However, they are still the best-known name in mapping, in this country at least, and that notoriety will stand them in good stead.
At the end of the day, it will be about how easy the data is to use, and how the end results compare with a Google map. One thing is for sure – it’s always good to have more than one option.