Peter Batty: The grass is always greener … in defence of the Ordnance Survey


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  • Nobody would argue with that, surely? Especially here? Well, it’s not as simple as it might seem ...
  • Free speech and free data, but not free beer sadly :(
  • I don’t know how closely you all follow the US election, but this was widely considered a turning point in the campaign ... I’m joking of course, but the point is that we can’t imagine a politician advocating raising taxes or cutting funding on schools to do better mapping
  • USGS doesn’t have the resources to create large scale maps, small scale maps are generally 10+ years out of date Utilities, telcos, local governments all do their own base mapping - huge duplication of effort. Made worse because of major inconsistencies in data between agencies
  • This is an example of a USGS topo map
  • Bottom line is that geodata creation is expensive using traditional methods, no easy way around that
  • Peter Batty: The grass is always greener … in defence of the Ordnance Survey

    1. 1. The grass is always greener … in defence of the Peter Batty Additional rules: 3 Shakespeare quotations Ordnance Survey
    2. 2. Everyone’s favorite punchbag A portion of this slide is © Crown copyright 2006 “ O most pernicious woman!O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!” Hamlet
    3. 3. “ Our taxes fund the collection of public data - yet we have to pay again to access it. [Make] it freely available to stimulate innovation” The Guardian “Free Our Data” web site “ Why, sir, I pray, are the streets not as free for me as for you?” Steve Coast, OpenStreetMap Tranio, Taming of the Shrew
    4. 4. sadly it’s not that simple ... Taxes only pay half of the costs Costs are ongoing, not one off Many competing priorities for tax money All geodata is not equal Commercial companies can profit
    5. 5. How the devil Luxury, with his fat rump and potato finger, tickles these together! Fry, lechery, fry! Thersites, Troilus and Cressida
    6. 6. Land of the Free “ For mine own part, I breathe free breath.” Armado, Love’s Labour’s Lost
    7. 7. I think we should raise taxes or cut spending on schools to do better mapping
    8. 8. Slide courtesy Larry Moore, from Briefing to the USGS State Partnerships Meeting
    9. 9. USGS Topo Map Missing Pepsi Center (Built 10 years ago)
    10. 10. TIGER data US Census Bureau
    11. 11. The US situation No large scale “national map” Utilities and local governments map themselves Most cities are mapped many times Significant map inconsistencies
    12. 12. National Mapping Agencies Cost Product Good product but expensive Free or cheap but product lacking We want to be here ...
    13. 13. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence
    14. 14.
    15. 15. “ Free” (taxpayers foot the whole bill) is not the right answer Elements of a solution Reducing costs is key – sensors and crowdsourcing This presentation is too short to explain the entire solution  !