mashup the whole space

The UK Geospatial Mash-up event was really about the mashup of an industry, rather than building It seemed like the whole spectrum of commercial mapping services, web 2.0 companies, government users, public interest groups, hackers, etc were represented, and with the focus on a single nation, the discussion (ie heckling) quickly honed in on the key issues of GeoData — how to acquire, distribute, license, utilize in a way that is fair, free, efficient, democratic, timely. I’d like to see more national and regional focused geospatial events.

Many people pointed out that there’s nothing particularly new about the mashup concept of combining components in another fashion (and with luck the word mashup will start to dry up now). The new fluidity of data is what’s important, leading to a Geospatial industry in a very unstable state. So, you get the OS announcing a non-commercial, slippy map API for their Explorer Series (excellent news for countryside applications), admitting that it screen scrapes to geocode postcodes, and infringes a commercial service, and a commercial company using OpenStreetMap. What’s next?

One thing, seemed like no one could really defend the state of the postcode and address database in the UK. Contrary to the OS, the Royal Mail can’t really defend it’s licensing as cost recoup, since the point of their postcode system is to deliver mail, not to supply data. So I expect Free the Postcode to ramp up, especially with the entire New Popular Edition enlisted to help.

My presentation slides are here. As usual, I learned of a couple new GeoRSS feeds on the day, from (which uses “featuretypetag”!) and Weather Feeds from the BBC.


  1. Luistxo Fernandez said,

    October 23, 2006 @ 5:23 pm

    What was the establishment’s response to the screen-scratching geocoding admission?

    Anyway, looks that you had great fun there. I was happy to post a couple of interesting news at my Spanish blog, the Mapamovil. That lead to a couple of posts in Tecnomaps, another Spanish geo-blog.

  2. Open Knowledge Foundation Weblog » Blog Archive » Mashing up is hard to do said,

    November 2, 2006 @ 3:16 am

    […] The UK Geospatial Mashups event at the Ordnance Survey on the 20th October was a meeting of the tribes, but I found it a surprisingly business-oriented affair; Mikel Maron captured the general tone in his writeup. In the closing panel session there was much talk of business models based on the ability to “mash up” different sources of information from online services. There really seemed to be an acceptance that the open and collaborative production of data and knowledge allows for the provision of better services and creation of more value. […]

  3. Mapping Hacks » Blog Archive » Open Geodata News Mashup said,

    November 2, 2006 @ 5:22 am

    […] It was good to see old friends at the event – Mikel holding it up for GeoRSS, Raj on the stump for the new WFS-basic effort (a simplified web transfer protocol for geographic shapes), Steve showing off OpenStreetmap’s latest progress in client applications and their phenomenal mapping parties; Chris Lightfoot on the analysis prototypes done under the auspices of MySociety. […]

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