Proprietary Data

In recent years the Government and wider public sector have shifted their policy from controlling and monetising data, to making it free and open. This has, for instance, included the Land Registry’s massive data release earlier in the year, and prior to that TfL’s approach to creating open APIs for its transport data. Last week Ordnance Survey was the latest to release free geospatial data in the form of its OS MasterMap. This is part of a bid to make the UK ‘a world leader in location data’ under the leadership of the Geospatial Commission. The estimated benefit to the economy (£11bn) easily surpasses the benefit of charging for use. The intention is that new opportunities are opened for start-ups in the fields of 5G and autonomous vehicles, which would otherwise be at a significant data disadvantage to the large tech-cos. Opening-up geotagged public information also has the ability to significantly expedite the conveyancing process. From next month, Local Land Charges searches will start to be available instantly online. How long before all local searches go the same way?