On 30 September 2010 the UK Government launched a new, more open licence under which people can use government information and data. The new Open Government Licence allows anyone - businesses, individuals, charities and community groups - to re-use public sector information without having to pay or get permission. It is a simple way for everyone to benefit from the increasing amount of government information published as part of the Prime Minister's Transparency agenda.
An open data license gives data users a head start. It tells them what the data is about and how to get hold of it. It shares information like availability, privacy, and licensing so they can decide how much to rely on it.
The Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) is a centrally-funded agreement which the Department for Communities and Local Government has entered into with Ordnance Survey to provide the public sector in England and Wales with access to core geographic data from Ordnance Survey under consistent licensing terms. As part of this sharing of data, the PSMA allows members to share data free of charge to contractors. This is to enable contractors to carry out a specific piece of work on their behalf: whether it is submitting a return to them, or carrying out a piece of analysis for the member, but you must sign a licence to receive this data.
This contractor licence enables a contractor to be given base mapping data supplied to the member by Ordnance Survey and any derived data the member organisation has created from that base mapping data. The licence will be provided to the contractor by the member who is supplying the data.
European Directive 2007/2/EC is known as 'INSPIRE'. INSPIRE establishes an infrastructure for spatial information in the European Union and it was transposed into UK law in December 2009.
The aim of INSPIRE is to facilitate better environmental policy across the EU. This will be achieved by:
Under INSPIRE Member States must make available in a consistent format spatial datasets which come within the scope of the Directive and also create network services for accessing the datasets. Datasets in scope of INSPIRE are ones which come under one or more of the 34 environmental themes set out in the Directive Annexes. Milestones are set for when metadata, data, and network services for datasets in each Annex are to be available. Technical Implementing Rules have subsequently been made by the EC to support implementation of INSPIRE.
The INSPIRE Directive will be delivered in 2 phases.