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Web 0.1: Ordnance Survey / UK govt

I think it is a fantastic and wonderful thing that the complete, detailed, maps of the UK are now free for all commercial and non-commercial use. This is a long way ahead of any other country – these maps are many times more detailed and accurate than e.g. the Google Maps / Yahoo Maps / Streetmap datasets.

(PS: these days, the excellent OpenStreetMap (which works in every country – and I wanted to name-check here for anyone who isn’t aware of it already) has advanced so much that it’s seriously encroaching on the OS … why did we have to wait until the OS was heading towards obsolescence before making it free? Sigh)

(it’s just a pity it took so many years to reach this point, when e.g. in the USA, NASA has been making their content public domain for decades. All those high-res photos of space, nebulas, planets, etc – all free. For everyone)

But … it’s a pity they couldn’t find competent web-developers for their site http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/:

Apart from the “I’m too lazy to write a web form properly” bug there, it also begs the question:

Why, in 2011, are you forcing people to use *EMAIL* to get a download link, instead of just downloading direct from the website?

I can think of a few possible explanations, but they all have simple solutions. So … I guess they’re all wrong. Otherwise, why hasn’t the OS done any of them :) ?

(oh, BTW: Ordnance Survey folks, you might want to run through your email-marketing database, and prune out any accounts you just created for: *you*are*incompetent*@*.com . Your crappy web-form not only failed to accept legal addresses, but it happily accepted email addresses that were blatantly fake)

And so … we have another Web 0.1 award :).

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