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September 29th, 2008
Ordnance Survey Promotes 3rd Sector Use of Geographic Information Systems

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PR — Ordnance Survey
is launching a campaign to raise awareness among third sector
organisations of their ability to gain access to mapping data as
contractors to government.
They
include voluntary and community groups, charities and cooperatives
contracting with public‑sector bodies to deliver government policy on
issues such as social cohesion and sustainable communities.

“The third sector has an increasing responsibility in helping to
implement and add value to public‑sector policy,” says Ordnance
Survey’s Director General and Chief Executive, Vanessa Lawrence. “As so
many parts of government are already licensees of our information, we
wish to ensure third sector organisations are aware that they can also
use our data under existing licences where they are contractors to the
public sector. Our information can play a key role in supporting
activities and work packages delivered under contract to government.”

As the national mapping agency, Ordnance Survey produces maps and data
used pervasively by hundreds of local authorities and
central-government organisations delivering essential frontline
services.

Its field surveyors throughout Britain work to a consistent data
capture and maintenance regime, underpinning national standards, data
sharing and the joining up of government activities. In excess of 5 000
changes are made to the master map of Great Britain every day,
reflecting the changing landscape.

Government bodies have access to a wide portfolio of Ordnance Survey
information through two collective purchasing agreements. Products
include highly detailed topographic, address and road network data. Any
third sector organisation undertaking work for an existing licensee can
also access and use the data.

Due to the increasingly important role the third sector plays in both
society and the economy, the Office of the Third Sector was formed in
2006 and placed at the centre of government in the Cabinet Office. The
Office of the Third Sector is developing an environment that enables
the third sector to thrive, growing in its contribution to Britain’s
society, economy and environment; through enabling campaigning and
empowerment, strengthening communities, transforming public services
and enabling social enterprises.

"We welcome this very positive move by Ordnance Survey,” says Campbell
Robb, Director General of the Office of the Third Sector. “There is a wealth
of information here which the sector could access. We would encourage
all third sector organisations to think about how they could use the
data that Ordnance Survey provides to help them improve their services
to users both locally and nationally.”

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