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Old 11-01-2010, 10:23   #1
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USA, Free Charts - UK, Zilch

Our American cousins have got it made!
The NOAA in the USA provide free coastal navigation charts, taking the view that since the production of data for these charts was funded by taxpayers money, they should be open to public use. It seems a shame that there is not a vociferous lobby in the UK to demand that Admiralty chart information should be in the public domain. The Americans grasped the nettle of "freedom of information" and the UK pays lip service to a watered down form. Why do we have to pay hundreds of pounds for paper or software charts when we have already paid for their introduction. It is just as well that the USA owns GPS satellites otherwise we should all be paying a huge tax on our satnav usage.
Sorry about the rant but there are free open source navigation programmes available so I see no reason that we should not have open source map data. The only light on the horizon for yachtsmen seems to be Google Earth/Maps which could well expand into the replacement for all this charting software, There is already an open source worldwide coastal navigation programme in existance based on Google Maps which may be the way forward.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:29   #2
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I seam to agree that Google Earth is the next gen in Navigation.

I also agree that the Admiralty charts should be free to you because it was your tax dollars/pounds that paid the Gov to get the charts.

Dutch
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:34   #3
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Hear, hear!
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:01   #4
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There are enough people out there who have the charts on computer, so why not offer someone a few quid to rip a copy?
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:08   #5
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Fr charts

Thanks for your comments, what Anjou says is a good point but why should one be made to feel like a black marketeer when it's the Govt. doing the rip off.
I'm not too IT literate but I would like to try and set up a petition to see just how many people feel the same way.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:12   #6
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You will find alot of people feel the same.



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Old 12-01-2010, 02:47   #7
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free charts

Found this on the web regarding OS maps. Note the bit at the end saying OS staff not keen on openness(surprise, surprise):-

"The government has said that it will "explore ways" of making the Ordnance Survey's maps of the UK freely available on the web from April 2010. Gordon Brown announced the change at an event also attended by web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee who is now the UK's information tsar, advising on the handing over of private government data to the public.

The government has apparently been impressed by the successes of handing over crime data to the public, which has led to various user-created maps that help citizens assess the safety of particular areas.

In the new year, Brown has promised to fully publish 2000 sets of data. That could include all legislation, as well as road-traffic data over the past 8 years, property prices yield, and motoring offences with types of offence and the numbers, by county, for the top six offences.

Previously mapping data was available, but only to companies who wanted to pay a fee of £5000 per usage. When that price is combined with the ease-of-access of the Web, it makes any internet application employing the maps prohibitively expensive.

However, Ordnance Survey staff aren't happy. They said, earlier in the year, that moving to a free model would cost the UK between £500m and £1bn over the next 5 years. A treasury study put the price at more like £12m, with a net gain of £156m to the UK economy. The staff said that Brown's move was in "complete contradiction with the OS's own plans to explore commercial opportunities and find new ways of raising revenue".

Still, given that many believe that Brown will be exiting Downing Street at the next election, what does he have to lose? Especially as the Conservatives support the data-sharing initiative, too."
Maybe Tim Burners-Lee the "Information Tsar" (Where do they dredge up these ludicrous "jobs for the boys" titles) should be tasked with doing the same thing with the MoD who have the stranglehold on maritime mapping information.
I'm afraid I'll still believe it when I see it.
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