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21 January 2009, 06:21

French grant OpenStreetMap access to land registry data

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According to a Nabble post from an OpenStreetMap (OSM) community member the French Minister of the Economy, and the Direction Générale des Finances publiques (DGFiP) in charge of the French cadastre have allowed the OSM project access to vectorised geo-data from the French land registry.

Unlike the UK Ordnance Survey, which operates under crown copyright, the French land registry (cadastre) allows derivative use of its data providing accreditation is observed. According to French regulations, providing the vector data, including road courses and parcel boundaries, from the cadastre Web Map Service (WMS) to OSM, constitutes a legal use of the data. In the UK there is a similar website service for the UK Land Registry who work closely with the Ordnance Survey to manage legal boundaries, since these are not shown on Ordnance Survey maps.

Appropriate vector data are available for about half of the municipalities, with accuracy deviations of less than one meter. A screen shot of an excerpt from the city of Brest gives a foretaste of the expected density of information. UK Ordnance Survey maps usually provide a greater density of information.

The project often receives support from government agencies, for example Naga City CIS in the Philippines has just released its map data. Also spatial data from the U.S. Census Bureau are now available in the free world map. Elsewhere, active members of OpenStreetMap create maps themselves, using GPS loggers and have already completed maps for Hamburg and Vienna City.


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