On towards OSMA2

Sorry, it has been a little while since my last update and there are quite a lot of things going on that may be of interest, so here’s a bit of a canter (sorry, just trying to keep things topical) through the highlights.  Keeping Scott Adams at the back of my mind of course “Be careful that what you write does not offend anybody or cause problems... The safest approach is to remove all useful information”

The OSMA renegotiation with Ordnance Survey is in full flight with several meeting and lots of email exchanges taking place between those involved.    Hopefully there will be an agreement on products and price by the end of this month and work is going on to determine how to apportion the OSMA fees amongst the membership.  The new part of OSMA being worked on is a formal Memorandum of Understanding between the Ordnance Survey and OSMA members.  This will outline the details of how it is planned to work collaboratively over the next ten years to maximise the benefits that the agreement is expected to deliver.  All involved are confident that the agreement will be in place by the end of March.

One of the collaborative projects that will be covered in the OSMA MOU will involve developing a public sector addressing solution.  The word solution is carefully chosen as what is planned, is to work with Ordnance Survey to look at ways to deploy address information within OSMA and PSMA in a way which meets the business requirements of agreement members. 

I have learned a lot recently about addressing product implementation from discussions with ICT technical managers who are responsible for business systems generally have never been exposed to the mystique of BS7666 and, to put it bluntly, think that it is all hugely over-complicated.  As Albert Einstein said “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction”,  although he certainly wasn’t aware of BS 7666 when he said it.  As one of those involved in drafting it, it is perhaps unkind to suggest that even if Einstein was aware of BS 7666, he probably wouldn’t have understood it!  In all seriousness addressing has to simple and correct, and if the complexity is required to maintain its integrity, this must be hidden from the customer.

Of course this brings us round to licensing and OpenData for addressing.  I have spent today eagerly awaiting an announcement about a proposed public sector licence, (hence the horse references as Twitter has a surfeit of them today), but nothing has appeared yet.  Hopefully, next week maybe?

The Open Data User Group lobbying continues.  If you wish to follow what is going on, follow Heather Savory’s blog  (Heather is Chair of ODUG) http://data.gov.uk/blog/odug-progress-on-a-national-address-dataset was one of  her most recent blogs.

Will try harder to update more often!

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