[OSGeo-UK] UK postcode database

Joanne Cook j.cook at oxfordarch.co.uk
Mon Sep 21 12:41:54 EDT 2009

Now this brings up an interesting dilemma- thanks to John for starting it off!

On one hand, the UK chapter has a policy of only supporting and documenting data that is legally freely available, and I think we'd be unwilling to include anything from wikileaks in that list. However, it's incredibly useful data that's hard to obtain from any other source, and as someone said recently, perhaps even about the same leak- you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. I hope that this disclosure leads to a better and more open system in future.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Larcombe" <andrew at andrewlarcombe.co.uk>
To: "osgeo-uk" <uk at lists.osgeo.org>
Sent: Monday, 21 September, 2009 17:03:39 GMT +00:00 GMT Britain, Ireland, Portugal
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-UK] UK postcode database

On 21 Sep 2009, at 16:40, Barry Rowlingson wrote:

> On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 3:55 PM, John A Stevenson
> <john.stevenson at manchester.ac.uk> wrote:
>> The UK postcode database has been posted on Wikileaks.
>> Now, just like a TomTom(TM) or GoogleEarth(TM), you too can find  
>> the lat-lon
>> of any address in the UK.
>> http://wikileaks.org/wiki/ 
>> UK_government_database_of_all_1,841,177_post_codes_together_with_prec 
>> ise_geographic_coordinates_and_other_information,_8_Jul_2009
>  What's the difference between that and:
>  "A torrent file of MS Office has been put on www.thepiratebay.org,
> now you too can write documents and make spreadsheets"
>  Whatever we may think of open government and open data, I think the
> postcode database is still copyright material and distribution via
> wikileaks or any other mechanism is surely legally dubious.

Your analogy doesn't quite hold up as there are many ways to create  
documents and spreadsheets, but only one source of data for postcodes.

It is still copyright though etc...



Andrew Larcombe
Freelance Geospatial, Database & Web Programming

UK mailing list
UK at lists.osgeo.org

Joanne Cook
Senior IT Support and Development
Oxford Archaeology (North)
01524 880212

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