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STICK IT TO THE MAN - STICK IT IN THE MAP

WEBWATCH

There's that oh-so-familiar business model which dupes the punter into paying lots and lots for the product. Then, when the punter wants to use the product, it charges them again. You might think I'm referring to Microsoft, but no - this time it's the Ordnance Survey. As you'll discover if you haven't paid a royalty for that map on your website, it's now owned by a company with ambitions to become 'content provider of choice for location-based information in the new information economy.' PR-speak of such poor quality is customarily the prelude to ogging off a national resource at a submarket price to a company which will eventually employ the Whitehall jobsworth who arranged the sale.

But all is not lost. Every weekend groups of Ordnance Survey cloners go out armed with Global Positioning System (GPS) handsets. They map their local streets using the GPS' residual trail, adding reviews of pubs, loos and the like. Then they feed the data in at www. openstreetmap.org. So here's the thing. Send your entire office out to localities where you've built your latest magnum opuses.

And just by chance their feeds into the national Open Street Map will include rave reviews of your buildings.

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