You really would think this was an April fools day thing but apparently it really isn't.

Ordnance Survey is the UK mapping agency originally for the ministry of defence but went more commercial providing maps for the UK to unprecedented detail and accuracy. They have been under pressure for many years to release their data free like the US gov agencies do being paid by the tax payer. So far we subsidize this company and they get crown copyright on all the maps and then we have to buy that data again when you want it. But today thats changing.

Though servers are down today due to excessive load, maintenance and that they are probably serving this from a ZX81 running Apache in basic... still it looks like when the heat is off this could be incredible. Since google can do it I think their data is a lot less valuable now. There has been a UK wide GPS users group collecting up maps of every road to the point that it is quite filled out as well. Oh and our gov has about 6 weeks left in office and there is no point in giving the next one any revenue streams...

Post codes are also going to be released free too which is hardly surprising since a) people have been hammering on about them for years as its a business critical database and b) they managed to accidentally release all the codes to coords a few months back in any case and they have been doing the torrents ever since.

So this might break open a huge quantity of dev work based on that data and is a really big deal.