Memorandum by Kingswood MapMechanics (OS
Kingswood MapMechanics markets mapping in electronic
form to organisations mainly in the private sector business market.
Our portfolio includes mapping from a number of different map
publishers including Ordnance Survey. We publish a 64 page catalogue
of map data products and have been selling map data since 1991.
Applications include use on single PC's, corporate networks, extranets
and Internet use. Data is also used to produce specialist paper
maps. Applications in vehicle tracking are a key part of our business.
We are an Ordnance Survey partner and the value we add is in helping
organisations understand and choose between different map options,
processing the data to meet their requirements and providing technical
support in their specific use of the data.
We take this opportunity to draw the following
to the attention of the Inquiry:
(a) Ordnance Survey has been inconsistent
in those markets it wishes to serve directly and those which it
seeks to supply through the channel. It has now created a situation
where in certain circumstances it is more cost effective for potential
customer to buy direct from Ordnance Survey than through its partner
(b) In some markets, including vehicle tracking,
Ordnance Survey has priced its data such that it is too highly
priced for the industry that requires it.
(c) The frequent changing of prices both
up and down, and changes in the policy about what its partners
can and cannot do and what margin it receives on products sold
makes it challenging to promote and supply OS products as effectively
as we would wish.
(d) We had understood that Ordnance Survey
was going to concentrate on the core mapping and leave its partners
to create "value added products". However, an example
of Ordnance Survey having gone counter to this in creating Internet
Street Mapping which is a derived product from other OS products
ie not a core product. We would not have expected this given the
understanding that it was not going to compete with its partners
and it would make us hesitant to create any new derived products
ourselves for fear that Ordnance Survey might at anytime enter
a market which we had created.
(e) We are aware of great inconsistency of
paper royalty charges and the ability to printout information
at a reasonable cost is key for many organisations.