It has to be said that the O.S employ incredibly courteous, polite people. This morning The Service Delivery Manager called me back. He had done his homework and could see entirely the problems I was having.
We discussed linking my site to the O.S. 'Explore' service and both agreed that it really wasn't the best way to display a linear walk of between 12 and 24 miles a day for 103 walking days using a square of 4.2km in size. We, naturally enough then, both agreed that this disadvantage also ruled out their otherwise excellent 'Get-a-map' service for exactly the same reason. (That service is a little cracker if you are wishing to post circular walks and supplement it with pictures.)
I think what we have here is the Ordnance Survey caught in a bit of a bind. They have their terms and conditions and Crown Copyright to adhere to, but this was never written with blogs and personal walking websites in mind.
Dave told me that the O.S were in fact examining this problem (amongst a host of other commercial considerations, I am sure) when they set themselves a target of next February of re-writing their terms & conditions.
He asked me to write to him formally so that my submission can be considered in this process. I felt that this request was genuine and that the organisation really did sympathise that their current rules had caused this problem that I am now facing.
In the meantime, I was very keen to ascertain what action, if any, the O.S. were likely to take should I decide to publish my maps anyway. I wanted to know if I would be taken to court by the Ordnance Survey.
Dave answered very carefully and let me know that the O.S would have to reserve the right to protect Crown Copyright. I asked him again if this meant that they would take me to court. He would not be drawn and reiterated that the O.S had a duty to protect their copyright.
I believe that we have a decent man here working for an incredibly good organisation that is totally trapped in this untenable situation by the current rules. The ePSIplus thematic network is out there trying to ensure that all European Public Sector Information is available in a fair and reasonable fashion.
Currently the O.S. are falling way short of the required performance in making this data - the mapping - available to me in a way that is fair or reasonable.
I shall write to the Ordnance Survey as Dave has suggested in order to further the cause of sanity. I shall also be complaining using their complaints procedure, and if I get the 'straight bat' response I fear they are obliged to make, then I shall be complaining to the OPSI once more as the PSI Holder (the Ordnance Survey) will not have given me satisfaction.
It is a great shame that the guys at the O.S are put in this ridiculous situation. Where the blame for this ridiculous situation lies I do not know, but ridiculous it is. And Untenable.