Has the Ordnance Survey CTO left over Web 2.0?

Following up from our recent story about how the data strangelhold on mapping is being attacked by projects like OpenStreetMaps, it’s now emerged that the influential CTO of Ordnance Survey, Ed Parsons, has announced he’s leaving on his blog, in what appears to be a joint statement with the organisation.

There is the obligatory “We wish Ed every success…” from Vanessa Lawrence, Ordnance Survey’s Director General and Chief Executive and Parsons adds:

“I am not is a position to add any more to this statement, but of course I am sorry to be leaving a great group of very committed GI professionals, the future for me is not completely clear at this point – but whatever it turns out to be, you will read it here as it happens !!”

The statement does not make clear why he is leaving, but we gather from sources that it may have been because he was interested in rocking the boat at Ordnance Survey, especially over its Web 1.0 attitude to sharing data with outside firms, and his declared interest in the free data debate.

Furthermore, why might this be correct? He is not going to another firm, just plain leaving. And there’s a hint there in that he actually has a blog, unlike the outfit he is leaving.

As the Guardian’s Free Our Data blog says:

“We found him an interesting person who was certainly prepared to engage in the debate about free data and constantly looked for what the future holds in mapping. Who will succeed him, and will they bring that same drive to OS?”

Who indeed…. And which Internet company is planning to snap up this guru of mapping who would surely be a catch for Google or Yahoo! Maps right now…