Public access to Ordnance Survey and IGN maps

Ordnance Survey (the UK mapping agency) as well as IGN (the french pendant) opened their topographic maps to the public. The two services called OS OpenSpace and API Geoportail allow for integration of high-quality up-to-date topographic maps of the UK and France into private web-sites.

This integration is in both cases based on modified versions of OpenLayers which use an authenticated WMS layer (a registration key has to be used to validate the access from a specific location) as base images. Therefore it is quite easy to build special OS and GP layers to integrate these public services into standard OpenLayers projects.

For the OpenSpace layer have a look at an example of OS integration or OpenLayers sandbox.

I have implemented an IGN Geoportail layer for OpenLayers, to be downloaded here. At the moment only the maps for the french main land are included and no satellite photos. A new new layer is created by

var layer = new OpenLayers.Layer.Geoportail( "Geoportail Main Land", key );

where key contains the API key for the web page you want to access the API from. The key is transmitted on a regular basis to ensure that subsequent requests are all authenticated.