You can share OS data with other organisations who have their own licence for the same OS data you are wanting to share and for the same geographic area. Depending on the use of the data involved, the recipient may have to enhance their existing OS licence.
Before sharing OS data with others, you should consider the following to make sure you do so in the most appropriate way:
- What type of data are you are sharing? For example, is the data covered by the Member Licence, another OS licence, or the Open Government Licence (OGL).
- Who are you sharing the data with? For example, inside your own organisation, with one of your external contractors, or someone else.
- Do you need to give a licence to whoever you are sharing with so they are fully aware of any limitations on their use? For example, an End User Licence or a Contractor Licence. Does sharing the data support the delivery of your core business?
- Are you sharing just the right amount of data required to support your activity?
- Have you applied the appropriate End User Licence terms and protections to ensure that any recipient is fully aware of any limitations of use?
Sharing data with others
Other public sector members
When you are both members of the same public sector mapping agreement (PSMA or OSMA), you don't need any additional conditions. This is because as members you are expected to ensure the use does not go beyond the terms of the Member Licence.
Public sector joint initiatives
When you are both members of different public sector mapping agreements you can share OS data in some situations.
You can share data if you are a PSMA member wanting to support specific cross-border initiatives or projects with an OSMA member, or vice versa.
However, there are a couple of actions you will need to take if you are a PSMA member sharing data from England or Wales with an OSMA member:
- You will need to ensure that the OSMA member is already licensed for the same dataset(s).
- You will need to keep records and, if asked for by OS, provide written confirmation of all joint initiatives where you have shared OS data with an OSMA member.
There is one small exception and that’s when you are sharing data inside the 2km buffer on the English side of the Scottish border. In this case you don't need any additional conditions because the OSMA Member Licence area covers that overlap.
Infrastructure or utility companies
You should establish in writing and in advance whether the organisation you are going to share OS data products with is licensed for the product(s) and for the area you intend to share. If this is confirmed then you may share each other’s relevant data and information.
The use of shared data will be governed by the terms of the recipient’s licence, for example:
- Where you are the recipient, you can use data shared with you under the public sector use terms of your licence.
- Where a utility company is the recipient, they can use the data you share with them under the business use terms of their licence.
You can still share data to support your core business with other organisations if your check-in-advance shows the geographic area is different to the one you want to share. In such cases, you should use the End User Licence.
In both scenarios, you have to meet your other obligations as a member.
Other OS licensees
You can share data to support your core business You should establish in writing and in advance whether the organisation you are going to share OS data products with is licensed for the product(s) and for the area you intend to share.
If this is confirmed, you should use the End User Licence in cases where the organisation you’re sharing with
- Either has a licence direct from OS covering business use.
- Or has a licence from an OS Partner covering business use.
You can share data with an OS Partner to deliver your core business (including responding to Freedom of Information and other information requests) provided that:
- The Partner is already licensed under a Framework Contract (Partners) with us for the same data and area.
- In respect of the intellectual property rights (IPR) you have in your derived licensed data, no additional limitations of use should be added by you.
- With the exception of a one-off up-front administration charge, you must not make any other charge for licensing or other fees in respect of your IPR in the derived licensed data.
- Both you and the Partner must agree that supply of the licensed data is not a competing or commercial activity.
For further details please refer to clause 10 of your Member Licence.
Data sharing scenarios
Note, if you are using addressing data before sharing with a third party, you must ensure that you are not going beyond the terms of the Royal Mail PAF licence you are using.
Local Education Authority (LEA) schools
Local Education Authority (LEA) schools are regarded as being a department of their parent local authority. This means they are covered by the Member Licence and have the same data sharing rights and entitlements as other parts or departments of that authority.
Non-LEA schools, which includes independent, free, academy and private schools, do not have the same rights as LEA schools. As these schools are not regarded as being a department of the local education authority. You can still supply them with the necessary information to support your core business requirements under an End User Licence as appropriate.
Please note you will need to maintain records of the data provided and to whom except when the INSPIRE End User Licence is used.
See additional licensing arrangements for education.
- All schools, including higher education authorities, can take advantage of these additional licensing arrangements:
- LEA’s and Non-LEA’s can access OS mapping for educational purposes only through the Digimaps for Schools service.
- For individual school project work, you can share data that supports the delivery of your core business under an End User Licence.
- Higher education authorities can also gain access where they are working as a contractor.
Public libraries are regarded as being a department of their local authority, so have the same data sharing rights as other departments.
A public library can also share information under their rights of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Sharing with other libraries will depend on the organisation they are situated within and what OS licence they have. If they don't have a licence, you can still provide them with information, but it will have to be in support of your core business and the data will have to be accompanied by an appropriate End User Licence.
In an emergency
The emergency services are already public sector members, so have the same data sharing rights as others.
There is a wide range other land and maritime based emergency services who provide vital search and rescue support. These services can be treated as acting as a contractor to an public sector member to access this data.
However, it is also recognised that in an emergency situation (for example, an unforeseen act or event that is beyond the member's reasonable control), others are likely to be involved in helping the member to respond quickly.
On these occasions, you can provide relevant coverage of licensed data to those supporting you during the period of the emergency. Please note that there are some conditions attached to any supply to organisations that are not already licensed for their business use for the data you have provided:
- You need to have informed them that they are only entitled to use the data you have provided for the duration of the event that you are leading on; and that you will be informing us.
- Then, if they don't confirm that they are destroying or returning the data to you after the event, you will provide OS with your reasonable endeavours to ensure that an appropriate resolution is found.
Ordnance Survey also provides a Mapping for Emergencies response service for emergency situations.
You can supply mapping to a Member of Parliament (MP) or a Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) or councillor in the same way as you can to any other person or organisation. This means that the supply of any mapping data can only take place in support of your core business activity.
Councillors are regarded as being a part of the council when they are engaged in that council’s activities. As such, they are covered by that council’s Member Licence. Similarly, if needed, MPs can access OS mapping through the House of Commons library and MSP from Scottish Government's library.
However, if the intended use of the data to form part of that MP's or councillor's election campaign activity, they must obtain their own mapping for that purpose via:
A community group or organisation
How you supply a community group or organisation them will depend on their circumstances, it will also depend on whether the data circumstances and how the activity is directly supporting the delivery of your core business. There are a number of options:
- If you already publish the information, following our guidance, you can simply point them to it (including information that meets INSPIRE obligations).If your data is not already available, you can share information that supports the delivery of your core business. This is possible with an End User Licence. This includes responding to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations requests, planning queries, other statutory requests for information.
- They could work with you as a contractor.
- It could be in support of the localism agenda and neighbourhood planning (see below).
How you share data with a supply the neighbourhood planning group will depend on their circumstances. You will also need to consider and how the activity is directly supports ting the delivery of your core business as a public service business. For instance:
- You can share data with other public sector members Member to member data sharing (for example, with a parish council who have signed up which is also signed up to the Member Licence).
- If the group is a contractor, data can be shared with a contractor licence.
- If you already publish the information in line with our publishing guidance. You already publish the information they need so you can point them to that (including for meeting INSPIRE obligations). For more guidance see our publishing your information section. Note: this includes the provision of information as meeting part of your INSPIRE obligations.
- Share the necessary information that supports the delivery of your core business under an End User Licence.
Since April 2012, local communities have been able to produce neighbourhood plans for their local area. These help put in place planning policies for the future development and growth (including associated social, economic and environmental issues) of that neighbourhood.
Where there is a town, parish or community council – that is the qualifying body for leading on a neighbourhood plan in a designated area of their council area.
Although the local council may form a committee to create the plan, that committee is not eligible to join an agreement in their own right – the licence (or, if not already a member, a membership application) needs to be in the name of the town or parish council. See if your town or parish council is a member.
Where there is no parish or town council, then a neighbourhood forum has to be formed; and be approved by the local authority.
These neighbourhood forums are not eligible to join the public sector agreements but can be provided with mapping data by a relevant member to support the process. How you supply them will depend on how the activity is directly supporting your core business.
In both scenarios, once the neighbourhood area is designated by the local planning authority, that authority is then legally required to provide advice and assistance to those bodies producing a neighbourhood plan.
This depends on their circumstance, as well as their circumstances and how the activity is directly supporting the delivery of your core business – mainly the provision of public services.
- If you already publish the the information following our guidance, you can simply point them to it (including information that meets INSPIRE obligations).
- If your data is it not already available, you can share supply them with the necessary information that supports the delivery of your core business. This is possible with an End User Licence.
These options also apply if you are responding to an enquiry. For instance, responding to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations requests, planning queries and other statutory requests for information, or if you are helping community groups.