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Licensing FAQs

How do I renew (or obtain) a paper map copying licence?

If you need to renew an existing paper map copying licence, please go straight to our renewal form.

If you would need a licence for copying paper maps, you may apply online.

Need more information:

Our page on the terms and conditions that are involved in any copying, publishing or the licence arrangements for working with Ordnance Survey maps may have the answers.

Can you help me decide which licence I will need to have for my use of Ordnance Survey data?

Please use our licence selector tool which asks a series of questions about how you will use our data, giving you a recommendation on the licence you will need for this activity.

Where can I find out about the different types of licences you offer?

To find out more about the individual licences, we can provide you with an overview. From the overview, you can choose which licence you want to examine in more detail.

What are the terms for 'free to use data'?

Free to use data is data you create, based upon data that you have licensed from Ordnance Survey, for your business use, this is known as derived data.

In short, it is data that is created by you:

  • using a Topographic Dataset as a source to infer the position of the data you create; or
  • which copies in part a feature (copying in part meaning where the data created partially coincides with a feature in the source Topographic Dataset).

However, your data must not be a substitute for or replicate features or feature attribution in our topographic data and must only infer the position of a new feature. We have a list of full criteria to help you decide.

Do you claim intellectual property rights for data that has been created independently, but used with your data?

We do not claim intellectual property rights (IPR) for data that has been created independently and then used with our own data.

NOTE: If Ordnance Survey licensed data is used as a backdrop, an appropriate licence is still required.

If you are still unsure what the use of independently sourced data with Ordnance Survey data is, we have some working examples which may help.

I want to put mapping on a website, with no advertising or financial gain. What licence do I need?

A Paper Map Copying Licence allows the unlimited copying of our mapping for business use and also allows mapping to be placed on your website, provided the mapping explains and supports the business activities. You can use the online application form to apply for this licence.

The mapping must have some kind of overlay, for example, a map extract showing the location of your office with an arrow indicating the exact location.

Alternatively, you could use our service, OS OpenSpace, which enables you to embed a range of our mapping on your website. Please note that OS OpenSpace applications must be publicly accessible and not used for the internal administration of a business and comes with its own license terms.

I want to print your maps in a book/publication, what do I need to do?

You need to apply for a Publishing licence prior to printing taking place. The cost will depend on the amount of mapping used.

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