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OS OpenData Orders

Request for information - FOI17758


Thank you for your email of 9 April 2017, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA):

Recently Ordnance Survey published a blog post, and tweeted an infographic, with some basic information about demand for OS OpenData products.

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request for some further statistical information held by Ordnance Survey Limited about OS OpenData orders, as follows, for the period from the launch of OS OpenData in 2010 to the end of March 2017 (or alternatively the most recent date to which this information is held):

a) the number of orders placed
b) the number of downloads

Please provide an annual breakdown of the above figures by market sector, based on the nine categories in the 'Market sector' dropdown list on the User Details page of the ordering system.

Please also provide the number of orders specified as 'Personal'.

Please also provide the number of orders fulfilled by supply of DVDs.

Our response

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you have requested. Where the information is not held, this is stated.

Table 1 below shows the number of orders made and items supplied (orders and items are both defined below), between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2017, by financial year, split by method of data delivery of the items.

Table 1:

Financial yearTotal ordersTotal itemsDowloaded itemsDVD items

In Table 1 above, an order means the order which is generated when a user visits the OS OpenData portal and downloads (or orders DVDs of) one or more OS OpenData products. An order can therefore include more than one product, but all must be downloaded/ordered in the same session on the portal. (With reference to the Ordnance Survey blog post referred to in your FOI request, it is orders of which OS has had over 400,000 since the launch of OS OpenData).

In Table 1 above, an item is a more granular term than order, meaning the download/DVD order of a particular product for a particular area (e.g. if a user downloads 5 different tiles of OS Open Map – Local, that counts as 5 Items). (With reference to the Ordnance Survey blog post referred to in your FOI request, it is items (both downloaded and supplied by DVD) of which we have had 1.9 million since launch.)

As a result of a change in the way that the information requested has been recorded over the years (partly due to a change of external data fulfilment provider), we do not hold market sector information for the orders or items made between 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2014. From 1 April 2014 until 31 March 2017, we do hold market sector information, but only against items (as defined above). This information is set out in Table 2 below, based on the entries made by users when ordering.

Table 2:

Banking, Finance and Insurance7,11815,9956,996
Energy and Infrastructure27,51153,25136,550
Land and Property25,13239,10833,001
Other Commercial31,15167,91640,716
Other Consumer16,84730,44620,269
Outdoor Leisure19,29533,77223,684
Public Sector27,53464,17741,433
Total items233,343467,071314,337

In terms of the number of orders specified as “Personal”, the Ordnance Survey blog (referred to in your FOI request) noted that 40% of the users of OS OpenData classed themselves as personal users. This was based on information from 1 May 2016 to 31 March 2017, and was calculated as a percentage of the total number of products, rather than orders or items. A product here means a single user (identified by email address) downloading (or ordering by DVD) a single product on a single day, i.e. where a user downloads two tiles of, e.g. OS VectorMap District, on the same day, this counts as a single product.

For the period from 1 May 2016 to 31 March 2017, there were 86,507 orders of products, and in 31,319 of these, the word “personal” was included in the relevant box on the ordering service. This equates to 36.2%, which was rounded up to 40% in the OS blog. For the same period, 37.2% of items, and 32.7% of orders, were specified as “personal”.

We do not hold data on how many items, orders or products were specified as “Personal” prior to 1 May 2016.

Internal Review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS

Email: foi@os.uk

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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