Latest version of OS VectorMap District available

We’ve just released the September 2015 update of OS VectorMap District. This free open data product is a versatile, customisable backdrop map for you to pinpoint particular locations, show boundaries and shaded-in areas.

Our latest release offers enhanced functionality and greater consistency with our other OS OpenData products, including OS Open Map – Local (released in April 2015).

The most significant change is the introduction of Functional Sites. These are areas of land which hold specific functions, such as air transport, education facility – school and higher, medical care, road transport and police station. You can see the location of these sites as point information in the example below.

VectorMap District

OS VectorMap District

We’ve worked hard on improving names,  to align our vector and raster products.  Also, names are categorised using real-world classifications for more intuitive styling and customisation. Their positioning is in line with other OS Open Data products, including OS Open Map – Local and OS Open Names. So using it is much simpler within web service mapping environments.

Style roads to meet your bespoke requirements using the vector product

We now use a common set of roads for both the vector and raster product offerings.  This enables flexibility and significantly improved styling quality where roads cross each other, such as at bridges and overpasses.  We’ve also improved motorway junction numbers  and they’re positioned more accurately in alignment with the motorway roads and junctions.


Another significant change in the vector product is seamless data, which means that features crossing tile edges are included in both tiles. This avoids creating invalid geometries by arbitrary cutting, and makes greater use of the data in analytical applications.

Until now, we’ve represented water lines both as single line streams and the perimeters of water areas. With seamless data, you can now  apply styling to the perimeters of water areas representing just the single line streams, allowing greater flexibility of styling and data use.

Additional changes

We’ve made a small number of changes to the naming of attributes to be consistent with
OS Open Map –Local.  Along with schema/code changes, code lists are no longer hard-coded and are now contained in dictionaries which are editable with improved visual presentation, resulting in:

  • More detailed buildings.
  • Electricity Transmission Line network connectivity is improved.
  • Coastal features including marine water / tide line / tidal water is better depicted for improved presentation.
  • Spot height information is now displayed only in appropriate locations for mountains and hills summits.  The presentation of buildings is highly detailed within vector and raster products:
  • Depiction of cul-de-sacs has improved to consistently show the main ones in a road network.
  • Data quality has been improved.
  • Tile additions, allows closer alignment to other products.


For further information and a full list of changes to OS VectorMap District, check theProduct Guide:

If you’re looking for more detailed, customisable backdrop map at a larger scale, we recommend
OS VectorMap Local.

6 Responses

  1. Any chance that the OS will release an updated set of ESRI layer files for VectorMap District in the near future? The downloads section of the VMD support web page still references LYR files from 2013.

    1. Hi John

      Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I’ve fed this back to the Products team, but they’ve advised there are no immediate plans for OS VectorMap District to be supplied in any further formats. We’ll shout about it here if that changes.

      Thanks, Gemma

  2. Pingback : Datasets updated in Digimap OS Collection – October 2015 » Digimap Blog

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