Ordnance Survey introduces new freedoms to share geospatial data under open terms

4 minute read
HM Land Registry (HMLR) and Registers of Scotland (RoS) are set to share their coveted INSPIRE spatial polygon datasets, which together map over 23 million title extents across England, Wales and Scotland, under new, less restricted terms from 1 July 2020.

The new terms will broaden commercial use, creating opportunities and fuelling innovation in land and property, utility and infrastructure related industries. The news follows the Geospatial Commission’s April announcement of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), including Ordnance Survey’s (OS) new freedoms for the publication of property extents.

The PSGA gives access to new data, while improving accessibility and increasing freedoms to share it. This change in OS’s derived data policy has paved the way for HMLR and RoS to improve access to their spatially-enabled INSPIRE datasets. In this case the combined data, detailing over 23 million individual title extents based on the OS MasterMap Topography Layer, is now available under less restrictive terms under Open Government Licence (OGL). The change opens this data up to much broader application across the public and private sectors, particularly in the UK’s exciting PropTech space.

Andrew Trigg, Interim Director of Digital, Data and Technology at HM Land Registry says, “It’s an exciting time for geospatial data in the UK. Alongside the Geospatial Commission, OS and RoS, we’ve been working to enable and encourage colleagues, companies and entrepreneurs to access and apply our data in novel and exciting ways. The first of July will certainly be a milestone to that end, and hopefully one which captures the imagination of everyone from app developers to analysts and helps to unlock the potential in the UK’s geospatial industry.”

Chris Chambers, Ordnance Survey Head of PSGA, added: “We’re excited to see both HMLR and RoS make use of the new freedoms to publish more authoritative data under OGL, as provided by the PSGA. This announcement, aligned with the release of key identifiers UPRN, USRN and TOIDs with geometry, results in significantly more geospatial data being fully open for businesses and developers to use, free and without restrictions. We look forward to seeing the innovation that is stimulated due to these significant changes, and we will continue to work with PSGA members to support them in publishing more of their data under OGL terms.”

Janet Egdell, Accountable Officer at Registers of Scotland, said: “This is another key stage in the data-driven journey of RoS. We have been delighted to work with our colleagues in HMLR, OS and the Geospatial Commission in publishing our first spatially-enabled OGL dataset. By providing definitive data under an OGL licence we are opening up new and diverse opportunities for our spatial dataset that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting innovation across the public and private sectors at this challenging time for the economy.”

HMLR’s INSPIRE Polygon Dataset will be available under the new terms, from 1 July 2020, from its new Use Land and Property Data service, while RoS’s INSPIRE data will be available from https://ros.locationcentre.co.uk/inspire/.

This date also marks the launch of OS’ new portal for accessing its data – OS Data Hub, as well as a series of APIs with up to £1,000 pcm free use of premium data and unlimited use of OS OpenData – all intended to support innovation in the developer community.

The Public Sector Geospatial Agreement

Ordnance Survey and the Geospatial Commission

The Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) is a contract between Ordnance Survey and the Geospatial Commission, on behalf of the public sector in England, Wales, and Scotland. It's the route for public sector member organisations to access, use and share our ever-evolving location data.

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey

Our highly accurate geospatial data and printed maps help individuals, governments and companies to understand the world, both in Britain and overseas.