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OS Orders FAQs

What is Ordnance Survey Orders?

It is the new and improved way of ordering geographic data for your business from Ordnance Survey.

How can I give feedback?

We are always eager to hear your views about your ordering experiences. Your feedback will enable us to improve the service we provide. Please feel free to contact us and let us know your thoughts.

Which products are not available to order using this service?

Whilst a wide range of products can be ordered using this service, you can only order the following products:

  • ADDRESS-POINT
  • Land-Form Profile Plus
  • National Land & Property Gazetteer
  • OS MasterMap - Prebuild Address Layer
  • Points of Interest
Can I use an alternative order method?

The new online ordering service is intended to be the primary order method. This may be supplemented by other services (for example, the OS OpenData service). If you have previously used the OS MasterMap online ordering service (sometimes known as "Data Selector"), this service is no longer available for general use.

Which browsers support OS Orders?

For the best user experience of this site it is recommended that you use Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and above. Please ensure that you have Javascript enabled. Users of IE8 and IE9 should run OS Orders with compatibility mode disabled. Users of IE6 are also able to use the online order service but may receive a less optimal experience.

Please check with your IS Administrator before downloading any software to your computer or computer network.

Why can't I see the mapping in the browser?

The mapping application used to assist order definition uses some of the very latest internet technology, including Adobe Flash; an application that provides uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across screens and browsers. Adobe Flash Player is required to be able to view the mapping browser. You will need Version 9 or later for the best experience and can check which version you have by visiting Adobe's checking page.

The latest version of Flash can be downloaded from the Flash download page on the Adobe website. Please check with your IS Administrator before downloading any software to your computer or computer network.

If you already have a compatible version of Adobe Flash Player and are still unable to view any mapping, it may be that there is a temporary service interruption. We are always grateful to our customers for reporting any such instances and will do everything in our power to restore normal service as quickly as possible.

How do I start?

Getting started is easy with our How to Place an Order guide.

Can I save my polygons so I can use them again?

Once you have drawn a polygon on the map you can save this to your organisation's saved polygons using the save polygon button in the mapping tools. You or another member of your organisation can then use this at any time to create future orders.

Can I import a tile list to define my area of interest?

A list of up to 2,500 tiles can be imported in .txt format to define your area of interest by using the upload button in the mapping tools. Your area of interest will be displayed on the mapping screen. Please note that your .txt list must be ‘clean’ and not contain spaces in the tile references or any blank rows.

Can I order a product by Pre-defined polygon?

Pre-defined polygons are available for you to load from the polygon library. Using the Polygon library button in the mapping tools you will be able to select your area of interest from a simple file structure.

When I import one of my polygons to the online order service, what file format can I use?

This system currently accepts the definition of a polygon in the .shp component of an ESRI Shape File subject to a maximum size of 2MB or in a Well Known Text (.wkt) file format subject to a maximum size of 2MB. Your area of interest can contain up to 50,000 points in up to 2000 polygons.

Why has my polygon failed to upload?

There are circumstances where a polygon can fail to import (for example, an incompatible file format or overall size). Helpful messages will be displayed to assist the import procedure. Should you continue to be unsuccessful and require assistance, please contact us.

Why has only part of my polygon uploaded?

The ESRI shape file you are uploading probably has polygons in separate rows. If this is the case you will need to use the 'dissolve' function within your ESRI tool set to form a single 'multi-part' polygon and then save the shape file. This will create a single set of polygons that behaves as if it were one. Your data should then upload correctly.

If you have exported data from a MapInfo GIS, you will need to make your data editable, select all of the polygons and use the 'merge / combine' function before exporting the data as a shape file and uploading it into the ordering service.

How do I re-order part or all of my holdings?

To order part or all of your existing holding, we recommend you use the Select Holdings Tool to specify your area-of-interest. If holdings are extensive, then draw around the GB coastline,

Are my order polygons saved so I can use them again?

Details of all orders placed in the online order service are saved in your Order History, from where the polygon definition and area details can be downloaded (as a WKT file and CSV file respectively). Your order polygons will also be available for you to load from the polygon library in the mapping screen.

How does the browser remember the area of mapping I last viewed?

This service uses the Adobe Flash Player which employs a Flash Cookie (Local Shared Object) to remember the last area of mapping you viewed. We explain how to deal with Flash Cookies in our How to pages.

I want to re-order a product by regional area but cannot select it from the list?

The online service is being improved all the time. Should you require an additional supply of product data for country and regional areas, please contact us. Where you are already receiving updates these will continue in accordance with your current Agreement with us.

What is a Download product?

The availability of delivery by download will depend upon your agreement with Ordnance Survey. If available you will see a number of products now include an option for you to choose delivery via the Download service. Some of these will be represented in the product selection list; for example, Address-Base – DOWNLOAD.

What is OS MasterMap Managed GB Set (MGBS) product?

It is recommended that customers requiring GB coverage of OS MasterMap or AddressBase products select the MGBS product for supply. This ensures the timely delivery of this large amount of data and regular updates without the need to keep re-ordering.

When ordering Address Products, why am I asked to enter the exact number of terminals on which the data will be used?

Addressing products such as AddressBase, ADDRESS-POINT and OS MasterMap Address Layer and Address Layer 2 include content from Royal Mail for which an additional royalty is due depending on the exact number of terminals. Ordnance Survey is required to collect this information on behalf of Royal Mail. Commercial licensees should refer to our Business Portfolio price list.

When ordering Address Products, why may I be advised that Royal Mail royalties may be incurred?

ddressing products such as AddressBase, ADDRESS-POINT and OS MasterMap Address Layer and Address Layer 2 include content from Royal Mail for which an additional royalty is due depending on the exact number of terminals. Ordnance Survey is required to collect this information on behalf of Royal Mail. Commercial licensees should refer to our Business Portfolio price list.

Why is national cover not available for the OS MasterMap ITN - Urban Paths - 5km DOWNLOAD?

This product is only available for urban areas larger than 5 Km2. All areas currently available are shown on the backdrop map. If new areas become available they will be added to our download service for order and supply.

Which file format should I pick for my product delivery?

Please see our product pages for information on file formats and other technical information. Please remember that your trading agreement with Ordnance Survey may include a subset of the whole range of Ordnance Survey product formats.

Where can I download TIFF World Files (TFW) that can be used to geo-reference raster data?

TIFF World Files are available to download from our product pages.

Geo-referencing files allow tiles of map data to be located in their correct geographical position when loaded into a geographical information system (GIS). This is achieved by loading in files alongside the data files that contain the National Grid corner coordinates for each tile. This is especially useful if more than one tile of data is being loaded at once, as it allows for a true geographical depiction of the data.

Why am I unable to place an order?

Every user of the service has a set of entitlements defined by the Principal Contact for your Organisation. If you are unable to place an order, please contact your Principal Contact to either change your entitlements, or to place the order on your behalf.

How do I go about ordering OS MasterMap for Delivery via FTP?

Please note that orders for OS MasterMap products via FTP are subject to a data volume limit of 2GB. Orders for larger data volumes can be placed for delivery via the Download service or on Physical Media (e.g. DVD). FTP orders placed with a data volume in excess of the 2GB limit will be supplied on DVD.

How has the price of my order been calculated?

All prices in this service are based upon the current published Ordnance Survey Business Portfolio Price List. View the steps used to calculate your price by simply hovering over the price in the Define page.

Why does the price shown remain as £0.00 when I add an item to the shopping basket?

If you are a Commercial customer ordering under the Chargeable order type, there are no charges due for orders within an existing holding or an expansion of a product holding where the data price would exceed the published price for Great Britain.

When I add an item to the shopping basket, why does the drawn polygon remain on the map screen?

This is to allow customers to define a new order item using exactly the same area of interest. The polygon will persist until deleted by the User using the erase or Reset Drawing (delete all polygons) tools provided.

Can I place more than one order against a product in the same basket?

When ordering a product for the first time, you will be able to place an order for as many individual areas of interest as you like in the same shopping basket. These areas may be part of the same order line or be added to the shopping basket as multiple order lines. Where applicable each order line is priced separately.

Once an order has been placed for a product, the order line (or lines) will be added to your Order History, and form part of your licensed data holding in the My Products section. Each order line will create a separate licensed data holding.

Whether you create a single licensed holding for a product or multiple licensed holding records will depend on your data usage arrangements. Some customers prefer to maintain a single 'holding', whilst others maintain separate holdings for different office locations.

When will my order be delivered?
Physical Media and FTP:

Orders for delivery on physical media and via our FTP server are normally despatched (or ready for retrieval) within 5 working days. Orders served via the FTP server will remain available for 21 days, after which you will need to place a new order.

Download Orders:

Orders for delivery via the download service will be notified shortly after the order has been placed (typically within 10 minutes). The time to download data is dependent on your internet connection speed and the quantity of data associated with your order.

Can I match a delivery to an Order placed in this service?

The Online Order ref is displayed in your Order History and against orders delivered via Download. The Online Order ref is also displayed on your delivery note for orders received on DVD/CD. This enables you to cross reference this order with those listed in your Order History.

How do I download my FTP order?

Once your order has been processed, you will receive an email containing details of the FTP download server. You will need a separate username and password to access the FTP server and this will also be provided.

Why can't I see my new order area when I view My Products?

Once an order has been placed for a product, the order line (or lines) will be added to your Order History and form part of your licensed data holding in the My Products section. The process to update a product takes a few moments. If the update doesn't occur within a short period, please contact us with your Online Order Reference number and we will do everything we can to help you.

I am receiving updates for a product not listed in My Products, why can I not view or order this product in this service?

Only those products which can be ordered using this online service will appear in My Products. You may already have licensed product holdings for Ordnance Survey products which are either not yet orderable using this service or for product formats which are no longer available for order. The updates you are receiving will continue in accordance with your current Agreement with us.
A list of products currently not available to order through this service can be found here or on page 1 of these FAQs.

Why is a lock applied to my holding?

Your product holdings are displayed on your My Products page. To prevent irregularities within your data holdings a lock is applied when that holding is in use. The holding will become available again once any actions against the holding are complete.

How do I cancel or change the attributes of a holding?

Your product holdings are displayed with all of their attributes on your My Products page. If you no longer require a specific holding or wish to change any of the current attributes please contact us.

How do I reduce the area of my holding?

Your product holdings are displayed with all of their attributes on your My Products page. If you want to reduce a specific holding please contact us to carry out the reduction of the holding. This can only be done at the end of a Contract period.

Can I renew a licensed holding in this service?

The renewal of a licensed holding cannot be carried out in this service at this time. Please contact us is you wish to make any changes to your holdings or supply a Purchase Order reference for the renewal of your licence.

Will I receive updates of data delivered via download?

Ordnance Survey will publish to the website product pages the latest version dates of products available via the download service. A reorder of your holdings after the published date for any downloaded product will refresh your data set.

What is a Future Update?

When first ordering holdings you will receive a full supply of data for the area you have requested. If you have selected a future update; once a new version of your data holdings is available Ordnance Survey will supply this to you in line with the product update timetable. The options may be different for different products. Please see the table in our how to section

How do I edit /manage my updates?

Many Ordnance Survey products include the supply of a regular update. You will receive a regular supply of the latest data for the product based upon the specific supply schedule. Please see the Ordnance Survey product pages for more information. A change to the frequency of your update cannot be made. Please contact us if you wish to cancel all updates for a product.

How do I change or edit a billing address?

The online service is being improved all the time. Should you require details of the billing for your holdings please contact us. The billing of orders that add to your existing holdings will continue to use the address previously specified by you to Ordnance Survey for that holding. Please contact us to change or edit this address. When creating a new holding the system will default to your registered company address. Please contact us to change this billing address.

How do I remove a delivery address?

OS Orders displays all active delivery addresses for your organisation. Please contact us to remove a delivery address that is no longer required.

How do I remove a delivery address?

OS Orders displays all active delivery addresses for your organisation. Please contact us to remove a delivery address that is no longer required.

Change Only Update (COU)

COUs are based on Orders. If expansions are made subsequent to a baseline order then you must select ‘COU’ for these later expansions. You will need to manage these small COUs if you expand regularly.

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