OS VectorMap Local updates and support

Find product user guides, useful links and FAQs to help you use OS VectorMap Local, as well as the latest product updates.

OS VectorMap Local is a backdrop map that can be displayed at scales of 1:3 000 to 1:20 000. It is available in both raster and vector formats.

Product enhancement coming in October 2018

From October 2018, the latest product enhancement to OS VectorMap Local will be available. Here's all the information you need about the enhanced product, why it's happening, and its benefits.

Why have a product enhancement?

OS VectorMap Local has been a longstanding backdrop map and vector dataset used for overlaying your information and is one of our most popular mapping products. 

The new improvements will be:

  • A more up to date view of the world: We're improving our maintenance process to ensure the whole of GB is updated pre refresh (where appropriate) rather than just a targeted subset areas.
  • Clearer vector data for better analysis: Road and building features will be uninterrupted by things such as road casings, overlaps, and tile edges.
  • Enhanced road connectivity: Roads and tracks are better structured allwoing easier styling and analysis.
  • Improved building representation: We've changed the parameters in our data to ensure more buildings are represented; gaps between buildings persist; and more complex details of buildings are shown.
  • Easier-to-load vector data: We're updating the format of the vector data so that it's easy to load directly into industry-standard geographic information system (GIS) packages.

We believe there is real value in these improvements and we look forward to delivering the improved product in October 2018, with as smooth a transition as possible.

Images showing improvements to data

Example of OS VectorMap Local raster data from July 2018

Example of new OS VectorMap Local raster data from October 2018


Why have OS changed the way they make VML?

Technological advancements have enabled OS to automate the VML production processes, vastly improving the currency and consistency of VML product, whilst maintaining existing cartographic quality. Further detail on these changes can be found in the Technical Specification.

Why do I need an initial full supply?

VML has been created as an entirely new dataset, as such there is a requirement to baseline all holdings with a full resupply, whether this is GeoTiff or GML. Customers will receive a full supply of their holdings in October 2018. Any existing holdings preceding this date will not be compatible with the new data supply.

When will I receive a Change Only Update option?

From January 2019 both GeoTiff and GML formats will have a change only update option. COU supplies will be significant and reflect both real world change and change created through the generalisation process. GeoPackage will be available as full supply only with no COU option.

What is GeoPackage and how do i get it?

GeoPackage is an open, non-proprietary, platform-independent and standards-based data format for geographic information systems (GIS). It is natively supported by most software applications. To receive OS VectorMap Local in GeoPackage format simply change your format preference on OS Orders Webpage. There is no requirement to create a new contract. GeoPackage is available as download full supply only.

Why is there no longer a translator?

VML is released in the GeoPackage format. GeoPackage requires no translation for loading into most GIS software packages.

Are stylesheets available?

OS has created a new set of stylesheets for both GML and GeoPackage. These are different from those available for previous versions of VML and reflect the changes that have been made to the data.