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Geographic data

Do I need specialist software to use Ordnance Survey mapping?

To get the most out of Ordnance Survey data, you’ll need a Geographic Information System (GIS). Therefore, if you haven’t already done so, you will need to consider what GIS is best for you and your organisation.

Where can I get specialist software (GIS) for digital mapping?

We don't provide a GIS as part of your mapping agreement, so you will either need to buy one or download a free open-source system. We encourage you to think carefully about how you're likely to use your GIS, and how many people will use it, as this will influence which system is right for you.

Our list of licensed partners who provide data management services and solutions is a good place to start your search for commercial software. The most popular open-source system is QGIS. A popular choice among town, parish and community councils is the web-based Parish Online.

What have other members achieved with Ordnance Survey mapping data?

Within the terms of the Mapping Agreements there are a vast amount of applications for our digital mapping, including improving public health services, flood risk mapping, land and asset management, transport planning.

There are many examples on our case study locator which demonstrate how members are using digital mapping to benefit their local areas and the general public.

What should I do if I want a printed map?

The two public sector mapping agreements (PSMA and OSMA) do not directly supply members with paper maps, however it is still important to join if you want to utilise mapping as becoming part of a Mapping Agreement gives you other options and you become part of the wider Public Sector community.

Members can order a digital mapping product to then print off for their core business. (Please see licensing FAQs regarding core business)

However, if you just want to buy a detailed, large scale plan of a particular area then you can contact a Walk-in outlet.

(links to be added)

What can geographic data help me with?

Ordnance Survey mapping data allows you to visualise questions regarding location, height, address and other variables and to use layers of information to solve a wide range of problems. If you need to display a transport route, analyse a boundary or represent a series of post-code locations on a map, these challenges can be solved using Ordnance Survey mapping data.

Learn more by watching the video on Analysis from Ordnance Survey data. (see video resources below)

How do I order data?

If you are not already a member you will need to join a Mapping Agreement by applying. Once you have received your licence number and login details you can place orders through the members’ area.

How do I load data into my system?

Please see the Loading data into a GIS video under Video Support on this page.

If I decide not to join a mapping agreement at this time, how else can I make use of Ordnance Survey data?

If it is not appropriate for you to join either mapping agreement at this time, you can still make use of Ordnance Survey products.

To find out about other ways to work with our products, please review the licence selector feature.

Where can I get more help?

Please visit the public sector support home page for more answers.

Video support

Data analysis

What can you achieve using Ordnance Survey data?

Loading data into a GIS

Find out more about how you can load Ordnance Survey digital map products into a Geographic Information System.

Online ordering via OS Orders

Our five-part complete introduction to OS Orders, our secure website for ordering geographical data online.

View more videos on our YouTube channel

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© Ordnance Survey 2019