Accessing information from mapping agreement members

The public sector Member Licences allows the sharing of data with others for many reasons in support of their core business.

This section gives guidance on how members can share OS Licensed Data (which includes derived data) under those licences.

Please note: We also offer a range of quality assured, regularly updated products that enable you to analyse your data, build interactive websites and create stunning visuals – and they're all free. All we ask for is an acknowledgement

 

For more information on OS OpenData.

 

 

What best describes the context for your enquiry?

I am a citizen

Members can provide you with information as long as it supports their Core Business activities.

They can provide it in either in paper or data form (which includes pdf's and data files).

It may be that they have already published the information you are seeking, so before asking them, have looked at their website? 

Typical enquiries include:

  • Freedom of information
  • Other statutory requests
  • General enquiry
  • Planning applications
  • What’s going on in your local area
I am a parent wanting to know if we are in a school’s catchment area

Schools that are Local Education Authority (LEA) controlled are part of that local authority. Other schools may have an arrangement in place with the LEA or will have their own criteria.

The boundaries that OS create and make available are not used for school catchment purposes. Please visit the relevant LEA or school website to verify whether your address is either in or out of a catchment area. 

You should contact the relevant LEA / school with any queries as, if you contact us for this purpose, all we can provide is an indicative answer and not an authoritative one.

I am a parent and need to verify a measured distance using OS mapping

Schools that are Local Education Authority (LEA) controlled are part of that local authority.

Other schools may have an arrangement in place with the LEA, or will have their own criteria when it comes to assessing home to school distances. The processes used to generate distances are not always based on the mapping alone but may use a specially created measured route network.

Although they and you can measure distances from our mapping; OS is not able to validate the distance the LEA/school have provided to you in support of any decision they have made. 

This is because they will all have their own methodology for assessing home to school distances, which OS doesn’t have knowledge of, or access to. 

You should contact the relevant LEA/school with any queries as, if you contact us for this purpose, all we can provide is an indicative distance and not an authoritative one.

I am a contractor / service provider

We have found that, broadly, there are three types of contractor that interact with a member in support of the delivery of that member’s Core Business. Those that:

  • are brought into the member's organisation (including temporary staff, secondees, interns, students and work experience) and where the individuals are regarded as being members of staff
  • charge and are paid for their services under formal agreement (even though they may be working on site)
  • are unpaid (and are likely to be volunteers supporting a particular activity or event)

For more information on the arrangements members have for working with contractors.

I am a competent or skilled professional

You may be operating in a professional capacity in another commercial sector, for example, land and property.

Members can provide you with information as long as it supports their Core Business activities and can be either in paper or data form.

It may be that they have already published the information you are seeking, so before asking them, have you looked at their website? 

I work for a commercial organisation

Members can provide you with information as long as it supports their Core Business activities and can be either in paper or data form.

It may be that they have already published the information you are seeking, so before asking them, have you looked at their website? 

If you are a licensee of OS, then the member may share data with you for the same geographic area and data products as you are currently licensed for.

If you are not a licensee, and or don't have the same products, then the member may still share data with you through their use of an appropriate End User Licence.

I work for a utility company

Members can provide you with information as long as it supports their Core Business activities and can be either in paper or data form.

It may be that they have already published the information you are seeking, so before asking them, have you looked at their website? 

In addition, your OS licence allow similar data sharing rights as members.

Where you are data sharing, the member you are requesting information from will need to be aware of the extent of your licensing arrangement with us.

Once established that the areas of geography and Licenced Data are comparable to that held by the member, you may be supplied with the relevant information.

If not, you can still request a supply, as long as it supports the member's Core Business activities. The data will be accompanied by an appropriate End User Licence.

Please note in order to re-use the information provided by the member you need to ensure you have the appropriate OS licence in place to cover your proposed activity.

I am an emergency responder

All the police, fire and ambulance services are already Members and are entitled to undertake the full range of activities that the public sector licences allow.

You should be able to find answers to all your licencing questions in the main guidance sections.

In addition, it is recognised that there is a wide range other land and maritime based emergency services who provide vital search and rescue support to them and you can get access where acting as a contractor to an eligible member. See here for more information.

The Member Licence also caters for other emergency situations (i.e. an unforseen act or event that is beyond the member's reasonable control). This means that they can provide relevant coverage of licenced data to those supporting them during the period of the emergency.

I work for another type of organisation

For example, social enterprises, community interest companies, charities and charitable trusts.

Members can provide you with information as long as it supports their Core Business activities and can be either in paper or data form.

It may be that they have already published the information you are seeking, so before asking them, have you looked at their website? 

Alternatively, you may be working as a contractor to them or in partnership with them.

Please note:

  • in order to re-use the information provided by the member you need to ensure you have the appropriate OS licence in place to cover your proposed activity.
  • if you are leading the partnership, then you are responsible for the licensing arrangements.
What about community groups in England under the 'Localism' agenda?

Local community groups (including Neighbourhood Forums) are actively being encouraged to become engaged in local matters.

Unlike town, parish and community councils, these community groups are not eligible to join in their own right.

However, you are still able to get information from members.

How they supply you the information will depend on how the activity is directly supporting their Core Business activities.

More information sharing data with community groups and support for neighbourhood planning.

What does Core Business mean?

This means the provison of their public sector services.

Under this definition, members are entitled to use data provided through the agreements for any purposes they consider they have to undertake to meet their public service delivery obligations. For example, this includes:

  • Creating and monitoring policy
  • Operational management of government
  • Delivering government business and public services
  • Making information available to the public
  • Performing any other function required by statute
  • Passing /sharing derived information and/or data to third parties

Please note: Although the member may be a recipient of information from a third party, they may not be able to make that information available without the permission of the orginal information owner.

For more about how members can publish and share their information

For more information about: