Sharing information

Data sharing - general

What's the difference between 'Data sharing' and 'Publishing'?

The difference is related to the purpose for making the information available and why we have separated the guidance into two sections. 

  • 'Data sharing' is about enabling you and other licensed organisations to share the same data and area of geography to support licensed business activities. Depending on the use of the data involved (that is, any further or different use from what the licences allow) the recipient may need to enhance their existing OS licence, so will need to contact OS directly; whereas
  • 'Publishing' is about your ability to disseminate information publically; whether on paper, in an email, as a pdf, as web pages or as downloadable files.
What should we be thinking about before sharing OS data with others?

There are several factors you should consider before sharing OS data with others. Here are some of them:

  • What type of data are you sharing? For example, is the data covered by the Member Licence, another OS licence, or the Open Government Licence (OGL) which is used for OS OpenData and 'exempted' derived data, as different arrangements apply.
  • Is the sharing supporting you in the delivery of your core business, and are you only providing access to the relevant geographic coverage needed to fulfil its function?
  • Do you have the authority to share the data with others? For example, although you are the 'custodian' of the data, other limitations of use may be in place if you are including a third-party copyright work. You may need to get their written permission to include it in your data.
  • Who are you sharing the data with? For example, internally, with an external contractor of yours, or another third party.
  • Have you have applied the appropriate End User Licence terms and protections to ensure that any recipient is fully aware of any limitations of use?
What is 'Public Sector' data sharing?

This is about the supply and or receipt of Licensed Data between you and another third party, where this is to support delivery of your core business.

It is your decision whether to share your data or suggest an alternative solution.

As some examples of the types of organisation you could share data with:

  • PSMA member to PSMA member, or OSMA member to OSMA member
  • PSMA member to OSMA member or vice versa
  • another public body who is not a member of either agreement but has an OS Licence that includes Public Sector use
  • an Infrastructure body or Utility company
  • an Educational body
  • another third party 
What do you mean by Licensed Data?

We mean:

What are our obligations to protect OS Licenced Data?

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are applying the terms of the Member Licence correctly.

This means you are expected to ensure that any use does not go beyond the terms of your licence with us.

This includes using your best endeavours to ensure that any third parties you share data with are not able to access and use your licence to replace their arrangements with OS.

Unless advised otherwise in one of the scenarios below, this is what we ask of you:

It is appreciated that you may share your data with a number of organisations through the same system(s) and for different reasons.

Much of this is likely to be through your use of web services, rather than supply on physical media; but whichever method is used, the same principles apply. This includes being aware that some of the users may not already be licensed for the OS data you are using. In these circumstances you may need to set your environment to the lowest common denominator (for example, through the use of an End User Licence). 

What data doesn't the Member Licence apply to?

The Member Licence does not apply to:

This means that, if you are sharing any of the above types of data with others, then there are fewer obligations for you.

For example, if you share information based on OS OpenData products, then you just need to use the Open Government Licence and a simple attribution statement that acknowledges OS as the source.  

What if I want to share a mix of licenced and open data?

You follow the guidance for Licenced data.

Data sharing - with other OS Licensees

With another member of the same public sector agreement

There are no additional conditions as you are both expected to ensure that any use does not go beyond the terms of your Member Licence with us.

It also means that you don't need to:

  • supply the data under another licence (for example, an End User Licence or a Contractor Licence) unless you choose to do so for operational reasons; or you are adding your own terms of use for your data, or
  • keep records.
With a member of the other public sector agreement

Where you share common geography, there are no additional conditions as both of you are expected to ensure that any use does not go beyond the terms of your Member Licence with us. 

Note: PSMA members are licensed for GB while OSMA members are licensed for Scotland with the addition of a 2km buffer. This offers some flexibility for mapping activity that focuses on the border between England and Scotland.

It also means that you don't need to:

  • supply the data under another licence (for example, an End User Licence or a Contractor Licence) unless that is your choice for operational reasons or you are adding your own terms of use for your data, or
  • keep records. The exception to this is where you are sharing data under the Joint Initiative terms.
For a public sector 'joint initiative'

This is the part of the Member Licence that enables PSMA and OSMA members to share data to support specific cross-border initiatives or projects.

When sharing data for this purpose, there are a couple of conditions attached, bearing in mind that OSMA members are only licensed for Scotland plus 2km:

  • The OSMA member aleady needs to be licenced for the same dataset(s)
  • Records need to be kept and, if asked for by OS, provide written confirmation of all joint initiatives, and with whom, where you have provided data.   
With an Infrastructure body or Utility company

Their licences with OS allow similar data sharing rights for these licensees as you have.

However, before you share any data, you need to establish the extent of their licensing arrangements (for example: they may only have a small area of geography.). They should confirm this in writing to you.

Once you have established that their licensed product(s) and area of geography is the same as yours, then you may share each other's relevant information.

Note: The use of the shared data by the receipient will be governed by the terms of their licence.

For example:

  • where you are the recipient, you can use the shared data under the Public Sector Use terms of your licence.
  • where a Utility company is the recipient, they can use the shared data under the Business Use terms of their licence.

If the area of geography required is different, you can still supply them with the necessary information to support your core business - but this will have to be under an End User Licence. Furthermore, they will not be licensed to use that additional area under their licence.

In both scenarios, you have to meet your other obligations (see the 'General' section above), including the need to maintain records of the data provided and to whom.

With another OS direct customer licensee

You can still share data with them - but this has to be in support of your Core Business.

The main difference is that these other licensees do not have the same data sharing rights as public sector body, infrastructure body or utility company licensees.

This means that you will need to use the appropriate End User Licence.

With an OS partner

You can share data with an OS partner to deliver your Core Business (including responding to 'Freedom of Information' and other information requests) provided that:

  • The partner is already licensed under a Framework Contract (Partners) agreement with us for the same data and area.
  • In respect of the IPR you have in your derived Licensed Data, there should not be any additional limitations of use added by you 
  • With the exception of a one-off up front administration charge, you must not make any other charge for licensing or other fee’s in respect of your IPR in the derived Licensed Data.
  • Both you and the partner must agree that supply of the licensed data is not either a competing or commercial activity.

For the details please refer to clause 10 of your Member Licence.

With a non-licensee of OS?

You can still provide them with information, but it will have to be in support of your Core Business and the data will have to be accompanied by an appropriate End User Licence.

For more information on some other scenarios on sharing your data with others.

What if we want to share addressing data?

If you are using addressing data, before sharing with a 3rd party, you must ensure that you are not going beyond the terms of the Royal Mail PAF licence you are using. Sharing AddressBase data uncluding UPRN's

For more information on Royal Mail's PAF licences.

Data sharing - other scenarios

Sharing with a library

Public libraries are regarded as being a department of their local authority, so have the same data sharing rights as other departments.

Note: in addition, it is rerecognised that public libraries also facilitate certain public administration and fair dealing uses which are allowed under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and do not need our licence. See here for more about the copying of maps by public libraries.

Sharing with other libraries will depend on the organisation they are situated within and what OS licence they have.

If they don't have a licence, you can still provide them with information, but it will have to be in support of your Core Business and the data will have to be accompanied by an appropriate End User Licence.

Sharing for Judicial and or Parliamentary proceedings

This is regarded as being Public Sector use when connected with your core business activities.

In addition, you can also share data with others, up to the extent directed by those judicial / parliamentary proceedings.

Beyond that direction, any further copying or use is not allowed. That additional use / copying would need to be covered by the licensing arrangements the recipient has with OS.

Sharing with a contractor

Yes you can share data with your contractors.

For more information see the Working with contractors section.

Sharing in emergency situations

The emergency services (that is, Police, Fire, Ambulance, HM Coastguard and RNLI) are already members, so have the same data sharing rights as other members.

In addition, there is a wide range other land and maritime based emergency services who provide vital search and rescue support to them and can get access where they are acting as a contractor to an eligible member. See here for more about sharing with other for search and rescue purposes.

However, it is also recognised that in an emergency situation (for example, an unforseen act or event that is beyond the member's reasonable control), others are likely to be involved in helping the member to respond quickly.

On these occasions, you can provide relevant coverage of licenced data to those supporting you during the period of the emergency.

Please note that there are some conditions attached to any supply to organisations that are not already licenced for their business use for the data you have provided:

  • You need to have informed them that they are only entitled to use the data you have provided for the duration of the event that you are leading on; and that you will be informing us.
  • Then, if they don't confirm that they are destroying or returning the data to you after the event, you will provide OS with your reasonable endeavours to ensure that an appropriate resolution is found. 

For more details on what this means see Section 9 of the Member Licence.

Sharing with an MP (or MSP) or councillor

Yes, you can supply mapping to an MP (or MSP) or councillor in the same way as you can to any other person or organisation.

This means that the supply of any mapping data can only take place in support of your core business activity.

Note: councillors are regarded as being a part of the council when they are engaged in that council’s activities. As such, they are covered by that council’s Member Licence and, under that licence have the same data sharing rights, entitlements and obligations as other parts/departments of that council.

Similarly, if needed, MP's can access OS mapping through the House of Commons library and MSP from Scottish Government's library.

However, if the intended use of the data to form part of that MP's or councillor's election campaign activity, they must obtain their own mapping for that purpose. For example, they can use:

Sharing with a community group or organisation

There are a number of options available. How you supply them will depend on their circumstances and how the activity is directly supporting the delivery of your core business; which typically will relate to the provision of public services.

As examples:

  • It may be that you already publish the information they need so you can point them to that - see the Publishing your information section for more guidance. Note: this includes the provision of information when meeting your INSPIRE obligations.
  • If not already available, you can supply them with the necessary information that supports the delivery of your core business under an End User Licence.

    Note: this includes responding to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations requests; planning queries, other statutory requests for information, helping community groups, other general enquiries, etc. For more information see the Responding to enquiries section.

  • They could work with you as a contractor. For more information, see the Working with contractors section.
  • It could be in support of the 'Localism' agenda and neighbourhood planning - see below for more information.
Sharing with a community group for neighbourhood planning

There are a number of options available. How you supply the neighbourhood planning group will depend on their circumstances and how the activity is directly supporting the delivery of your core business; which typically will relate to the provision of public services.

The routes available are:

  • Member to member data sharing (for example, with a Parish Council who have signed up)
  • Working with you as a contractor - for more information see the Working with contractors section.
  • You already publish the information they need so you can point them to that - for more guidance see the Publishing your information section. Note: this includes the provison of information as meeting part of your INSPIRE obligations.
  • If not already available, you can supply them with the necessary information that supports the delivery of your core business under an End User Licence.

    Note: this includes responding to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations requests, planning queries, other statutory requests for information, helping community groups, other general enquiries and so on. For more information, see the Responding to enquiries section.
Can you provide some background to the neighbourhood planning arrangements?

Since April 2012, local communities have been able to produce Neighbourhood Plans for their local area. These help put in place planning policies for the future development and growth (including associated social, economic and environmental issues) of that neighbourhood.

Where there is a town, parish or community council, that is the 'qualifying body' for leading on a Neighbourhood Plan in a designated area of their council area.

Note: although the local council may form a committee to create the plan, that committee is not eligible to join an agreement in their own right - the licence (or, if not already a member, a membership application) needs to be in the name of the town or parish council. See if your town or parish council is a member by using our locate my nearest member map.

Where there is no parish or town council, then a neighbourhood forum has to be formed; and be approved by the local authority.

These neighbourhood forums are not eligible to join the public sector agreements but can be provided with mapping data by a relevant member to support the process. How you supply them will depend on how the activity is directly supporting your core business.

In both scenarios, once the neighbourhood area is designated by the local planning authority, that authority is then legally required to provide advice and assistance to those bodies producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

For further reading on the 'Localism' agenda and neighbourhood planning in England:

Sharing with a citizen

There are a number of options available. How you supply them will depond on their circumstances and how the activity is directly supporting the delivery of your core business; which typically will relate to the provision of public services.

As examples:

  • You might already publish the information they need, so you can point them to that; see the Publishing your information section for more guidance. Note: this includes the provison of information when meeting your INSPIRE obligations.
  • If it's not already available, you can supply them with the necessary information that supports the delivery of your core business under an End User Licence.

    Note: this includes responding to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations requests; planning queries, other statutory requests for information, helping community groups, other general enquiries, etc. For more information see the Responding to enquiries section.

Data sharing with educational establishments

Sharing with LEA schools

LEA (Local Education Authority) schools are regarded as being a department of their parent local authority.

This means that they are covered by that Member Licence and have the same data sharing rights and entitlements as other parts/departments of that authority.

They can also get access to OS mapping for educational purposes through the Digimaps for Schools service.

Sharing with non-LEA schools

Non-LEA schools, which includes independent, free, academy and private schools, do not have the same rights as LEA schools.

This is because they are not regarded as being a department of the local education authority.

You can still supply them with the necessary information to support your Core Business requirements under an End User Licence as appropriate.

Please note you will need to maintain records of the data provided and to whom except when the INSPIRE End User Licence is used.

They can also get access to OS mapping for educational purposes through Digimaps for Schools service.

Sharing with higher education organisations - including universities

For educational purposes, these organisations can access OS data through the Digimap service run by EDINA.

Where you have established that they are a licensee, you can share data with them in the same way as any other licensed organisation. To find out if the institution you are wishing to share data with have subscribed to that service, EDINA publish a list.

Similarly, if you are unsure whether they are a licensee for a comparable area and or dataset you can still supply them with data in support of your Core Business requirements under an End User Licence.

Notes:

  • You need to establish which OS products are being supplied through EDINA
  • You will need to maintain records of the data provided (except when the INSPIRE End User Licence is used).
Can a higher education establishment be a contractor?

Yes.

When acting as one of your contractors the same principles apply as for any other contractor. See the Working with contractors section.

Sharing data with students

Yes you can share data with individual students for educational purposes, for example, a local study.

This means that you can supply them with the necessary information that supports the delivery of your Core Business under an End User Licence.

It is also appreciated that part of their task may be to carry out research to establish information sources. We have been asked a number of times how the administrative burden of dealing with multiple requests like this can be reduced.

All that we can advise is that it largely depends on:

  • accessibility of information (i.e. how you publish the information they are seeking)
  • the relationship(s) you have with the educational establishments, and
  • what communication / prior planning you have had with the teachers and agreed with them a process for access.