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Guidance on use of watermarking when published mapping

Paragraph 12.1.2b of Schedule 2 of the Member Licence states the products where the use of a watermark must be considered in addition to the appropriate copyright acknowledgement.

Which mapping does this apply to?

Licensed Data that comprises, or is derived from, any one or more of these:

  • 1:10,000 Scale Raster
  • OS VectorMap Local
  • OS MasterMap Topography Layer
  • OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Layer
  • Land-Line

Paper copies and electronic documents

No watermarking is required where you are making the Licensed Data available as:

  • a hard copy
  • an electronic document (e.g. a pdf)
  • a static internet image

Note: the electronic map images must not be able to be edited, manipulated, interrogated (for feature attribution, etc.), geo-referenced, customised in any way, or be used within any geographical information system, comparable database or software system.

Electronic publishing via WMS and WFS

You have to option to choose whether you wish to add a watermark or not, providing that you have employed the appropriate security measures to support your decision.

Where you choose to apply a watermark, you are free to select the method. You are also free to select the type of watermark you use, but please note it should identify the authority publishing that map.

For more guidance on electronic publishing via WMS and WFS please see our web map services and web feature services page.

Electronic publishing for INSPIRE purposes

Please note that this guidance on watermarking does not does not apply to use of WMS or WFS in the context of INSPIRE End User Licensing;

  • PSMA members should instead refer to paragraph 8 of Appendix 1 to the PSMA Member Licence, and
  • OSMA members paragraph 7 of Appendix 1 to the OSMA Member Licence.

Intranet/Internal Use

The same guidance as above applies.

Planning Applications

Notwithstanding the above information on electronic publishing, where you have a statutory obligation to publish planning applications on the internet, you may use your discretion and elect not to include such background watermark on any mapping extras, which form such part of any planning application.

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