You can connect to the OS OnDemand Web Map Service (WMS) via HTTP or HTTPS, or from a fixed IP address. You can view our data in either a GIS or a Web browser.
To use OS OnDemand WMS you will need:
- Current licences to use the products you wish to access. You do not need complete GB coverage, but you will only be able to view the products and areas you hold a licence for.
- GIS software that supports OpenGeospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant web map services (most do) or the ability to create and publish web pages.
- A licence to use the service.
- Once these are in place and you have received your login credentials, you are ready to connect to the service.
View our demonstration videos showing how quickly you can access the OS OnDemand web map service (WMS).
There are 2 authentication methods to connect to the WMS service:
HTTP(S) Basic – this can be used via a GIS Software package (We can provide a list of GI packages that have been tested to show whether or not they support HTTP(s) basic) and/or web application from any location. Together with the username, password and URL provided by us, multiple users within a business/organisation are able to access the service. The HTTP(S) request parameters are:
- User ID: (Configuration.Security.UserID)
- Password: (Configuration.Security.Password)
If your software is not/cannot be configured to pass through these parameters, then the Real World IP Address method should be chosen.
Real World IP Address – if there is no support available within your software for HTTP(S) basic, then you can choose the Real World IP Address authentication method. You will need to provide us with an Internet-facing Real World IP Address from which the data requests will be made from. This method will prevent you from being able to log in to the service from any other location holding a different IP address.
Accessing via a GIS
We are working with our partners, to ensure their systems are OpenGeospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant and have a list of compliant software providers available. If you do not have a GIS system, we are unable to recommend either suppliers or software products, as the most appropriate system will depend on many factors.
Known issues with compliant software
We are aware there are issues with a small number of GIS systems and we have been working with system suppliers to remedy this. In the meantime if you are experiencing problems please contact your system supplier.
For example we are aware of the issue with connecting to the service using ArcGIS 9.2. Unfortunately, this cannot be corrected for use in ArcGIS 9.2, but has been fixed in ArcGIS 9.3.
To connect to the service using ArcGIS 9.2, we suggest you embed your username and password into the URL. For example,
The scale at which the layers activate in ArcMap, changes based on the size of the map window being used. It is a function of the way the mapping is delivered.
If your GIS provider is not OGC compliant for web services and OS OnDemand, then you may want to recommend that they apply for a OS OnDemand Developer Partner licence.
If you are an ESRI ArcGIS user, with OS OnDemand already set up in your Table of Contents window, you may need to refresh the table to see newly added layers following a service upgrade. To do this right click on the OS OnDemand WMS and click remove. Then double click on the OnDemand GIS server in the Catalog to connect to it and then pull over the OS OnDemand WMS service to the Table of Contents.
Accessing via a browser
Known issues with browser compatability
If you are using Windows® 7 and your username and password is no longer accepted, then type it in rather than cut and paste.
If you have installed Internet Explorer 8 and the OS OnDemand WMS is no longer displaying the map, you will need to utilise the Developer Tools (using the Tools | Developer Tools menu option [or by pressing the F12 key]. You should have a choice of three Browser Modes in the menu bar [Internet Explorer 7; Internet Explorer 8; and Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility View]. The pages will generate an error message when using Internet Explorer 8 setting – whilst the page works as expected with the other two options.
There is also additional improved security introduced with IE8 which prevents username and password details from being hard coded into the request. To get around this you could use ASP.net which is used to construct the request strong which is then called from the html.
If you are using a Flash application to access OS OnDemand WMS through IE7 or above, across an authenticating proxy the authentication details for OS OnDemand WMS will be removed. This will result in the need to re-enter the username and password. This is caused by a bug in Microsoft IE. If you have this set-up or use this combination, we would suggest you use an alternative web browser.
Most map requests of 500 x 500 pixels will be delivered in under two seconds. However, larger images of say a layer of OS Mastermap Topography may take up to four seconds. Where there are delays, it is advisable to check your Internet security settings.
Generally, making requests in any coordinate system other than GB National Grid, can result in slower response times.
If you have just received your user name and password, but can't access the service, then ensure the user name is being entered with two leading zeros, for example 00 40012345 The password is case sensitive and must be entered in CAPITALS.
Please contact us if you need to:
- generate a new password;
- change or confirm your IP address; or
- check which products or areas of products you are licensed to view under the service.
If you currently have an OS OnDemand Pilot Licence and are upgrading to a commercial licence, a new username and password will be created for you. However, to enable you to migrate across to the new login credentials, we will keep the pilot login credentials active for an agreed period of time enabling continual access to the service.
Expanding a contract area
When you expand your contract area, this has to be updated in our systems before you can view your entitlement in OS OnDemand. This should take two working days. For example, if you expand your contract on Monday the new entitlement should be available to view from Wednesday morning. If you expand your area on a Friday the change should be available on Tuesday morning. Please contact us if you are still experiencing problems after this.
Styled Layer Descriptors (SLDs)
If you would like to produce the styles we have used for our vector products, SLD file packs, containing the SLD code template and a readme licence file, are available for download.
The following mapping layers are available through OnDemand WMS:
|OS MasterMap® Topography Layer (raster format image)||MMAREA||MMAREA2|
|OS MasterMap® Topography Line (raster format image)||MMLINE||MMLINE2|
|OS MasterMap® Boundary-Line (raster format image)||MMBDY||MMBDY2|
|OS MasterMap® Cartographic Symbol (raster format image)||MMSYM||MMSYM2|
|OS MasterMap® Topographic Point Symbol (raster format image)||MMPT||MMPT2|
|OS MasterMap® Cartographic Text (raster format image)||MMTXT||MMTXT2|
|OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ Layer Road Networks theme (raster format image)||MMITNR||MMITNR2|
|OS MasterMap® Imagery Layer (25cm)||IMA25|
|OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ Layer Urban Paths theme (raster format image)||MMITNP|
|OS VectorMap® Local Colour Raster||VMLCRAS|
|OS VectorMap® Local Black & White Raster||VMLBWRAS|
|OS VectorMap® Local Backdrop Colour Raster||VMLBCRAS|
|OS VectorMap® Local||VML|
|1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster||25K|
|1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster||50K|
|Land-Form Profile® Contours||PROCONT|
|Land-Form Profile® DTM||PRODTM|
|OS OpenData™ products:|
|OS VectorMap® District||VMD|
|1:50 000 Scale Gazetteer||GAZ|
|1:250 000 Scale Colour Raster||250K|
|Land-Form PANORAMA® Contours||PANCONT|
|Land-Form PANORAMA® DTM||PANDTM|
|OS StreetView® (1:10 000 scale)||SV|
If a blue mask is shown, normally this would indicate that you are not licensed for the Ordnance Survey map data for this area (e.g. you do not hold the required PSMA or Framework Direct licence). In the case of the Isle of Man the intellectual property for these more detailed maps is held by the Isle of Man government and as such, Ordnance Survey does not have a licence to be able to serve these maps within OS OnDemand. The following products are available for this area: GB Overview+, GB Overview, MiniScale®, 1:250 000 Scale Colour Raster, 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster, Land-Form PANORAMA® DTM, Land-Form PANORAMA® Contours and Strategi®
Working with OS MasterMap layers
When requesting the Topography layer, you will notice that you do not see lines, texts and points. This happens because the topographic areas are being rendered on top of the other requested layers thus concealing them from view when the image is generated within the service. In order to see all the components, the topographic area must be requested first followed by the others, so that these are drawn on top.
When requesting multiple OS MasterMap layers, it is recommended to request them in parallel. This will result in an overall faster response time than if multiple layers are treated as a single request.
When requesting the Imagery layer, you may notice black areas around the coast or river estuaries. These are areas that we do not capture during our aerial flying programme and so any area for where there is no data is shown as black. Our flying schedule runs from March to November and we capture many parts of the country at different times of the year. When viewing OSMasterMap® Imagery layer at a small scale some differences in colour will be visible due to seasonal changes in the landscape.
Working with multiple 'same scale' mapping layers
Requesting 'same scale' raster products will result in slower response times and the service will default to show OS Street View. When viewing same scale raster products you should only select one at a time and you must select the product that is suitable for your application.
Working with Strategi and Meridian2 mapping layers
When using Strategi and Meridian2, the features from Strategi will overlay on top of Meridian2 features, as when two or more products are requested in one get-map-request, they are returned as a single image. If one or more of the requested products is a multi-layer vector product, then the text relating to each product will be present as above. It should be noted that there may be conflict between text occurring in different products. For products with licence masks, these masks will be applied directly after each of these products.