Publishing OS maps in print

Find out about using maps in your publication, then apply online for a licence.

If you would like to publish our maps within a publication, on a merchandising product or on websites, our Publishing Licence could be the right licence for you.  Here's what it covers in more detail.

Maps within a publication

This covers publications which are either for sale or distributed free of charge. Publications are defined as, but not limited to, books, newsletters, leaflets, brochures, catalogues, journals.  A licence is granted for single publications only, with reprints and new editions requiring a separate licence and royalty payment.

This licence is best suited to those customers only wishing to produce occasional or one off publications in small quantities. Licence fees are calculated based on the total amount of mapping used and the number of copies of the publication printed and vary for facsimile and redrawn mapping. The licence has a one off fee per publication.

Merchandising products

A merchandising product is a product whose primary use is not a map; for example, a mug, tea towel or pillow case. Licence fees are calculated based on the total amount of mapping used, the number of copies of the product produced and the type of mapping used, for example facsimile or redrawn. The licence has a one off fee per product.  A licence is granted for a single product only, with reprints requiring a separate licence and royalty payment.

Should you intend reproducing mapping on merchandising products on a regular basis or in large quantities, you may wish to consider applying for a Printed Products Contract under our Framework Contract (Partners).  Please Contact Partnership Enquiries for further information.

Maps on websites

If you are publishing mapping on the internet, this licence is suited to small website publishers, publishing static images of mapping that cannot be edited, manipulated, interrogated, geo-referenced or customised in any way or used within a geographical information system or other comparable database or software system. You may make Financial Gain through advertising and sponsorship on the website. Licence fees are payable on an annual basis.

If  you intend using 1:50 000 Scale Raster Mapping on a website, scanned from paper maps, you can do this without charge and use up to 100 map extracts.

If you intend creating a commercial website, you may wish to consider our Consumer Solutions Contract under our Framework Contract (Partners).  Please contact New Business Enquiries for further information.

Apply for a licence

To receive a quote and apply for a licence, please complete the Publishing Licence Request Form.

We will respond with a quotation for your proposed publication(s) within two working days; you will need to confirm your acceptance of the quotation before we can process your application.

Please email or phone 02380 055991 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, if you'd like to discuss your application.


If you intend publishing a map which has been sourced from OS OpenData, you will not require a Publishing Licence. There is a separate licence that covers the use of OS OpenData products.

Frequently asked questions

What does the Publishing Licence cover?

The licence covers three different types of Publishing:-

  • publishing on paper
  • publishing on merchandising products (restrictions apply); and
  • publishing on websites

Note: this licence only covers a single publication; reprints, reissues or further editions of a publication will require a new licence.

How do I apply for a Publishing Licence?

Please read the terms and conditions and complete the relevant section/s of the Publishing Licence Request Form at the bottom of the page then return the form to the email address specified.

Will I be supplied with mapping under this licence?

No, if you require paper mapping or data you will need to request the supply separately.

Will you ever refuse my application under the Publishing Licence?

We may refuse the application:

  • If you exceed the size restrictions detailed within the licence.
  • If we consider the publication, merchandising product or website offensive or derogatory – in the case of merchandising, underwear.
What is Facsimile mapping?

Facsimile mapping means the reproduction of any Ordnance Survey Mapping within a publication which is, at the sole discretion of Ordnance Survey, the same or similar in style and appearance as the original albeit that some alterations or additions (which shall include changes in the scale or the colours) have been made.

What is redrawn mapping?

Redrawn mapping means Ordnance Survey Mapping which is substantially or entirely redrawn to your own specification and which is not recognisable in style or appearance as the original Ordnance Survey mapping copied.

What is an Educational Publication?

This means a Publication which is determined by Ordnance Survey, at its sole discretion, to be produced solely for the purpose of teaching or use by students in schools or further education (including Universities).

How will I know the start date of the licence?

If we approve your application we will send you an invoice. The start date of your licence will be as specified on your invoice.

How do I calculate the charges under the Publishing Licence?

Please see our guide:

The charges under this licence can be found at schedule 1 of the Publishing Request Form.



Up to

Up to

Up to

Up to

Up to

Up to

Up to

Up to



















The minimum licence fee is £47.50 plus VAT.

If you are producing a publication or merchandising product, the licence fee depends on the total amount of mapping reproduced and the number of copies printed; you can estimate the amount by using the table above.

If you are reproducing more than one map extract, you will need to add together all the maps used to estimate the mapping charge.

For example, if four A5 extracts are used the total area is A3. If three A4 extracts are used the total area falls into the Up to A2 banding.

The minimum licence fee is £47.50 plus VAT.

Worked examples

     Reproduce an A4 extract of OS Landranger map in a book with a print run of 5 000.

    4.5p per copy x 5 000 = £225.00 plus VAT

    Reproduce an A3 extract of a redrawn map on a CD-ROM with a print run of 1 250.

    2.5p per copy x 1 250 = £31.25 plus VAT

     Reproduce an A5 extract of an OS Explorer map with a print run of 35 000.

    2.5p per copy x 35 000 = £875.00 plus VAT.

 If you are reproducing mapping on a website you need to multiply the number of extracts to be used,by £4.75 plus vat. There is a minimum licence fee of £47.50 plus vat

Are there any restrictions on the amount of mapping I can use?

Yes, there are restrictions on the amount of mapping you can use in a publication and on a website. They're as follows.

Mapping used on a website is restricted to 100 extracts of facsimile mapping (each extract being no larger than 200 cm2 at original scale) or 3000 extracts of redrawn mapping (each extract being no larger than 100 cm2 at original scale). There are no restrictions for merchandising products.

Publishing size restrictions on facsimile mapping are in place to protect our Intellectual Property. We are consistent in the amount of information we allow to be published, but we also need to keep it simple.

A large-scale map (for example, 1:2500 scale plan) does not show significant land area therefore the limit is A3. A small-scale map (for example, 1:50 000) would show a vast land area, we therefore limit the size of small-scale maps to A4.

Where the Ordnance Survey maps comprise less than 45% of the total content (which includes both text and pictorial content) of your publication and no individual map extract is larger than A3 in size, you may exceed the size restrictions stated above.

If you use a map extract showing exactly the same geographical area, at the same scale, more than once in your publication, you will only be charged again if the original map scale is different.

Ordnance Survey aerial photographs may be reproduced in your publication; we charge in the same way as for copies of maps.

The licence is only valid for a single publication; if you reprint it, you need to apply for another licence.

I am producing an e-book. How do I calculate the print run?

You should provide an estimate of the number of e-books that you think you will supply over a 12 month period.