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The use of independently sourced data with OS data

Put simply, we don’t claim intellectual property rights in data that has been created independently of Ordnance Survey data and then used with it.

In practice this means that:

  • If data is created by means of an independent survey and then displayed with an Ordnance Survey mapping backdrop, we claim no ownership of that data. It is not, therefore, subject to any of our licensing terms.
  • If data is created as described above and then overlaid onto Ordnance Survey licensed data for the purpose of verification, we claim no ownership of that data unless features are repositioned as a result. If a feature is repositioned, then our IPR will be present in it. In these circumstances the data will be subject to the licensing terms applicable to the Ordnance Survey source data used.
  • If additional independently sourced descriptive information or atribution is attached to Ordnance Survey licensed data, we claim no ownership of that additional information. It is not, therefore, subject to any Ordnance Survey licensing terms.

Examples of independently sourced data

Mapping fire hydrants

Karen works for a fire and rescue service. In the event of an emergency they need to know the location of every fire hydrant in the affected area. So they collect this information using GPS technology and its part of Karen’s job to make sure she keeps these records up to date in OS MasterMap Topography Layer.

GIS mock-up

Because the fire service has created the hydrant information themselves from their own surveys, it belongs to them, and Ordnance Survey would claim no IPR in it. While OS MasterMap Topography Layer is subject to a licence, the fire service would be free to use the hydrant information in any way, even if that licence was to end.

Data used: OS MasterMap Topography Layer

Adding bus stops

John works for a Scottish city council and wants to display the location of bus shelters and tourist facilities on the council’s website. He and his team have spent some time determining where these features are by using a GPS device. They have then overlaid their positions on licensed Ordnance Survey data. The data he and his team are adding is independently sourced and doesn’t represent any features or points in the licensed data.

GIS mock-up

This additional information, therefore, belongs entirely to the council and they can use it however they like.

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