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OS MasterMap® Schema update announcement

Why are we changing?

  • We are looking to reengineer some of our core content to better define real-world features in our products.
  • This enhancement will use our core content to increase the range of Descriptive Term values in the Topography Layer.
  • This proposal was the subject of a successful OS Insight™ consultation in Autumn 2013.

What are the benefits of the changes?

Increasing the range of Descriptive Terms in the Topography Layer will improve both the analytical capabilities and styling options of the data. The enhancement includes over 70 new attributes that will benefit a wide range of customers. There are improvements to the attribution of structures, foreshore, inland water and much more. Several of the additional attributes have been specifically requested by customers during the OS Insight consultation. The schema release notes give a full list of the new values.

How will the changes be rolled out?

In order for us to release this enhancement, we have to increase the range of Descriptive Terms in the OS MasterMap® schema. We are committed to giving Partners sufficient time to allow for schema changes within their products and services and as such we provided partners with 12 months’ notice of this planned change on 1 May 2014. Therefore, an enhanced version of the Topography Layer product will not be released until after 1 May 2015. It is also likely that to enable an easier roll-out, the new values will be added over a number of separate refreshes.

Many systems that help OS MasterMap customers manage their data are flexible enough to accommodate schema changes by reading directly from the OS MasterMap XML schema repository on our website. However some system suppliers are known to have hard-coded the schema into their data management software – and it is for these suppliers that we are giving 12 months’ notice to make the necessary change. However, in recognition of the changing technology environment in which Ordnance Survey products are served and consumed; and in recognition of our widespread adoption and adherence to open standards, we are reviewing those current policies that restrict us making schema changes without providing the market with 12 months’ notice.

The new schema files are available for you to check in your systems from our website, in the ‘Future schema’ section of the OS MasterMap XML schema repository. A release note giving details of the changes to the schema is also available.

Illustrative example of Topography Layer data as it is now (top), and how it could look with improved Descriptive Terms attribution

If you have any questions please contact us at BusinessEnquiries@ordnancesurvey.co.uk

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