Opening up OS MasterMap data

Following June’s Open MasterMap announcement, we’ve continued to work closely with the Geospatial Commission, an expert committee within Cabinet Office, on implementation plans.

The Open MasterMap Implementation Programme (OMMIP) has been set up to successfully deliver the elements of the policy announcement that OS is responsible for.

As a reminder, Government’s intended outcomes from this policy are to:

  • Fully open significantly more geospatial data for businesses and developers to use, free and without restriction.
  • Enable start-ups to deliver new products and services with the data using the free threshold.
  • Make the data available for free, up to a threshold. Some businesses will not need to pay at all for their use of OS data because of the use of the free threshold.
  • Help make new innovations possible in the housing market. For example, this data will make it easier for property developers to identify potential development sites that aren’t currently registered.
  • Help new users understand the pricing structure for the data more easily following the OS changes, removing uncertainty around cost of use.
  • Implement an improved errors and omissions tool and reporting process.
  • Publish data in additional formats will also improve the quality of the data and its ease of use.

Who else is involved in the Open MasterMap Programme?

We’re committed to working with the Geospatial Commission, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), GeoPlace, Local Government Association (LGA), and Improvement Service, as well as new and existing users to ensure success against these objectives.

Soon you’ll be able to sign up for the trials that you’re interested in and give us your feedback through a new OS Open MasterMap testing section on our website.

We’re committed to evolving our products and services

It’s important to note that we're proposing to only deliver data products and APIs; there will be no software solutions.

Up and coming trials will focus on:

  • Enhanced mapping datasets
  • Improved access platform 
  • Identifiers
  • Accessible licensing

What APIs are being developed?

We’re pleased to be able to tell you more about the ‘utility’ APIs we’re proposing to deliver to improve the accessibility of OS data.

Six of the proposed APIs are:

Web Map Tile Service

Individual flat image (raster) tiles delivered online for base maps in geographic information systems (GIS), web and mobile applications.

Vector Tile Service

Individual data (vector) tiles, consisting of geometry with limited or no attribution, delivered over the web primarily for customisable base maps in GIS, web and mobile applications. This is currently being trialled as part of the OS Open Zoomstack trial.

Web Feature Service

This will deliver geographic features (vector) online – geometry and attribution. It can be used in various ways such as for visualisation, querying or creating derived data in GIS, web and mobile applications.

Navigation API

This will provide point-to-point (A to B) and multi-point (A to B to C...) routing across roads and paths to support routing use cases, e.g. route planning.

Identifier API

A look-up service to link between different identifiers and datasets. This will enable a variety of use cases outside the service, such as linking users’ own data to common identifiers.

Machine-to-machine bulk downloads

Users will be able to access OS products in an automatable way to drive business processes. It’s likely to provide access to OS products at a persistent URL for each epoch.

We believe that these APIs will result in:

  • Faster time to market
  • Lower cost to enter market
  • Reduced cost of ownership
  • Easy to integrate into solutions

You can see our schedule for these trials in our proposed delivery plan (PDF), which will start from early 2019.

What’s happening to release third party identifiers?

We know this is of great interest to many customers, and we've been working with the Geospatial Commission, GeoPlace, the LGA, and Improvement Service (on behalf of Scottish Local Government) to investigate opening up the key identifiers Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRN) and Unique Street Reference Number (USRN), together with their respective geometries, for the whole of Great Britain under OGL terms. We would welcome your input on the potential use cases that this would deliver.

You can use our short form to send us your feedback >

What happens to my existing contracts for OS products?

Achieving a reasonable and practical resolution to this question is a high priority for the Programme. We know this is of great interest to many customers and hope to be able to update you on this soon.




What is OS MasterMap and what will be released?

OS MasterMap is the definitive and authoritative source of detailed geographic data of Great Britain.

Under the Open Government Licence (OGL), key parts of OS MasterMap are being made open. With the remaining data being made freely available up to a threshold, releasing £130m pa of economic value.

What is the full list of datasets being opened?

OS MasterMap will be made available for free, up to a threshold, through an API. This will include:

  • OS MasterMap Topography Layers, including building heights and functional sites
  • OS MasterMap Greenspace Layer
  • OS MasterMap Highways Network
  • OS MasterMap Water Network Layer
  • OS Detailed Path Network

In addition, key parts of Ordnance Survey's highly detailed OS MasterMap are being made completely open under Open Government Licence (OGL). This includes:

  • Property extents derived from OS MasterMap Topography Layer
  • Spatial identifiers:
    • OS MasterMap Topography Layer TOIDs (Topographic Object Identifiers) will be incorporated into the features in OS Open Map-Local.
    • Over the next 12 months the Geospatial Commission will work with GeoPlace, LGA, the Improvement Service (on behalf of Scottish Local Government), and OS to investigate how best to open up the key identifiers UPRN and USRN, together with their respective geometries, for the whole of Great Britain under OGL terms. Due to the importance of these identifiers this will need to be done in a such a way that protects the integrity and authority of these identifiers. A way to give both businesses and public sector organisations the confidence to continue to rely on these within their own products and services, without restricting their ability to use and benefit from them.
What will the transaction threshold be?

The transaction threshold will be comparable to that increasingly available for similar APIs. This will be designed during the implementation phase, in consultation with the sector.