How to use your data

OS mapping data helps you make sense of complex information. These guides will help you get started.

Geographic information systems (GIS)
To get the most out of your mapping data, you’ll need a GIS.


GIS and map scale
This is the relationship between pixels on screen and actual distances on the ground.


The National Grid
This is the reference system we use to state the ground position of any feature.


Raster and vector data
These are the two main types of data we create. Discover how they differ and choose the right one for your needs.


Online ordering
Follow our step-by-step video guide to using OS Orders, the website where you order and download your data.

Case study
Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) show how they use mapping data to look up emergency locations and improve response times.

Software for mapping
Find out where to get the software you need to manage and share your mapping data.

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