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Guidance for community and parish councils

It is easy to become a member of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement or One Scotland Mapping Agreement. Please read the sections below to help you understand the process and to help you with questions/areas for further exploration.

How to join the PSMA

Firstly, complete the application form on our website. Once we have received your form, your eligibility to join the PSMA will be confirmed. You will then receive an email from us with a link to complete another form that indicates you have read the terms & conditions of the PSMA.

Note: The terms and conditions for the OSMA can be found here

What happens next?

  • Once we have received your acceptance form for the PSMA, we will create an account for you. Creating a new account can take a few days.
  • You should try to log on to the members' area as soon as you can as there is some very useful information here. There includes video clips demonstrating how to use our data, licensing documents and the members’ forum, where you can discuss issues with other members. Furthermore, your temporary password will expire after 7 days, so you need to create a new password before then.

How can I simply add an Ordnance Survey map to my website?

If you are interested in using Ordnance Survey mapping on your website, we have a free service available to help you create a website using our mapping. This service is known as OS OpenSpace.

Using Geographic information / data and map software

  • The PSMA provides members with geographical data; however each organisation should consider how they are going to access our data. When deciding on software you also need to think about what you want to use the data for.
  • To fully benefit from geographical data you require a Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate and analyse geographical data on a computer for informing decision making.
  • GIS can be purchased and generally a licence fee is paid according to the number of users within your council. However, there are also a number of free GIS that can be found and downloaded from the internet.

How can you obtain Ordnance Survey map data?

You have a number of options available to do this:

• You can order datasets direct from the members’ area either to arrive on disc or via download. Download data can be with you within a matter of minutes.

There is further information on how to use the order system on the members’ area. To fully utilise Ordnance Survey data you require a Geographic Information System (GIS). Therefore, if you haven’t already done so you will need to consider getting a GIS.

• Some local authorities help local councils, who don’t have the ability to use digital data, by giving them access to mapping in a format they can use. If you already have an arrangement with your principle authority you can continue but using your own licence number instead of theirs.

• Ordnance Survey has a number of Partners who have specially designed solutions for Town, Parish & Community Councils. They can provide a complete solution which integrates mapping with software.

If you want to learn more about software for using our products, visit our software providers page.

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© Ordnance Survey 2019