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Public sector licensing guide

Learn how to share Ordnance Survey data with the general public, other public sector organisations and your contractors.

Public sector organisations can use most of Ordnance Survey’s (OS) data for free. The government has already paid for you to use our data to run communities more effectively.

Find out if you already belong to a public sector mapping agreement – if not, make sure you sign up.

You can:

  • Use OS licensed mapping data for your non-commercial core business use – that’s any non-profit-making activity you are responsible for.
  • Make your information publicly available in print, online and as data.
  • Let your contractors use your licensed OS data to support your activities.
  • Meet your INSPIRE publishing obligations.
  • Share your digital information with any third party.
  • Work with other PSMA/OSMA members to support cross-border projects or joint initiatives.
  • Share your information with anybody who is involved in providing an immediate response in emergency situations, even if they’re not licensed to use OS data.
  • Let OS Partners use your derived data in their applications.
  • Let third-party innovators use your derived data to research and develop ideas and propositions, and to identify potential benefits and value.

As a member your responsibilities are to:

  • Make sure you use OS licensed data for a purpose which meets your non-commercial core business use.
  • Take the necessary steps to prevent unauthorised access to OS data and the functionality we provide to you.
  • Let us know if you suspect any infringement of OS Crown Copyright and support our investigations. This includes providing us with access to records of who you’ve supplied data to, if required.
  • Pass on your licensing terms to third parties when sharing data. This normally means sending the terms in a document along with the data you’re providing.
  • Include a copyright statement with the appropriate trade marks, to clearly acknowledge your use of OS Crown Copyright material in printed and online maps.
  • Make sure you're not making any financial gain/profit from your activity - although you can apply an administrative charge to cover the financial cost of producing something using OS licensed data.
  • Let OS know when you're considering making your derived data available on Open Government Licence (OGL) terms. This is known as a derived data exemption and is only needed when you've created a new dataset which uses OS licensed data that you want others to use.
  • You'll firstly need to check you meet the derived data exemption publishing criteria (your datasets may already qualify) and if you do, let us know you’d like an exemption by filling out our presumption to publish form. When you’ve completed the form, the data is deemed to be on OGL terms unless we advise otherwise. If your derived data doesn’t meet the exemption publishing criteria, you can apply for a derived data exemption licence.

Your licence doesn't allow you to:

  • Use OS data beyond what is agreed in the member licence.
  • Use OS data beyond what is agreed in the Postcode Address File (PAF) public sector licence.
  • Use OS data for any commercial service under the member licence – meaning any activity which involves or intends to involve you making money.
  • Engage in competing activity that uses OS data under the member licence. You must not compete with, or be likely to compete with, any third-party licensed for the same data, or OS’s products and services.

Public Sector Mapping Agreement

One Scotland Mapping Agreement