GIS improves Wiltshire flood management

Wiltshire have combined local knowledge with Ordnance Survey mapping to analyse local flood impacts and risks in Dauntsey Parish

Combining Dauntsey Parish local knowledge with Ordnance Survey (OS) digital maps to undertake a professional analysis of local flood impacts and risks.

  • Dauntsey in north Wiltshire has experienced serious flooding, affecting as many as 44 homes.
  • Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and digital mapping, the Parish Council can produce accurate and professional looking maps to better track the impact of serious flooding.
  • Initially, they negotiated a sub-contractor licence from their principal authority, which provided access to OS data. This case study explains exactly how they use the data.
  • 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster
  • 1:250 000 Scale Colour Raster
  • 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster
  • OS VectorMap District


Following serious flooding, this small Parish, with a population of 532, concluded that it needed to act.

However, it faced a number of challenges:

  • The Parish was told that the main flood risk concerns were in nearby towns like Malmesbury and Chippenham.
  • It needed to engage the Environment Agency, Highways Agency and principal local authority to influence how they maintained the water courses, culverts and drains in the area to mitigate against this happening again in future.


Using its Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) licence from Ordnance Survey (managed using open source QGIS software) the Parish Council was able to establish that more homes had been affected in the Dauntsey Parish than anywhere else in the county.

Creating digital maps also helped to illustrate the extent of serious flooding and allowed all drains, culverts and minor water courses to be marked up online.

The capacity of these waterways could also be inputted, allowing problems to be predicted. Plus, information showing which body was responsible for maintaining each waterway meant work could be prioritised.


  • The Parish Council’s use of professional looking maps meant that its evidence on flooding was taken more seriously.
  • The GIS analysis has assisted affected households in pursing their flooding compensation claims.
  • They could receive and share geographic data with the other statutory organisations.
  • They were able to analyse local water courses and flood impacts across its area.
  • As a result the Highways Agency has significantly altered its maintenance programme by bringing in annual inspections and improved maintenance contracts.
  • The Parish Council now works more closely with the Wiltshire Council maintenance team, which is saving both time and effort.

"The GIS made us a very strong player. It’s bringing empowerment down to the parish level. There’s no way we could have done this without the PSMA data"

Andrew Chapman, Councillor, Dauntsey Parish Council

Solutions for public sector organisations

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Products and solutions featured in this study

  • 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster

    1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster is the digital alternative to Ordnance Survey's OS Explorer paper map series for Great Britain.

  • 1:250 000 Scale Colour Raster

    1:250 000 Scale Colour Raster is an open dataset of the regional view of towns and villages, roads and places of interest.

  • 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster

    1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster is the digital alternative to Ordnance Survey's OS Landranger paper map series for Great Britain.

  • OS VectorMap District

    OS VectorMap® District is an open basemap to overlay and visualise your own information on.