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3D maps for your apps

19 Jan 2021
Ordnance Survey
Developers
developersos data hub3D

We have been publishing building heights for a while now, but did you know they just got even easier to access and even easier to build into your web applications?

With the release of OS Vector Tile API and OS Features API, you can access detailed OS MasterMap Topography Layer buildings in new ways – and the height attributes are ready to be used!

OS Vector Tile API with MasterMap buildings extruded to their roof heights.
OS Vector Tile API with MasterMap buildings extruded to their roof heights.

2D maps are often preferred as they present a simplified view of the world that is easy to interpret. However not only is 3D data eye catching, it can offer a new dimension to your map – quite literally. OS MasterMap building footprints are detailed and accurate and can benefit many use cases. These footprints can help inform decision making, add confidence to reporting, and take visualisations to the next level.

Building heights at your fingertips

This code example shows how you can extrude the buildings in OS Vector Tile API. We even have stylesheets ready to use with the option to customise them to suite your needs. The same building height attributes are also available via OS Features API. 3D maps can add extra real-world context to your own data.

Example of a custom style and addition of extra details e.g. trees, yellow lines and parking bays.
Example of a custom style and addition of extra details e.g. trees, yellow lines and parking bays.

Using multiple OS APIs together (in this case OS Maps API, OS Features API and OS Linked Identifiers API), we can chain requests to create compelling solutions that help answer complex questions. With this new functionality, it would be possible to search for a UPRN, discover the corresponding TOID and therefore identify the building which then could be extruded to its true roof height.

Unlocking the power of 3D

Prefer to have all your data downloaded locally? In this webinar, Richard Martin (Technical Relationship Consultant) discusses various implementations of the height attributes in various desktop GIS software including QGIS and ESRI ArcGIS Pro. Live demonstrations explore key features including 3D models and cartographic styling.

Visualisation of MasterMap building heights. Can be seen here: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-government/products/mastermap-building.
Visualisation of MasterMap building heights. Can be seen here: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-government/products/mastermap-building.

So, if you’re ready to take your maps to a new dimension, sign up to the OS Data Hub and get started using our examples.

Check out os.uk/developers for more support and keep in touch with us on Twitter using #OSDeveloper.

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey
Press Office

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