Ordnance Survey and UK PropTech Association announce partnership to drive digital transformation in the property industry
OS has become an official partner of the UKPA and during 2021 the two organisations will work together to promote the value of geospatial data and the transformational potential it has for both the PropTech and wider property industry.
The new partnership provides an opportunity to demonstrate to UKPA members how OS data, products and APIs can make it simpler and quicker for PropTech and property business to use geospatial data to support their own products and services and pass benefits to their customers. It is also a chance to show how using OS data creates the right circumstances for PropTech innovation to thrive.
OS’s Head of Partners, Stefan Wells said: “We believe securing this partnership with such an influential body as the UKPA is a significant step towards accelerating digital transformation in the property world.
“We know many companies are already doing great things with location data in the PropTech sector. However, we feel there is still untapped potential for OS data to deliver further value."
In July 2020 OS launched its new OS Data Hub giving users greater access and easier usability to OS’s premium geospatial data than ever before. Through the OS Data Hub businesses, developers and public sector users have direct access to OS's most detailed and trusted data and property level information. The platform provides free access, up to a monthly threshold, for businesses and developers, to the highly detailed OS MasterMap, via a series of new APIs.
Stefan added: “Accessing and working with OS data has never been easier. OS data is already widely used within the property sector and I am confident that the OS Data Hub and APIs will deliver benefit to UKPA members, providing access to a range of detailed, accurate datasets including OS MasterMap, addressing information and the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN).
"OS data can help companies trying to tackle the housing crisis or the shortage of affordable homes. It can help with efficiencies within the planning process. It can help with the climate challenge and sustainability goals. It can be used to increase productivity for buying and selling property, or property management.
“I believe that every single UKPA member could benefit from using OS data and we are keen to work with any member to explore how they can benefit.”
UKPA’s Managing Director, Sammy Pahal said: “The UK is one of the leaders in location and geospatial data globally, which we believe is one of the reasons why the UK has such a thriving PropTech industry.
"Ordnance Survey’s data underpins a number of technology solutions and plays a crucial part in unlocking insights in the built environment. We are therefore delighted to be working in partnership with OS to promote advancements in the data and to give our members the opportunity to realise the benefits and work closely with OS to identify new opportunities.”
OS has been working with the Land & Property sector for several decades supporting customers and partners with accurate data and addressing information. The OS Partner network which is made up of 450 businesses has a third of its members from the Land and Property sector. OS has also been supporting start-ups and developers in the PropTech sector through the Geovation Programme, in conjunction with HM Land Registry and Registers of Scotland, helping to raise £86 million in investments for new ventures.
Stefan added: "Since launching the new OS Data Hub it has been great to see so many new users accessing OS data. It is also evident that the PropTech sector are going to be a key user group, which is why we want to work more closely with them going forward."
Robert Jones, co-founder of property.xyz, said: "Through its APIs, the OS Data Hub makes the acquisition of high-spec, clean data simple to access, on-demand, and is a much more affordable alternative to other datasets available on the market.
"But more than that, its use of elements such as UPRNs (unique property reference numbers), OS linked identifiers and OS Vector Tiles allows for greater connectivity between different technologies. This means that PropTech companies can collaborate and move forward more effectively as a community."
Today’s geospatial data consists of many more layers of detail and information than ever before. The UPRNs are a particular form of geospatial data which have gained significant traction within Government and the property sector.
The UPRN is a unique numeric identifier for every addressable location in Great Britain, found in OS's AddressBase products. The UPRNs, which the Geospatial Commission made available through the Open Government Licence, enable users to share and link data more easily and reliably. It connects and links all manner of relevant information related to an address under one number code.
In January 2021 leading residential property bodies across the UK published an open letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, highlighting the potential benefits which adopting UPRNs will bring for property businesses and end users such as tenants.
Stefan added: “It’s been really positive to see such strong industry recognition of the value of UPRNs and is definitely something we want to build on.”
UPRNs are available via the OS Data Hub, along with a range of free to use APIs. These provide access (up to a free limit) to OS MasterMap, addressing and highways data.