OS Data Hub and APIs to improve accessibility, usability of OS data


Great Britain’s national mapping agency Ordnance Survey (OS) has launched a new geospatial data platform to allow users to download open data products easily and get quick access to OS premium data via APIs.

Replacing the current OS online ordering systems (OS OpenData Portal, OS Orders, and API shop), the new OS Data Hub will also provide users with free access, up to a monthly threshold, to OS MasterMap – one of the most detailed location datasets in the world.

Additionally, the APIs will also give users up to £1,000 per month of free access to a range of other premium datasets including the iconic 1:25,000 leisure mapping and road network data.

Access to OS OpenData products remains free and without any cap. Four new OS OpenData products have also been released, including the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN), Unique Street Reference Number (USRN), and TOIDs with associated geometry.

The free APIs available via the OS Data Hub include:

  • OS Maps API: To allow easy integrations of OS mapping into apps and websites, including OS MasterMap Topography Layer and 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster.
  • OS Vector Tile API: To enable designers and developers to create slick, quick vector maps that are fully customizable.
  • OS Features API: To provide direct access to OS MasterMap data for data analysis. There are many data layers available, which users can filter and select based on location or attribution, such as buildings, roads, and greenspaces.
  • OS Downloads API: To allow users to download OS OpenData products direct to their machines.
  • OS Names API: An accurate location look-up service including place names, postcodes, roads, and more.
  • OS Linked Identifiers API: To provide access to the valuable relationships between properties, streets, and OS MasterMap features.

OS believes the new pricing structure will benefit current OS customers and partners by reducing royalties by up to 80% for the offline use of data, including valuable property level address data.

Steve Blair, CEO of Ordnance Survey, says that these new services, datasets, and changes to licensing are only the beginning for the OS. “We have an ambitious plan, working in collaboration with the Geospatial Commission and expert user groups, to bring improvements and new developments that will show customers how to see a better place and deliver positive impact,” Blair says.

Ishveena is a geospatial enthusiast and a freelance technology writer who has been named among Geospatial World's 50 Risings Stars 2021. With 13 years of mainstream journalism and digital content writing experience, Ishveena is passionate about bringing to the fore the value of location technology to the economy and society. Her clients include GIS corporations, proptech companies, fintech leaders, and some of the world's top drone manufacturers and service providers.



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