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Getting O.S. map data while working for local authorities, town and parish councils

What you need to know

If you are working for a local authority, town or parish council or most public sector organisations, then they may be able to supply you with O.S. map data for their area for free. To do this, they would need to be members of the PSMA (England and Wales) or OSMA (Scotland).

Signing up to the PSMA or OSMA is a simple process done via the O.S. website and membership is free. Links to the relevant pages on the O.S. website can be found on this help page.

Any council or public sector organisation which has membership of the PSMA or OSMA has access to the full range of O.S. map data for free. They can also freely supply their map data to anyone who is working on their behalf. An example of this might be a tree surveyor sub-contracted to inspect trees in the town or parish.

There are two caveats:

  1. You can only use their map data for the agreed purpose and only for as long as the work requires it. You cannot retain it for your own use. If you need to supply the data to a sub-contractor of your own (who is working on the same job) then you can only do this with the permission of the council who supplied you the data. The same restrictions in the use of the map data would then apply to them.
  2. You and the council (or public sector organisation) must sign an Ordnance Survey Sub-Contractor Agreement. This gives the council the authority to supply you their O.S. map data and also gives you the authority to use their O.S. map data for the purposes of providing an agreed service (e.g. tree surveying).  If you employ a sub-contractor and they need to use the map data then you must seek the permission of the council AND your sub-contractor must also sign an O.S. Sub-Contractor Agreement.

You can download copies of the Agreement from the O.S website here, or contact Pear Technology and we can email you a copy.


So how do you get the map data..?

Most councils who have membership of the PSMA will have mapping software, so they should be able to supply the map data to you directly. If they are Pear Technology customers then they will supply you with .mpd files to use in PTMapper. If they have other software then the map data would need to be in either Shapefile or DXF file format.

If they are unable to do so then Pear Technology can, with their consent, supply the map data to you on their behalf.

NOTE: We can only do this if the relevant Sub-Contractor Agreements have been signed and we would make a charge for this service.


If they are not PSMA/OSMA members then they can contact us for advice on the signing up process. If they are members, but have not downloaded any map data and/or have no mapping software, then we should still be able to help them with downloading the required map data, signing the Sub-Contractors Agreement and supplying you with the relevant maps.

NOTE: We would make a charge for the work involved.


Updated on 12/10/2017

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