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About Us

We’re proud of shaping Britain’s place as a world-leading geospatial nation. As geospatial experts, we’re driven to produce accurate location data.

What we do

We use our valuable data and expertise, built on over 225 years of experience, to contribute to the future success of Britain and other nations.

We continually refine our data to present an accurate digital view, delivering to business and the public sector. We facilitate important decisions that will go onto enhance the quality of life of future generations.

Mapping the nation

High-volume changes to our database are delivered by remote sensing. This involves an intensive programme of capturing changes with aerial photography from our Flying Unit and external suppliers. The resulting high-definition images are overlaid with existing map data on screen, to check where features have changed. Instant updates can then be identified and made to our data.

Remote sensing also allows highly-accurate mapping in areas which are difficult to access and gives the capability to efficiently collect data over large areas.

In addition, our 230 surveyors collect precise location information using specialised equipment and OS Net, our national network of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) base stations. This underpins the most detailed and frequently updated mapping in the world.

These updates to the master database enable us to create a range of consistent and up-to-date data products of Great Britain, including our most detailed digital map OS MasterMap with its Topography Layer; high-resolution digital imagery; 3D models of the terrain and elevation features; road and water networks.

We’re also exploring new ways to capture even more detailed features in the landscape, particularly at street level, such as lamp posts and bus stops, to support smarter communities.

This includes vehicle-based surveying on the ground, using unmanned aerial vehicles, and high altitude pseudo satellites. We will also continue to collaborate with third-party data suppliers.


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