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Help create the most comprehensive digital map of Britain

Last updated: 03:27pm 8 December 2019

…and help create the most comprehensive digital map of Britain to date.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.82

Our verdict

The Ordnance Survey (OS) is the official agency in charge of mapping Great Britain for people, businesses and the public service. Its publications include geographic data about land, property and water supply, which can be used to analyse risks and support emerging technologies like drones and autonomous vehicles. Since 2001, OS issues the most detailed digital map of Britain, the MasterMap, composed of six layers of data, from green spaces to the transport network. This policy promised to help create an improved digital map of Britain, the most comprehensive to date.

In November 2017, the government announced the launch of a new organisation, the Geospatial Commission, to provide strategic guidelines for the use of geographic data.

In January 2019, the Geospatial Commission began the Data Discoverability Project, reformatting and publishing the databases of the Ordnance Survey, the British Geological Survey, Coal Authority, HM Land Registry, the Valuation Office and the UK Hydrographic Office. Since April 2019, access to the databases can be obtained under a single licence.

The Geospatial Commission has published six new databases to improve digital mapping in Britain. However, the databases are not yet unified into a single map, so this policy remains ‘in progress’.

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