White up arrows on wooden background

Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

How to use this guide

$download_content = get_field('download_content');

Using geospatial data: how to use this guide

This guide can be used:

  • to help an individual or team improve understanding of individual licences
  • to better understand how you can use and share geospatial data from different sources
  • to help an individual or team decide on the most appropriate source of geospatial data for their project
  • to help data stewards understand the impacts of different licences when they release new data


An individual can use this guide to work through relevant use cases to indicate whether their planned use of data is likely to be permitted under these licences and to make decisions on next steps in sourcing data.


The use cases in this guide could be used at a team meeting to prompt areas for discussion and inform decisions on next steps.

What next?

  • This guide is intended to give an initial indication of limitations in how you use and share Ordnance Survey, OpenStreetMap or Google Maps geospatial data in your project. It should help with an initial check of potential barriers and issues.
  • You should always seek advice from the relevant licensor of the data you want to use if you have questions or concerns. For example;
    • If you think Ordnance Survey (OS) data best suits your needs we suggest contacting OS to discuss your project and obtain the appropriate licence.
    • If you think OpenStreetMap (OSM) data is right for your project there may be further guidance on use within the Community Guidelines, or you can contact the community through OSM-UK or the OSM licensing working group .

How to give feedback on this guide

We would like to thank Ordnance Survey, OpenStreetMap UK and anonymous contributors for feedback and comments on drafts of this guide.

Any mistakes are our own and we welcome questions, corrections or discussion.

Please contact the ODI if:

  • you are a publisher of geospatial data and would like to include an entry  for your licence
  • you would like to suggest a new use case
  • you would like to tell us how you are using this guide
  • you have any other comments, questions or suggestions on how we can improve it.