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OS Openspace

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Screenshot of the Bikehike route viewer, created using OS OpenSpace and Google Maps. source

OS OpenSpace allows developers free non-commercial use of Ordnance Survey maps covering England, Scotland and Wales for use in web applications using a JavaScript API.



OS OpenSpace is an open innovation platform to allow people to create applications using the detailed mapping provided by the Ordnance Survey in a JavaScript API. Users can add information to the maps such a points of interest and polygons, use them as a reference and pan and zoom through a slippy-map interface.[1] Any application created using OS OpenSpace can access up to 30,000 tiles of map data and up to 1,000 place name look-ups per day.

This use of OS maps through OS OpenSpace is currently only available for non-commercial use, any commercial use of OS maps must be used under the appropriate licensing agreement.


OpenSpace was launched in December 2007 as a result of an internal "Dragons Den" style drive on innovation. The project faced the challenges of the mash-up era upon a business that traditionally follows a publishing model.

Led by then CTO Ed Parsons and project managed by David Overton the project was also supported by the Office of Public Sector Information in their review of the National Mapping agency and the availability of Crown Copyright material.

Various sites have since been developed through OS OpenSpace. Good examples of how it is being used include Niall Kennedy's application and

External Links


  1. Research Labs Annual Review
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