New Data Formats | Blog


The remaining premium products will be released in their new formats this year, creating consistency in our portfolio and increasing the usability and value of our data for you.

We hope you have found our early versions useful and that the new formats have saved time and effort when using our products, bringing greater efficiency to our users.

Progress so far

Throughout 2021, all open products have been released in their new formats. As part of their April releases, OS Open Greenspace, OS Open Roads, and OS Open Rivers have been made available in Vector Tiles (MBTiles). These will work well with OS Open Zoomstack vector tiles, a great option for web and mobile mapping that is also becoming increasingly popular among GIS software. Like our entire range of OS OpenData products, these will be easily and free to download from the OS Data Hub.

Learn more here about how our users have already benefited from this format.

“By managing the tedious data management tasks and consolidating the data into a ready-to-use format, I was able to fully focus on the creative and enjoyable process of map design. »

– David Heyman, Managing Director of Axis Maps.

Operating System Open Routes

New formats for premium data

October 2021 saw the launch of our premium products in their new formats. Things started with the launch of the OS MasterMap detailed path network in Geopackage and Vector Tiles formats. This was followed by the December releases of Addressbase Premium and Premium Islands in Geopackage, and then the 1:25k and 1:50k Color Raster products released in GeoTIFF format. Premium data downloads are available on the OS Data Hub for PSGA Members and OS Partners.

OS MasterMap Water Networks launched in both Geopackage and Vector Tiles in January alongside Vector Map Local. February 2022 will also see the release of the other network products (OS MasterMap Highways Roads and Paths) in Geopackage and Vector tiles, OS MasterMap RAMI being released only in Geopackage format. Codepoint Geopackage will also be released in February and the remaining products will all be available by April 2022.

You can find a list of what’s coming here.

Accessible geospatial data

One of the main advantages of these formats is the ability to get started quickly – they help lower the barrier to entry and remove some data management overhead. Here are some of the main benefits of each:

Advantages of vector tiles

  • Efficient and quick lightweight tiles to render in your software
  • High resolution, beautiful cartography for all devices (web and mobile)
  • Seamless user experience when zooming in and out of maps
  • Advanced Features – Vector tiles contain real geographic data (not just images) that can be interacted with
  • Offline maps – store tiles locally to take your maps offline, for example on mobile devices
  • Data will be provided in Web Mercator projection (EPSG:3857)

Benefits of GeoPackage

  • An increasingly popular open standard OGC GeoPackage
  • Single file is easy to transfer and offers drag and drop functionality
  • No file size limits, so lots of data can be easily accommodated – ideal for UK national coverage
  • Widely implemented (GDAL, QGIS, R, Python, Esri and many more)
  • Lighter than a real geodatabase, but just as fast as a geodatabase
  • Data will be provided in British National Grid (ESPG:27700)


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