UK maps - get OS tiles

Hello, I have a question about UK maps and one of the tiles providers. I am new in UK region thus my question could be a bit strange.

Many boroughs in London lack of basic details like buildings and house numbering (some areas like Fulham barely have any). I did some research and from available open source datasets I can see that the OS have a much better building and house numbering representation than OSM have.

Yes, OSM have several versions of OS layers, but the ones that are available barely have enough details (my guess that OSM simply reusing the dataset that you may freely download from the OS site). OS states on their site that they might provide more granular data for different non-profit / open for everyone projects. So the question is simple, is it possible somehow to get their latest tiles with the same quality as we may see them on for example ? See screenshot below to check the available granularity of OS tiles:

This tiles have boundaries for all buildings and often have better and usually more correct house numbering both comparing with Google and OSM.

Even if you could get the tiles what you wouldn’t be able to get is a license that allowed you to copy data from that mapping into OpenStreetMap.


What you are seeing there is based on MasterMap, the most detailed mapping provided by the Ordnance Survey. It is not open data: and in fact costs a fortune : a 1km square costs £230 on one website. This is one of the reasons OSM exists in the first place.

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Yup, I understand, but what about “public-sector” plan? Can’t OSM be regarded as this type of organization? Was this considered?

No, OpenStreetMap is not a Government / Public Sector organisation in the UK.

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Not only is that’s not available, it’s not cheap either. It’s expected that OSGB will get £1 billion from the government over the next 10 years or so (reference not to hand, so might have the time period wrong) to support the PSMA/PSGA. This is money paid mainly so that local councils can have ‘free’ access to data they often collected in the first place (and we all contribute by paying tax).

I recommend following Owen Boswarva for all the low-downs on UK Open Data.