Ordnance Survey’s NGD API is like Spotify for maps

Ordnance Survey’s National Geographical Database (NGD) API is a brilliant innovation that lets you quickly request regularly updated geospatial data using an API.

The NGD is a collection of geographic data that provides detailed information on Great Britain’s physical and human geography, including land use, topography, population density, transportation networks, and more.

It’s like Spotify but for maps (it’s actually very different to Spotify but stick with us for this metaphor).

Listen to every song.

The NGD API gives you access to a huge library of geospatial data for England, Scotland, and Wales, just as Spotify provides you with access to millions of songs. Ordnance Survey has a long history of producing high-quality mapping data that’s now even easier to access.

Get latest releases.

When artists release a new album, most of the time, you can stream it on Spotify before you can buy it as a physical version. The music library is updating all the time – much like the NGD.
OS NGD API gives you access to newly updated data themes daily. This increased update frequency and the fact you can get the data from an API gives you some of the most accurate data available.

Your favourite playlist.

Whether you’re in the mood for classical music or classic rock, Spotify groups styles of music together for your convenience. The NGD does similar by splitting geographic data into nine themes: Address, Administrative and Statistical Units, Buildings, Geographical Names, Land, Land Use, Structures, Transport, and Water. Each theme is made up of collections, which then have feature types with objects grouped by geometry or classification.

Only listen to the music you want.

If you don’t want to listen to cheesy 90s hits then you simply don’t have to. You can pick the music you want like you can pick the geographic data you want from the NGD API.
You can select and build your own data packages rather than taking pre-produced OS products. So, if you’re only interested in buildings data, then you just select the OS NGD Buildings Theme. You don’t need to take a larger product and spend time filtering out only the buildings data. You can also take data from different OS NGD collections to build your own packages.

While Spotify is very different to the NGD API, they’re both innovative systems that have disrupted their marketplaces.The OS NGD API is in the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) so it’s free at point of use for Public Sector organisations too.

Here at miso, we’re Ordnance Survey Partners so if you want to learn more about the OS NGD and how you can get access get in touch with one of our team.