United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom, Europe

latitude: 55.781, longitude: -5.962
boundary: 62149
Browse map of the United Kingdom 55°46′51.60″ N, 5°57′43.20″ W
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The United Kingdom is a country in Europe at latitude 55°46′51.60″ North, longitude 5°57′43.20″ West.
Flag of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom Mapping Project,
the home of the United Kingdom on the OpenStreetMap wiki.
Hello Welcome to the project for mapping efforts in the United Kingdom!
You can find here national events, ongoing projects, map status and mapping guidelines, as well as links to other pages directly related to the mapping of the United Kingdom.
You may also find a list of contacts and mappers involved with the OpenStreetMap community in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) relation 62149 is a country in Europe comprising four nations: England, Scotland, Wales (which together form 'Great Britain'), and Northern Ireland. Other areas that may follow some or all of the UK tagging conventions (due to cultural and/or historic links) include the British Crown Dependencies relation 9110397 (ie, the Isle of Man relation 62269, and the Bailiwicks of Guernsey relation 270009 and Jersey relation 367988) and British Overseas Territories relation 3969434, although these are not formally part of the UK.

The term Britain is confusing, even to those who live here, as it is often used (though incorrectly) as a synonym for the UK. The term 'British Isles' is often used to denote Great Britain, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the island of Ireland collectively. It thus includes the UK, the Republic of Ireland, and the British Crown Dependencies. Sometimes 'British and Irish Isles' is used instead to refer to this area, to reflect the political sensitivities related to Ireland. Those same sensitivities make it important to carefully distinguish 'Britain' from 'the UK'.

State of the map

The map of the UK is mature but still has gaps in completeness. Generally we have a good map of the transport infrastructure however we are missing details such as lane count and many public rights of way (trails). There are also lots of buildings and addresses still to map. Recent community projects have highlighted a discrepancy in the amount and quality of mapping across the country. This leads to a number of differences but to pick one example, points of interest range from being mostly complete to either entirely missing or out of date.


OSMUK logo.svg

At the national level OSMUK (osmuk.org) is a non-profit company and registered Local Chapter of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. OSMUK's roles are to act as a focus for community, be a financial entity, give the community representation at national level infrastructure meetings, run regional events, and provide advice and assistance to organisations and companies wishing to add to or use OpenStreetMap. They maintain a Talent Directory for professional and voluntary service providers.

In addition to the national Local Chapter, there are two active community forums operating at the national level. To post to these mailing lists you must first join them via the links below.

OpenStreetMap UK

The official Local Chapter for the UK (including Northern Ireland). Find out more at osmuk.org.

GB mailing list

Talk-gb is the main communication forum list for the UK OSM community. Subscribe and read the archive here.

IE & NI mailing list

Talk-ie is an all-island forum and typically includes more Northern Ireland content than talk-gb. Subscribe and read the archive here.


There are 4 regional groups with an active online presence and regular in-person meet-ups:

A combined list of upcoming events in the UK:

10th AugustLondon OSM Birthday PartyCity of London, England, United Kingdom


In general we follow as many of the global tagging standards as possible. Where there is UK specific guidance we have documented it here including specific Copyright information for UK mappers.

If you are part of a remote editing project (e.g. a corporate team), please see Highway guidance in England and Wales for remote mappers.

There are a number of Reference values in the United Kingdom that are specific to this area.

Note: There are currently two schemes in use for UK footpaths, cyclepaths and bridleways. It is of personal preference as to which makes the most sense and which you should use. For more info see Classic vs Alternative tagging schemes in use in the United Kingdom. Please do not embark on mass retagging even if another scheme is more popular in your country.


Contributors are encouraged to get involved in any area that interests them (and write up appropriate information in this wiki). These sub-headings are only a loose categorisation.

Quarterly projects

Main article: UK Quarterly Project

The UK community holds quarterly projects, an announced collaborative focus for UK mappers. They are used to pull the community together, build new tools, and generate UK-specific tagging guidelines.

A list can be seen at the dedicated wiki page.

Non-wiki projects

There are a number of community maintained online tools to help you map the following things. The advantage of these over wiki projects is that they are often fully automated therefore saving us the time to manually update progress statistics on the wiki. Some tools also allow for direct editing of OpenStreetMap.

  • MapThePaths. Tools to help you to add all the rights of way and permissive paths to OpenStreetMap.
  • Addresses & Postcodes. Tools and links to help those wanting to improve the coverage of address and postcode mapping in the UK.
  • Ghosts. Lists UK chains that have closed or been re-named/re-branded but are still mapped in OSM.
  • Nameless. A tool to find OSM objects that should have names but are missing a name=* tag.
  • Pharmacies. Tools and links to help those wanting to improve the coverage of pharmacies in the UK.
  • Post Boxes. Statistics, reports and maps to examine and check the data on UK post boxes found in OpenStreetMap
  • Post Offices. Statistics, reports and maps to compare the data on UK Post Offices found in OpenStreetMap with a branch list released by Post Office Ltd under the OGL.
  • Public Rights of Way. Tools and links to help those wanting to improve the coverage of UK Public Rights of Way and associated countryside mapping.
  • Public Access Defibrillators (AEDs). Tools and links to help those wanting to improve the coverage of publicly accessible automated external defibrillators in the UK.
  • Schools. A comparison / progress tool and other useful resources to help complete the mapping of UK Schools.
  • Survey Me!. A local comparison tool combining data from the other tools listed here. Aims to provide locations that would benefit from a ground survey.

Wiki projects

The following projects use the OSM wiki to share information and track progress.

Urban Mapping



Boundaries and Land Areas

Historic places in the British Isles


UK wiki pages follow a naming convention similar to Wikipedia's "<Subject> in the United Kingdom" which puts the subject first. We use 'Sentence case' for page titles (instead of 'Capitalizing The First Letter Of Every Word').

  • Update all 'Wiki Project' pages such that we split out the guidelines from the progress tracker elements. Guidelines go into relevant pages under #Guidelines whilst the tracking elements are archived or listed as active projects. ONGOING 2019
  • Have dead pages removed. ONGOING 2019

Inactive projects

The following projects are inactive or complete:

Urban mapping


Third party data

In addition to the world-wide data sources, the following are available specifically for mapping in the UK. Please note that their accuracy varies and therefore where possible we prefer ground-truthed data (e.g. collected by GPS survey)

  • Ordnance Survey (Great Britain only)
    • Ordnance Survey OpenData - Ordnance Survey has released some data that can be used as an additional source of reference when mapping.
    • Old OS maps - Old maps that are out of copyright and have been scanned and rectified for tracing (work ongoing).
  • Natural England England only
    • OGL data for National Parks, Local and National Nature Reserves, Commons
  • Highways England
    • Highways England have given permission under the OGL licence to use their plan for the M42 J6 improvement scheme. Hopefully more will be forthcoming.

Original request to Highway England

As this scheme looks like it is about to start I'd like to start mapping the proposed route for OpenStreetMap and follow the associated work as it progresses to completion. Is it possible you could supply a plan of the route that is suitably licensed for use in OpenStreetMap? The OpenGovernment Licence works well. Currently all I can access is either protected by OS Crown Copyright or Aecom's prohibition on any use other than their client. I need this as the route is not amenable to our usual survey methods on foot/bicycle or by vehicular smartphone image capture.

I hope you can respond positively to my request. OpenStreetMap is widely used by many third party apps and the general public so keeping the map data up to date is vital to its utility.

Text of email from M42 J6 project support team dated Oct 12 2020: We’d be pleased to supply the information you need under the terms of the Open Government Licence (OGL). You can find the text of the licence at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/ Once you have considered the licence would you please let me know if you are willing to agree to its terms. You should particularly note that you (and any other third parties when sharing the data), as part the terms of the OGL, will need to acknowledge the source of the Information in their products or applications. This could be done by including or linking to an attribution statement saying that Highways England is licencing this data on the terms of the OGL and, if possible, provide a link to the OGL itself. Would you let me know how you’d propose to do that, please? Thank you again for taking the time to contact us and I hope you have found this response useful. If you require any further information about the M42 Junction 6 scheme, please email us at our scheme inbox or telephone 0300 123 5000.

Response of mappa-mercia dated October 12 2020

This is great news, thank you . OpenStreetMap has regularly used data under the Open Government Licence so we are familiar with its terms and therefore I can readily agree to them.

I propose declaring attribution in the following manner:

All data will be tagged:

source=Highways England source:licence=http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3/

Additionally I will post a Highways England wiki page in the OpenStreeMap UK section of the www.openstreetmap.org website with a copy of your emails granting permission. This is in order that other mappers and data users can have a public audit trail for my source tags proposed above.


The UK has a very strong history in OSM:

There have been many Events held in the United_Kingdom from 2004 to today. For the historically minded, many have been documented.