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.

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) relation 62149 is a country in Europe comprising the 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 (the Isle of Man relation 62269, Guernsey relation 270009 and Jersey relation 367988 'The Channel Islands') 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 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.


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 descrepency 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.

Copyright information

If contributing to the map please see Copyright information for UK mappers. For those who want to make use of OpenStreetMap data in their own products please see https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence.


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

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.

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


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.

There is an active online community participating in the Talk-GB mailing list (historic archive).

For geographically pragmatic reasons, Northern Ireland matters are mainly discussed on the Talk-IE mailing list (historic archive).


There are 4 regional groups with active online and regular monthly in-person meetups:

For East Midlands see the National Events list. For London see the OSM London page. For Scotland see the OSM Scotland page. For Birmingham area see the Mappa Mercia page and mailing list.

Upcoming Events OSMUK
(mailing list)
(mailing list)
OSM London Mappa Mercia OSM Scotland Nottingham
& Derby


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

The UK Quarterly Projects are a quarterly, announced focus on improving a type of data coverage are used to pull the community together, build new tools, and generate UK-specific tagging guidelines.

24 hour mapathons

Every month we pick a different region of the UK to focus on. These UK 24 hour mapathons allow us to improve the quality of the map in places we might not normally consider.

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.

Tools by Nick Whitelegg

  • MapThePaths. Tools to help you to add all the rights of way and permissive paths to OpenStreetMap.

Tools by Robert Whittaker

  • 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


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.