Ordnance Survey releases database of every green space in England, Scotland, and Wales

Written by Sam Trendall on 10 July 2017 in News
News

Comprehensive map allows public to locate parks, children's play areas, playing fields and more, and use the data to create business ventures

Ordnance Survey hopes that its green space data will help improve public sector "planning, analysis, and decision making"

Ordnance Survey (OS) has created a database and a digital map of every green space and outdoor recreation facility in England, Scotland, and Wales.

The organisation has created “comprehensive map of Great Britain’s green spaces” which can be accessed via its OS Maps app and online service. 

A data collection, dubbed OS Open Greenspace, is also available for download and use by businesses and individual software developers wishing “to create products and services that will encourage healthier and greener lifestyles”.

OS MasterMap Greenspace, an exclusively public-sector version of the green-spaces map, is also being made available to government bodies via the Public-Sector Mapping Agreement and the One Scotland Mapping Agreement. OS claimed the data, which also includes details of green spaces not currently accessible to the public, could help civil servants and policy makers “improve planning, analysis, and decision making”.


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OS worked with a number of governmental and non-governmental organisations bodies to collate the green-space data. The mapping agency has compiled information on every single public park, garden, playing field, children’s play area, golf course, bowling green, and allotment in England, Wales, and Scotland.

The public can now obtain information on the exact location and breadth of facilities on offer at each site, as well as details of access points for bigger sites.

OS chief executive Nigel Clifford said: “I’m particularly proud of this product as it delivers valuable information to the public, via OS Maps, enabling people and families across Great Britain to discover the green spaces near them. 

He added: “I am excited to see how people experiment and work with the data and look forward to seeing new products and services to help encourage an active Great Britain.”

The release of a green-space map for the whole of Great Britain data follows the 2011 launch of a similar initiative from charity Greenspace Scotland. OS claimed that this was the first such project of its kind in the world.

The mapping agency has updated the Scottish green-space map, and brought in additional data for the rest of Great Britain.

Universities and science minister Jo Johnson said: “Green spaces are a vital part of our landscape and this new database and online map will make it easier for people across the country to access green spaces and lead healthier lives.”

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of ​PublicTechnology

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