Building Use available to order with OS MasterMap®

Download the Building Use layer


MapServe®’s Building Use layer, derived from the OS National Geographic Database (NGD), provides updated building use data with up to 28 different categories, including retail and commercial spaces, educational, government and medical buildings as well as construction and historic premises. It can be used to speed up and create more accurate site analysis maps for planning applications and design & access statements (DAS) plus much more. Coverage spans Great Britain and is available in CAD format (DWG & DXF).

Coverage: Great Britain
Formats: CAD (DWG & DXF)
Options: Colour, black & white
Printable scales: 1:200 – 1:10,000
Stated accuracy: Urban +/- 1m, rural +/- 2.5m, moorland / mountain +/- 8m
Updates: Up to daily updates to data
Delivery: Within seconds of ordering
Licence options: 12 months (other options available on request)
Projection: OSGB36 geodetic datum using Transverse Mercator projection
Grid: British National Grid
No. of Layers: 28 (Commercial, industrial, medical, retail, construction, education and much more)

What is Building Use?
Building Use is a new layer provided by MapServe®, that uses OS NGD data. It’s available in CAD format as a new addition to OS MasterMap® and it helps visualise various building uses, such as residential, education, greenspaces, hospitals, and transport hubs.

What does the Building Use Layer contain?
It contains 28 CAD layers that show the most recent and comprehensive building usage and access data collected by the Ordnance Survey. These are: Agriculture Or Aquaculture, Attraction Or Activity, Animal Services, Distribution Or Storage, Industrial Or Manufacturing, Commercial Activity: Other, Retail, Emergency Services, Funerary, Community Services, Religious Worship, Construction, Defence, Education, Government Services, Historic, Medical Or Health Care, Mixed Use, Residential Accommodation, Sports Attraction Or Facility, Temporary Or Holiday Accommodation, Transport: Air, Transport: Rail, Transport: Road, Track Or Path, Transport: Water, Unknown, Unknown Use and Utility Or Environmental Protection.

How often is the Building Use Layer updated?
The layer is constantly updated with up to daily updates from the OS.

What can Building Use be used for?
Building Use data has many applications. It can be used to quickly understand building usage at specific locations (e.g. ‘private residential’ or ‘primary school’), to compare and contrast the density and distribution of site uses across regions (e.g. all schools in a county), and to understand how accessible major sites are (e.g. where schools, train stations, and public parks are) and how they connect to the road network (e.g. for better transportation planning and efficient navigation). It’s useful for planning applications, site analysis, design and access statements and much more.

What does Building Use mean?
It is a geographic depiction of a building that is designated as being utilised for a specific purpose, such as a school, shopping mall, or private dwelling. It aims to identify the scope of the activity, and while this may be comparable to or identical to the ownership information provided by HM Land Registry (HMLR) or Registers of Scotland (RoS), it should not be interpreted as indicating legal scope or ownership.

Which reference system does the Ordnance Survey use?
It uses the British National Grid reference system.

What are some use cases for Building Use data?
Building usage serves various purposes such as justifying proposed use on new sites, aiding in planning and architectural decisions by understanding site safety and services impact, and informing planning statements. It also assists in change of use situations, streamlines planning applications, supports design and access statements, aids in architectural and lease plans, and helps in pre-application inquiries.

How accurate are OS maps?
You can read all about Ordnance Survey’s maps accuracy on our website here.

OS MasterMap® with Building Use DWG
OS MasterMap® with Building Use DXF

Practical Tools to Enhance Your MasterMap®


Auto Outline

Outline a property’s boundary on MasterMap quickly and accurately.


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Automatically fit MasterMap to your desired paper size and scale.


The Rectangle tool selects the portion of MasterMap that you wish to purchase. You can also use the Polygon or Set Area tools for a different shape of mapping.

Save Area

You can save MasterMap search for a future purchase and easy access using the reference name of your choice.

Snap to Point

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MasterMap’s Different Uses

The Telecoms Surveyor

‘I use MapServe to download the Ordnance Survey Mastermap in CAD format based around the mast site. I also use the preview maps and aerial photography on the site to establish access points for on-site visits.’

The Architect

‘I was previously with Promap but I switched to MapServe which is simple, quick and clear compared to the rest of the providers.’ I mainly order OS MasterMap in DWG format.

The Town Planner

‘I use MapServe's mapping service to download the OS Mastermap in DWG format based around the mast site. I also use the preview maps and aerial photography on the site to establish access points for on-site visits.’

The Transport Planning Consultant

‘I mainly use Mastermap in coloured and black and white DWG formats. I need mapping that covers ± 300 m from the site that I then upload to AutoCAD in order to create the appropriate plans.’

The Arboricultural Consultant

‘I use my integrated tree software to plot the trees and its positions and then I create different layers using the Ordnance Survey MasterMap on AutoCAD to create the reports. The plans that I get from MapServe work in correspondence with the reports that I write to my clients.’

The Structural Engineer

'I use MapServe®'s MasterMap® in black and white CAD format with the addition of 1m contour lines a lot. The contour lines help with the sites to determine if I need to create retaining walls or any other support mechanism and just to understand the ground profile.'

Supported Software

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