Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland

Spatial unlocks the key to joined-up government

Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland (OSNI) was established on 1st January 1922, and because of its long history OSNI’s mapping data is amongst the most detailed and comprehensive in the world.


Formed by the merger of OSNI, Land Registry, Valuation Agency and Rates Collection Agency, LPS has a wealth of data relating to land and property. However, with the information held in separate legacy systems preventing it from being shared both within the organisation and across government, it needed a new building block for interoperability.


Developed by OSNI, the Fusion object-based model has created millions of features to represent Northern Ireland’s land use and built environment, each with a unique spatial identifier. The linkages created by these identifiers geolocate any building, land parcel or other real world object to join up systems across government and create an integrated geospatial information framework. They are also used within the 1Spatial Management Suite (1SMS) to provide a fully automated workflow for capturing and managing change in the national database.

Key Benefits

  • Connects distributed architecture to underpin government in an unprecedented way
  • Delivers value for money by enabling greater interoperability and automation across public services
  • Concept of common identifiers supports the Geospatial Commission’s FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principles
  • Identifiers support a very high standard of Open Data, allowing information from across government and the private sector to be quickly and easily identified, shared and reused
  • Potential to use unique identifiers to enrich data via linking spatial and non-spatial datasets

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OSNI capture and maintain the large scale digital geospatial data that enables the Northern Ireland Executive to set regulations, collect rates and provide public services to deliver economic and social development.

It is responsible for a range of products that include:

  • OSNI_Fusion, a range of large scale vector data for all of NI
  • Small scale map production at 1:10,000, 1:50,000
  • Digital products include raster and vector mapping as well as aerial imagery
  • A range of paper maps designed to cater for the different needs of tourists, motorists and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Spatial NI, a portal providing the public with access to Ordnance Survey’s authoritative mapping data, together with geospatial information and services from multiple providers across the public and private sectors
  • Pointer,  the address database for every property Northern Ireland and the standard address for every property
  • National Gazetteer
  • Historical mapping at various scales