Water Features

The OS National Geographic Database (NGD) Water Features Collection represents topographic water area features such as watercourses, lakes, drains, springs and intertidal watercourses across Great Britain. The feature types in this collection are Inter Tidal Line, River Basin District Catchment, Tidal Boundary, Water, Water Point, and Waterbody Catchment. Full attribution is given for each feature type, including geometry, feature classification (for example, a drain or reservoir) and other additional information.

Narrow water features which are depicted by a line geometry rather than a polygon geometry are not included in the OS NGD Water Features Collection; however, they can be obtained from the OS NGD Water Network Collection.

The OS NGD Water Features Collection contains both a Water Feature Type and Water Point Feature Type. Within the Water Feature Type, inland water is represented as polygons, whereas in the Water Point Feature Type, inland water is represented as points. To be captured as a polygon, an area of permanent inland water generally has to have a minimum size of 8 sq m. Areas of permanent inland water below this minimum size but which OS consider to be of sufficient interest to be captured are captured as points.

Collection applications

The OS NGD Water Features Collection allows you to:

  • Ensure your water features data is always up to date with up to daily updates.

  • Conduct topographic analysis of areas of permanent water, features associated with water, watercourses extending across the tidal zone, and tidal boundaries.

  • Link water features using persistent unique identifiers for analyses across OS NGD Collections.

  • Significantly enhance the systems used to manage waterways and rivers and the flood risk they pose.

  • Perform analytics and visual interpretation, particularly when used in combination with data from other OS NGD collections. For example, you could assess land use next to water bodies if you used this collection alongside the OS NGD Land Use Features Collection.

  • Display bodies of water and water catchments as a backdrop map.

Key elements

  • Up to daily updates to data (with the exception of the River Basin District Catchment and Waterbody Catchment Feature Types' data which will be updated as and when updates are received from third-party data from the authoritative bodies).

  • Plug and play – the data is simple and quick to implement as you don't need to pre-process it before you use it.

  • Rich attribution ensures the data is straightforward to navigate and query.

  • Persistent unique identifiers with lifecycle information.

  • Water Feature Type included which covers inland and tidal topographic water bodies.

  • Classification and description provided for every topographic water area feature in Great Britain.

  • Land use and land cover classifications provided for the Water Feature Type.

  • Authoritative water catchment data from the nationalβ€―water bodies, containing existing catchmentβ€―names and identifiers for continuity​ of use.


Great Britain.

Default coordinate reference system

British National Grid (EPSG: 27700).

Temporal filtering

The earliest date on which you can request a one-off snapshot of a date in the past for data in this collection is noted at the top of the individual feature type pages.

Supply formats

GeoPackage, CSV (comma-separated values), vector tiles or GeoJSON (the latter format is not available for two feature types in the collection: River Basin District Catchment and Waterbody Catchment).

Supply mechanism

Accessed through the OSβ€―Data Hub via:

  • OS Select+Build

  • OS NGD API – Tiles

  • OS NGD API – Features (not available for two feature types in the collection: River Basin District Catchment and Waterbody Catchment)

Using our data

  • Included in the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) – therefore, it's free at point of use for Public Sector organisations.

  • Available to OS Partners for commercial resell in your solutions.

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