Terminology and access

OS NGD terminology: themes, collections and feature types


A theme is a macro grouping of features which all represent similar geographic entities. Themes are the highest level of grouping within the OS NGD, and examples include β€˜Buildings’ and β€˜Transport’.

Themes allow for quick discovery and navigation when using OS Select+Build or the new OS NGD APIs. They also give you the ability to quickly access all OS data relating to your particular theme of interest.

The nine OS NGD themes are: Address, Administrative and Statistical Units, Buildings, Geographical Names, Land, Land Use, Structures, Transport, and Water.


A collection is a sub-grouping of the OS NGD themes. Collections group together similar types of data within a theme. Examples include ensuring network and routing data is separated from topographic features. For example, in the OS NGD Water Theme, there are two collections: OS NGD Water Features (topographic data) and OS NGD Water Network (network data).

This makes it easier for you to access only the data you require.

Feature type

A feature type is the most granular level of grouping within the OS NGD. Feature types have their own data model and specifications which are not commonly shared with other feature types. When you order data through OS Select+Build, the data you receive will be provided at a feature type level.

How do you access the OS NGD?

The OS NGD is available via the OS Data Hub on either the Premium Plan or Public Sector Plan. There are three access methods to choose from once you are on the OS Data Hub:

  • OS Select+Build: A download service which enables you to choose only the data you require and select how you want to receive your data.

  • OS NGD API – Features: An OGC API – Features service.

  • OS NGD API – Tiles: A vector tiles service based on OGC API – Tiles.

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