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About Ordnance Survey

At OS we show the world how to get to a better place.

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Ordnance Survey (OS) provides national mapping services for Great Britain and is a world-leading provider of geospatial solutions. OS location data and expertise has helped governments make smarter decisions, businesses gain valuable data insight, and everyone experience the world outside for over 225 years.

Location data has the power to create new and exciting opportunities as we move towards a connected digital society.

We use our valuable data and expertise, built on over 225 years of experience, to contribute to the future success of Britain and other nations.

We continually refine our data to present an accurate digital view, delivering to business and the public sector. We facilitate important decisions that will go onto enhance the quality of life of future generations.

Mapping the nation

High-volume changes to our database are delivered by remote sensing. This involves an intensive programme of capturing changes with aerial photography from our Flying Unit and external suppliers. The resulting high-definition images are overlaid with existing map data on screen, to check where features have changed. Instant updates can then be identified and made to our data.

Remote sensing also allows highly-accurate mapping in areas which are difficult to access and gives the capability to efficiently collect data over large areas.

In addition, our 230 surveyors collect precise location information using specialised equipment and OS Net, our national network of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) base stations. This underpins the most detailed and frequently updated mapping in the world.

These updates to the master database enable us to create a range of consistent and up-to-date data products of Great Britain, including our most detailed digital map OS MasterMap with its Topography Layer; high-resolution digital imagery; 3D models of the terrain and elevation features; road and water networks.

We’re also exploring new ways to capture even more detailed features in the landscape, particularly at street level, such as lamp posts and bus stops, to support smarter communities.

This includes vehicle-based surveying on the ground, using unmanned aerial vehicles, and high altitude pseudo satellites. We will also continue to collaborate with third-party data suppliers.

Working with businesses

Location data is driving growth across all business sectors. We believe it will be the fuel to power the digital economy of the future. Right now, energy, utility, property, retail and finance companies are turning to our data to enable efficiencies in the services they provide their customers.

We help keep transport flowing, ensure online shopping gets delivered to the door, and underpin every property sale in Great Britain.

Our role in supporting industrial growth is increasing. The nation’s largest infrastructure projects are being built using precise and trusted OS data. Planners for HS2 and Crossrail use our data because it can be relied on for its accuracy.

With our Partners, we’re pioneering innovations to support industry, and find smarter ways to solve complex problems, worldwide.

Working with the public sector

In communities across Great Britain, our work enables a safe, healthy and prosperous society. Our data is used by more than 5,000 organisations working for the public good in areas such as housing, the natural environment, connected transport and national security.

Our data is trusted to support policy and the delivery of public services at every level of government. From the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, where we provide essential location data that helps monitor the development of new housing, to emergency services, where our data is used to better coordinate planning for and responding to unexpected events.

The government’s Industrial and Digital strategies recognise the importance of location data for our future economy. The Geospatial Commission supports OS, among others, to focus on where geography and spatial data can make a real difference in tackling the key government and citizen challenges.

By working with partners across government, we’re helping to put ‘place’ at the heart of the UK’s connected economy of the future.

Our international reach

We’re working with countries all over the world. We use our expertise and capability to support sustainable development and deliver efficient public services – improving quality of life for millions of people.

We offer advisory services, working with organisations, governments and other national mapping agencies to improve policy making and increase geospatial capabilities. We show how Great Britain’s public bodies are using the same approach to geospatial data and standards to save millions of pounds per year; reduce carbon emissions; make the best possible evidence-based decisions; and deliver effective public services and plan new developments.

Recruitment Process

Our recruitment process varies dependent on the role that you are applying for, a general recruitment process at OS usually includes:

Online application - candidates apply online through our online application form and will be asked to submit a CV and a covering letter. Our graduate programmes will often ask candidates to demonstrate their thought process to a particular task/challenge within their cover letter.

Interview / Assessment Centre - if candidates are shortlisted for interview following their application, they will be invited to interview or assessment centre. These are usually competency-based interviews, using questions which aim to find out how you have used specific skills in your previous experience and how you approach problems, tasks and challenges, also called behavioural or situational questions. Some roles may require candidates to have a second interview with the hiring manager. If applying for a Graduate Programme, we will invite shortlisted applicants to an assessment centre in which candidates will complete activities such as a competency-based interview, a group task and a technical activity.

Culture and values

We believe people work best when they have a clear mission, feel empowered to make change, and have a great work-life balance.

Four key values help shape us and the work we do:

  • Think customer - We put the customer at the heart of everything we do.
  • Thrive together - We work as one team to deliver for our customers; learning from each other, communicating openly and connecting powerfully.
  • Stay ahead - We set the standard and lead the way – delivering certainty today and innovating to stay ahead tomorrow.
  • Seize the moment - We seize every opportunity to turn ambition into action; making things happen with passion and purpose.

Equality and diversity

We believe diversity and inclusion is about working together – in a supportive and respectful environment –to reach our full potential. We think combining different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives will help us reach our vision and be trusted and admired across the globe for setting the standards and leading the way.

Everybody at Ordnance Survey (OS) is joined in our shared responsibility to promote:

  • Respect for diversity
  • Commitment to inclusion
  • Celebration of difference
  • Our workplace culture is based on mutual trust. Which is why we take a zero tolerance approach to harassment and bullying, with a company policy outlining this stance.

A few words from our CEO, Stephen Lake
"I’m committed to making OS an inclusive place to work. Encouraging diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, it brings huge benefits to the business and diverse teams create more value for our customers. To ensure we get the best people, we need to recruit from a wide and diverse talent pool.

We all need to challenge our inherent bias and it’s our responsibility to create the kind of environment that we are proud to work in, an environment where we all feel recognised, respected and valued."

We have several groups to help us learn more about the benefits of accepting and including a diverse range of people in our workplace:

  • Women's Development Network
  • LGBTQ+ Employee Network
  • Disability Awareness Group
  • OS Neurodiversity Support Network

More from Ordnance Survey

Facts and figures
  • Number of employees: 1001 to 5000
Industry sectors
  • Technology
  • Engineering