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Mapping for emergencies

Contact us for emergency mapping.

Call us on 03456 050505

In an emergency, every second counts.

At Ordnance Survey (OS) we understand that emergencies can happen at any time.

Our free Mapping for Emergencies (MfE) service supports the resilience community (category 1 and 2 responders) and is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, at no cost - in any emergency.

If you're a local authority, emergency service, hospital trust or a service supporting these organisations such as a utility company or a transport operator, we can help you now.

Using location data to support a Covid-19 response

Types of Covid-19 support our MfE team can help with includes:

  • Data extraction, aggregation or visualisation.
  • Data linking and improvement. For example, address matching or linking households to the nearest healthcare sites.
  • Bespoke data analysis. For example, identifying potential demand on key healthcare sites, or access to residential green space.
  • Using new demand models to plan the allocation of scarce resources with public sector organisations. For example, the transportation of equipment to hospitals.
  • Identifying and understanding the proximity of key services in specific areas. For example, the location of the nearest pharmacist.
  • Creating a bespoke subset of data. For example, data based on a region.

Call us on 03456 050505

If it's not an emergency but you still require support from OS, please contact us using the form on our Covid-19 page and we'll aim to get back to you within 12 hours.

Other support from OS in an emergency

We provide geospatial support during any emergency or major incident, whether it's responding to natural disasters or security threats (all under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004).

MfE is primarily aimed at Category 1 and 2 responders (emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies, the Health and Safety Executive, transport and utility companies). However, if you are from another part of the public sector or a commercial business and you urgently need help with mapping during an emergency, please call us.

Support is delivered by OS’s expert analysts, specifically trained in resilience, and can be provided remotely, or at your location.

We’ve responded to previous MfE requests with the following support:

  • Geospatial analysis (address matching/querying, routing, cordon analysis, geo-location)
  • Data manipulation and custom formatting
  • Bespoke mapping
  • Large-volume map printing
  • Geo-visualisation
  • Situational awareness

Outputs can be delivered in a range of formats, for example as data that can be re-used for later analysis. It can be loaded into common information sharing platforms, or as finished graphics, which can be used within presentations or situation reports.

Common map symbols to use in an emergency

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat in the Cabinet Office, working in partnership with Ministry of Defence and Ordnance Survey, has created a set of common map symbols to promote interoperability between emergency responders.

Download civil protection map symbology

The symbols have been created in both a vector format (SVG) and a raster format (BMP) for use in a geographical information system. Download the symbols:


Examples of using OS data in an emergency

Here are some examples of when OS data has been used in an emergency.