Ordnance Survey adds speed data to MasterMap Highways Network


Mapping agency Ordnance Survey (OS) is adding new datasets about vehicle speeds and speed limits in its mapping to help transport planners plot journey times.

The two datasets have been added to the OS MasterMap Highways Network product, which OS said provides ‘the single authoritative view of the road network for England and Wales’.

The datasets include speed information for all motorways, A roads and B roads, and rural and residential streets. Both datasets have been provided by third-party supplier BaseMap.


OS head of product strategy Marie Thirlwall said: ‘This additional data from Basemap proves particularly useful for users within emergency services, local authorities and transport companies. They can analyse congestion and drive-time patterns, plan the quickest emergency response routes, or to inform traffic studies, route planning and infrastructure modelling.

‘Speed data is easily interoperable with the highways network through the use of highways core identifiers. This is a great example of an OS partner, Basemap, adding extra value to core OS data, making it even more useful to Government and private sector users.’

OS said the new data will make it easier to:

  • optimise routes and plan quicker journey times;
  • improve delivery routes based upon actual speeds instead of speed limits;
  • help emergency services plan response routes based upon historic traffic congestion data;
  • produce year-on-year drive time comparisons to understand which routes are improving or getting worse.

Average driving speed data has been captured from vehicle telematic devices and gives detailed historical records for all roads, except alleyways. Information has been recorded at five different times during the day, in both directions, along with a data capture at the weekend. Legal speed limits data is based on signs, including local authority Traffic Regulation Orders.

The average speed data will be updated annually while the speed limit dataset will be updated every quarter.

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