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For Colouring London to be able to map the data you donate, and for you to be able see your building or buildings colour, we have to be able to access up-to-date information on the location and 'footprint' of every building in London. 

These footprints act as mini filing cabinets, storing, locating and visualising

contributed data. Permission has been given by Ordnance Survey, to University College London, to use OSMasterMap footprints (OSMM) for London for this specific purpose. A separate agreement has also had to be set up with The Greater London Authority's to allow UCL to use its OSMM data.

Though we can visualise spatial data, and offer downloads, current OS copyright restrictions mean that, we cannot, at the moment, release footprint geometries derived from OSMM. From 2020 however we have been allowed to map UPRNS to provide spatial location.  Once made fully open open, address and geometry datasets will allow everyone - not just universities, local authorities and others holding OS licences-, to easily map Colouring London data, and other spatial datasets themselves, and will bring the UK in line with many other countries. 

Out data is also being linked to Open Street Map  to  OSM building ID's and lat/long data. The greater the number of location categories filled on our map, including building address, lat/long, OSMM UPRN and TOID, and OSM subcategories,  the darker the buildings  become to you allow you to see easily where more data are required. 


Colouring London is a product of the open data movement, a movement driven in large part driven by the pioneering work of OpenStreetMap and The Open Data Institute. As a result of growing pressure on the UK government to release location data and geometries data, in 2017 the UK  Treasury announced that, owing to the potential significance of OS MasterMap to the UK economy, its premium product, OSMM would begin to be opened up for public use. In 2019 The Geospatial Commission, was also set to increase use of geospatial data. May 2020 updates on the release of building footprint and location data can be found here:


Help for developers:

UCL's collaboration with Ordnance Survey and the GLA on Colouring London, also allows for the platform to show how and why the open release of comprehensive, updated national mapping agency data at building level is essential if UK cities are meet ever more stringent emissions and sustainability goals. This include those set out in United Nations' New Urban Agendasigned up to by the UK in 2016.Also  to show how the release of national mapping data has the capacity to unlock vast repositories of currently untapped knowledge about the city's buildings, held by the public and by diverse sectors and organisations, and able to be used, and willing to be donated, for the common good.

Colouring London is an open data platform and we can only accept data from unrestricted sources. Just use first-hand knowledge of the building wherever possible, or check your source is open and free for third party use.

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