Mapping for One-Place Studies - a forum

Our prototype Mapping System (M4OPS) => M4OPS - for those responsible for an OPS => Sources of Maps and Geographic Datasets => Topic started by: PeterC on 14 November 2016, 07:01:22

Title: Great Britain civil parish boundaries
Post by: PeterC on 14 November 2016, 07:01:22
To get Great Britain civil parish (and ward etc) boundary maps for free go to  There you can view the description of the Boundary Line product, and then click on the link to download it.  This takes you to the order page, and you select the product using the right hand checkbox (for download rather than DVD). Click Next and fill in your details, and you will receive an email with the data files attached. Unzip them and place the resulting folder (bdline_essh_gb) where you want it.

When you have the data:
Make sure you know which civil parish(es) you are interested in, and their exact spelling. The most useful site is:Other sites that can help include:
To extract a single civil parish (CP):
You now have three versions of the same CP boundary "feature" (probably a polygon, but possibly a multi-polygon), each in a different projection. These can be useful for clipping large datasets in future, but it is the 4326 version you will want to load into M4OPS. You can now close QGIS and there is no need to save the project.

You now need to add a row into the LayerDefs_Feature.csv for your OPS. It is probably easiest to start by copying a similar line from another OPS, but the fields required in LayerDefs_Feature.csv for this include (the fields that differ between OPS are in bold):
To complete the task:
Other UK boundary types (besides civil parishes) that are included in the download you receive, that you could extract in a similar way, are:
If you want more than one (eg) CP boundary in the layer then you need to Select each of the others, Copy, and Paste features as, and but this time choose Current vector layer. In this case select the filter option to Show Features Visible on Map is most useful.

Licensing aspects are covered at ( In summary it says:
You are able to use OS OpenData datasets in any way and for any purpose. We simply ask that you acknowledge the copyright and the source of the data by including the following attribution statement: Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right (year).
Your use of OS OpenData products is subject to the terms of the Open Government Licence.

More details of how to work with the data is at: (