Is the data I want available digitally?

We do not sell our digital mapping data to external parties. Instead, we grant external parties a licence to use this data, subject to certain standard terms and conditions. In general, a licence fee will be payable based on the type of data, the number of users, and the duration (years) of a licence.

All recipients of a licence (potential licensees) are required to return a signed digital data licence document to us before authorisation for release of BGS digital data is given.

Our Digital products provide a listing of all BGS data that is approved for license to external parties.

Conditions for supply of digital data

In general terms, a BGS digital data licensee will be permitted to:

  • make internal use of the dataset(s)
  • allow a specified number of internal users to access/use the data (the number of users will be agreed with the licensee and specified in the licence document) for the purposes of their day-to-day internal activities
  • reproduce extracts from the data up to A3 for use in external analogue (paper/hard copy) or non-queryable electronic (e.g. secured .pdf) format: to meet a public task duty; fulfil a statutory requirement; and/or as part of academic or other non-commercial research

But will not be permitted to:

  • provide a bureau service for others or incorporate the data in the generation of products or services for commercial purposes
  • sell, assign, sublicense, rent, lend or otherwise transfer (any part of) the dataset(s) or the licence
  • place (any part of) the dataset(s) on the Internet

Please note

  • The BGS is committed to ensuring that all the digital data it holds which is released to external parties under licence has been through a robust internal approval process, to ensure that geoscientific standards and corporate quality assurance standards are maintained. This approval process is intended to ensure that all data released: (i) is quality assured; (ii) meets agreed BGS data management standards; (iii) is not in breach of any 3rd party intellectual property rights, or other contractual issues (such as confidentiality issues), that would mean that release of the data is not appropriate.
  • When the BGS digital datasets are revised any upgrades will be automatically supplied to the licensee, at no additional cost. Because geological map datasets are revised on a periodic rather than on an annual basis, licensees will not automatically receive a new dataset each year unless changes have been made to the data.

These are general comments for guidance only. A licensee of BGS's digital data is provided with full details of the basis on which individual BGS datasets licensed to them are supplied.

If you have any doubts about whether your proposed use of the BGS data will be covered by a BGS digital licence, the IPR Section will be happy to discuss this with you. We will usually be able to provide reassurance that the licence will cover individual user requirements and/or to include additional 'special conditions' in the licence documentation, addressing specific requirements within BGS's permitted usage.