Thursday, 7 September 2017

DWG OS Mastermap Black & White styling

It’s been a few months since we released our enhanced DWG styling and feedback has been encouraging.  However, some users prefer to work with a black and white map.

Reverting to the old styling is extremely easy and we highlight 2 ways below: 

Fig 1. DWG file containing Ordnance Survey Mastermap loaded within AutoCAD. 

1. Deleting the MPolygons

In this option, the MPolygons will be deleted from the drawing.  This will only leave the line work.

  • Open your map (see Fig 1).
  • Select the MPolygons within the drawing. - Type 'Q Select'. (this displays the Quick Select dialog box. See fig.2)
  • Select 'MPolygons' from the Object Type and 'ByLayer' for the Value. 
  • Select OK (the MPolygons in the drawing will now be selected).
  • Press Delete (this deletes the MPolygons leaving just the line work).

Fig 2. Selecting MPolygons using Quick Select.

2. Switch off the display of Hatching / MPolygons within AutoCAD.

If you don’t need hatching/MPolygons for your day-to-day work then you might prefer to configure AutoCAD not to display them.

  • In the command window type Fill
  • Enter
  • Type off
  • Enter
You may need to regenerate the view to display these changes.

Fig 3. The resulting DWG without MPolygons.

Please note that this will turn off the hatching/MPolygons for all drawings.  Should you require them you’ll need to turn them on again.

If you have any questions or comments please contact us on or call 0845 521 1410.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

New Ordnance Survey Mastermap DWG data exports arriving 10th July 2017.

It's been in the pipeline for a while, but from 10th July 2017 we'll be launching a new OS MasterMap DWG data export service. Our new and improved DWG file is packed with more information, more layers and greatly enhanced styling.

New OS Mastermap DWG file opened in DWG Trueview.

The changes we've made include:
  • Splitting data features into separate layers (where possible) to enable you to easily distinguish between lines and areas.
  • Optimised for 2D and 3D viewing.
  • Defaulting drawing units to metres to make measuring more straightforward.
  • Using the building height attributes provided by OS we can also convert files into 3D models more easily (see previous post).
To check out this new data structure just download a sample..

If you have any questions please get in touch. Our support team is always happy to help.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Making use of building height attributes from Ordnance Survey Mastermap Topographical layer

In a previous post we mentioned changes to our DWG exports from the FIND system and one of the exciting things is the inclusion of the building height attributes as x-data.  With a coverage of more than 10,000 sq km of urban area's you will be able to create your own simple 3D visualisation models.

As part of the building height attribute you now receive the AbsHMin, AbsH2 and AbsHMax which defines the absolute height of the property at various positions.

Height values included in the OS Mastermap Topography Layer.
Image obtained from OS MasterMap Topography Layer User Guide

To learn more about the building height attributes included as part of the OS Mastermap Topograpy Layer please visit the Ordnance Survey website.

Here is an example of what you can do with this height information within AutoCAD.

For more information about how these models were created or if you require a more sophisticated model, please do send us an email on or give us a call on 0845 5211410.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

DWG / DXF changes coming soon

As part of our continuous improvement program we are looking to improve the data exports that are available through the FIND website.

The first data export format we are looking at is DWG and DXF for OS Mastermap exports and we are looking to implement the following changes:

  • Hatched styling for area's
  • Improved layer management
  • Additional attribute information including the new building height attributes.
  • Unit measurements to be in metric. 
Ordnance Survey Mastermap Topographical layer exported from FIND and displayed in DWG Trueview 2017.

We are always interested to hear from our users, so if you have any improvement suggestions please email your comments to  

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Geoserver SVG in TCPDF

We all know that vector pdf maps are best for print quality and file size, so when we were upgrading our map printing systems we wanted to ensure that we output all our maps as vector PDFs.

Geoserver is well able to output mapping as SVG, but we needed to incorporate that within a template that includes all the traditional map ‘furniture’ and text needed to make a complete map.

As always, keen to use an open-source solution we adopted TCPDF as the engine to create the final PDF but quickly encountered a few issues:

  1. There seemed to be a size limit on the svg output made by geoserver.  This was fine for creating outputs for A4 size papers but caused geoserver to crash when working with sizes up to A0.
  2. For this project we were specifically using ordnance survey mastermap data and the geoserver style sheets that have been kindly produced and provided by the Ordnance Survey.  On review of the final pdf we noticed issues with the styling i.e. building outlines being dashed instead of solid, the image output from directly from geoserver was however fine.  This caused some serious head scratching…

Fortunately the open nature of TCPDF and Geoserver allowed us to dig under the hood and identify the size limit issue being limited to the xml parse on the latest build of the Linux operating system.  We were therefore able to code around this issue.  The styling issue was slightly more complex as there was a number of bugs and compatibility issues between the styling available within Geoserver and TCPDF.  The most fundamental of which was to ensure that TCPDF utilised the default style from the base element and the value was changed if a new style was available.   

We made the changes to Geoserver and submitted back to the developers for consideration.  You can check out our changes here:

We would be interested to hear if others have had similar issues and if our fix is useful to the wider mapping community.