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Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

  • 1.  Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

    Posted 05-21-2018 09:28

    Hi All! Feel like I'm flogging a dead horse here again, but I figured before I give up entirely, I'd pop the question on here. I've been talking with Ordnance Survey with regards to getting the new OS.Highways Network data built for my MapInfo userbase, and have been pointed in the direction of Astun Technology's python routine which can be found on GitHub (

    Has anyone had any joy using this? Any tips or advice on getting it to run?


    I'm still trying in vain to get this dataset built without the need to fork out more cash on third party tools; I still find it incredulous that a large software provider such as Pitney Bowes don't provide the tools to enable you to use the updated OS base mapping in their product! It's not helping my case to remain with MapInfo due to the amount of time and effort I'm wasting on this, especially considering my other software provider, Cadcorp, provide the relevant tools built into the desktop application to load and build all OS datasets from one menu at no extra cost!


    Thanks in advance!



  • 2.  RE: Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

    Posted 05-21-2018 07:58

     Hi Matthew

    I have already asked our Data team, as we had the tools for ITN previously, i am now checking for Highways Network and will revert as soon as possible.



  • 3.  RE: Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

    Posted 05-21-2018 08:51


    Can you please contact Daniel Edwards <>, he will be able to help you, on the Universal Translator packaged with MapInfo Pro does contain a GML converter specifically for OS data (I think it supports v3.2 GML). Dan will be able to help you on a test conversion with OS highways to ensure it renders the data and translates it correctly.

    Who did you reach out to in OS before adding this question in LI360? As it seems you have been at it a while?


  • 4.  RE: Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

    Posted 05-21-2018 09:17

    Hi Marc, Thanks for replying!


    I've spoken with Ian Bennett at OS back in February 2018 and then again today via email. Obviously, OS have to remain impartial as I've been reminded before, so he's tried to point me in the right direction, only I'm still yet to find a viable solution that doesn't involve yet more costs. With the imminent removal of OS.ITN I need to get a solution in place in plenty of time so that the MapInfo userbase are familiar with the new OS.Highways Network layer before the ITN disappears.


    As I pointed out, my Cadcorp users have been using the OS.Highways Network since its release, so I'm confident that the switch will be painless for them. They've also become accustomed to the new OS MasterMap theming since the rollout of the updated schema. Sadly, I can't say the same for the MapInfo users. If I can't find a solution easily, we'll either have to make the full switch to Cadcorp across the authority which will negate all of my issues in one fell swoop, or find a workaround which, whilst isn't ideal, at least it allows people to continue working.


    I tried the Universal Translator in V16 but it didn't appear to like the OS.Highways Network RAMI GML files. I'll drop Daniel an email as requested, hopefully he'll be able to shed some light on this for me?


    Thanks Marc!

  • 5.  RE: Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

    Posted 05-22-2018 05:20

    Hi Matt

    As you know, there is the MapGML translator that now translates OS Highways (as well as OS MasterMap) but it does not fit your criteria of being "free". However, it is a professional application that does more than just translating data, as it styles and configures the data for use in MapInfo from settings files.

    OS Highways is a fairly complex set of relational tables, as well as providing not one but three sets of geometries! You have to choose what data you want to join to which geometry from a number of ID fields. This makes for umpteen permutations.

    On the other side, have you requested the data in geopackage format rather than GML from OS? MapInfo Pro now supports the OGC open geopackage format.

  • 6.  RE: Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

    Posted 05-22-2018 05:49

    Thanks John, I have the details for the MapGML tool, if I had the funding I'd have already placed an order with you. I'd also considered the possibility of getting FME which would no doubt see us right for a number of years no matter what the source data, but again, funding is the issue!

    I've not tried the OGC format from OS, will this also work with older versions of MapInfo, or would I be able to open it in V16 and create backwards compatible TABs for use in V15 etc.? With Cadcorp's tools accepting the GML format, I've been used to one download / DVD to fit both GIS applications. It's a shame that the Cadcorp exporter won't cover the required TAB or MID/MIF files else I could use my Cadcorp tools to build the MapInfo format.

    Just seems mad that we've got to go through all of this frustration just to get basemapping data built for MapInfo! I mean even QGIS will open the GZ files for me from a drag and drop as I found out yesterday! Maybe I could export to MapInfo from that? I'll have to give it a try...

  • 7.  RE: Building OS.Highways Network for use in MapInfo

    Posted 05-22-2018 06:58

    Yes, you will need to use v16 (or 17) to open and join the required tables together and then save as a standard MapInfo tab (not extended tab) for use in older versions of MapInfo.

    Do your other options retain separate gz chunks? or are they amalgamated into one coverage? Do they delete duplicate objects found mostly around the overlapping edges? Do they separate the cartographic polygons from the base topographic polygons?