Ordnance survey provide some style files to support their vectormaplocal product. The style files appear to come in pairs, similarly named but one with a .xml extension and the other .xls The two files together seem to be designed to define the style but my problem is how do I get the two into a format that QGIS can handle?

1 Answer 1


Here, the XSL file is a style sheet language file (XSLT, or eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) for transforming the XML file into other XML documents or other objects such as HTML, plain text, pdf, etc.

A priori nothing to do with QGIS, especially if one looks OS MasterMap® style guidance

Transforming GML using XSLT

These styles are also supplied as an XML Style sheet (XSLT, or eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations), which includes the style descriptions from the OS MasterMap user guide in an XML format, for all OS MasterMap layers (excluding Imagery layer).

For those interested in using XSLT with OS MasterMap an example is provided below that applies the OS MasterMap style guidelines to the independent polygon GML data to produce SVG. Both files below are required and should be used in the same directory as the data being converted. ....

and the example files have nothing to do with QGIS

QGIS style files (qml) are also a XML format. Theoretically, it would be possible to create another style sheet language file to transform the Ordnance survey XML into a qml file.

But happily, QGIS, support another XML format, the SLD format (Styled Layer Descriptors, see SLD Support and other QGIS 1.8 Style Features of Underdark) and you can download these styles in SLD format in OS VectorMap Local "NEW Styled Layer Descriptor files" or in Styled Layer Descriptors (SLDs) for vector products

  • Thank you Gene. I was in the process of reading through some of the documentation associated with the xml and xls files but had not come across the reference to the SLD files. I don't know how I missed them on the OS website. I do find that tracking down related documents is sometimes difficult on the OS website. Most of my problem is not having the knowledge to understand much of what I read :( Also thanks to Underdark for her info on SLD Support etc, I'm working through it :)
    – nigellaw
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 15:07

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