Where can I locate data that can be used to calculate driving distances in the UK using the Network Analyst extension to ArcGIS Desktop 10?

The data that came with my software (I'm in the USA) only covers North America.

I see that ESRI sells StreetMap Premium which covers europe: http://www.esri.com/data/streetmap

How much does this data cost? I am assuming it is expensive since they don't even list a price and I would prefer some cheaper options.

It looks like you might be able to buy data from Navteq/teleatlas (referenced here http://tereshenkov.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/street-data-for-network-analyst/ ) but that they will require a lot of manual processing.

Is there anything like TIGER for the UK that is provided by the government? The Ordnance Survey website didn't appear to have any streetmap style data.

4 Answers 4


If you want Free (but you will have to do a lot more pre-processing) OS VectorMap™ District is available. https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendatadownload/products.html

For commercial rotatable data you have 3 options.

Ordnance Survey - OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™(ITN) http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/products/itn-layer.html

(Many £££/$$$$)

TomTom (aka TeleAtlas)



Nokia (aka NAVTEQ® Map Data)


from memory Navteq was the cheapest option, OS was the most expensive (os map data was 860% more expensive than the entire project budget).

  • 1
    I looked at the OS VectorMap District data, but it seemed that it was just normal line data that would work with making maps, but not with Network Analyst (to do things like calculate driving distance coverage areas). I am new to Network Analyst, so I am not sure how to process the data into the right form (considering it needs information like speed limits and turns).
    – o.h
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 16:42
  • "speed limits and turns" this is called "value added data" hence a premium cost is involved. Either you add it to free data or pay for it.
    – Mapperz
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 16:44

You should also be able to use OpenStreetMap data to do this. It might need a little bit of work to fix some geometries, but it might be worth it considering it is free, and OpenStreetMap is fairly complete for the UK. http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=5/51.500/-0.100

Or as @Mapperz says, OS VectorMap™ District is also worth a shout.

  • This is promising. It looks like this tool can do most of the processing to get a network dataset from OpenStreetMap: esriosmeditor.codeplex.com/…
    – o.h
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 16:46
  • to expand on this look at the open route service wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OpenRouteService
    – Mapperz
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 16:48
  • unfortunately, due to the scope of my project, I need to be able to do the processing with a local dataset--I'm not actually making individual routes, but rather looking at things like 10-mile driving distance catchment areas. Otherwise I would probably just use the google API.
    – o.h
    Commented Oct 17, 2013 at 17:10
  • I was able to get beautiful network datasets from OpenStreetMap data using this tool: esriosmeditor.codeplex.com (I couldn't get the built in downloader to work, but I was able to convert OSM files I downloaded manually)
    – o.h
    Commented Oct 18, 2013 at 19:11

Surprised to see my blog post link in the question. Nowadays, you don't need much manual processing when buying vendor data (TomTom, Navteq) and trying to use within ArcGIS. Esri has released a custom toolbox which makes it possible to compile raw shapefiles into network dataset that are ready to route on (of course taking into account restricted turns, vehicle type restrictions, signposts etc). The Esri Street Data Processing toolbox is free and can be obtained from ArcGIS.com (direct link). The source code (C# .NET) is provided, so you might tweak it to your needs if required. I just use the compiled toolbox very often and it works fine.

OSM is another great source of data to get started as others suggested. I find it often so much easier though to download OSM data directly through http://market.weogeo.com/ which allows you to specify the geographic area, the layers you want to download, and the format. It is just so much easier to get started then. You would use core ArcGIS tools to built your own network dataset.

If you are looking for a more automated way of network dataset building, consider looking at another blog post of mine where I describe how to use North52 Java-based network data processing tool for ArcGIS network dataset compiling.

If you don't have to have the GIS data at your disposal, using premium Esri ArcGIS Online for Organizations routing service might be an alternative. You access the service directly from ArcMap (no need to have a local network dataset) by obtaining ArcGIS Online subscription (30-day trial available) and then paying tiny fee each time you route (the cost calculator is available too). This might work really well in cases when you need a simple routing and don't want to spend large amount of money on initial data collecting.

  • Thanks, As noted in the accepted answer, I found this tool (which is maintained by ESRI staff) that handles OSM data: esriosmeditor.codeplex.com Took several days to process all of England, but only a few hours if you only want a small area. I think I could speed up the first step (converting .osm to a geodatabase) a lot by cutting out all of the feature types I don't need and only keeping things related to roads.
    – o.h
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 17:32
  • Glad you solved it. At weogeo market link, one can choose what layers to download which will speed up the process for you. Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 18:30

OS makes Meridian 2 available for free. Fairly detailed, but not 100% ready for use. We make a version available from here, that is much easier to use: http://www.routeware.dk/download/meridian2_shp.7z But still a few steps required if you have to use it with Network Analyst. After all, we have primarily had focus on our own products.

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