One Scotland Gazetteer to support first online census


The Improvement Service has been working with National Records of Scotland in preparation for the 2021 Census. The forthcoming Census, which will be conducted online for the first time in the UK, will use the One Scotland Gazetteer (OSG) as the core address dataset.


The One Scotland Gazetteer is a definitive and standardised address list for the whole of Scotland and is fed by weekly data files from each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.


As part of this, the IS' Spatial Information Service works closely with local authority data custodians and has recently provided a free training programme for the management of their corporate gazetteer. So far, 19 local authorities have attended the training.


Wider usage of the One Scotland Gazetteer continues to grow: the OSG webservice (API) frequently receives in excess of 200,000 hits per month from partner organisations, in addition to over 90,000 hits per month through the publicly available online search tool (


The Improvement Service has also recently established a data-sharing initiative with the Office of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner, enabling access to national transport information.


The success of the OSG is being used as a blueprint for other local government datasets that have location at their core. For more information, please see our One Scotland Gazetteer page.