The index map is a core part of HM Land Registry’s service. It stores details for every property we’ve ever registered in England and Wales by layering our data onto the Ordnance Survey map.

Why are we putting the index map online?

For a long time, customers have told us they would like a map search that lets them see whether a property is registered, the title number and details of freehold or leasehold tenure. In the past, we’ve provided some map tools like this aerial land locator, which is popular with many customers but provides limited map detail.

This means that most people have to submit something called a ‘Search of the Index map‘ (essentially, fill in a form) whenever they want to check the title number of a property.

So, it follows that letting our customers query the map themselves will save them a lot of time. It will also free up our caseworkers to support them with more complex aspects of land registration.

Staying Agile as we innovate

Our project team are working in close collaboration with the Government Digital Service (GDS) to develop the tool using Agile methodology – read about the GDS approach to Agile development.

This means we’ve spent a lot of time with customers in various locations around England and Wales showing them the prototype, gathering their feedback and making improvements. This included an ‘Alpha in a Day‘ at GDS headquarters a couple of weeks ago.

On the map from this autumn

We expect our business customers to be using the service in autumn of this year and see it as the first step in redefining our services.

We want to make more information available to our customers online and join up our services as a result. That means linking services in the future which at the moment are entirely separate. For example, if a customer selects a property using the new Map Search, then they should be able to order a copy of the Register or Title Plan without having to send in a separate request.

Simon Cairns
By Simon Cairns,
Digital Service Delivery Lead at HM Land Registry, Coventry Office