Mapping conventions

This guidance covers the colour references we use when mapping cadastral units on the cadastral map.

You should look at the cadastral map alongside the title sheet to find out what each colour reference is on the cadastral units. In mapping the cadastral units, we use a variety of colour references for:

  • edges
  • tints
  • hatching
  • lines
  • labels
  • text

These references are used to clarify and make sure the mapping of the registered plot of land, is accurate as much as possible. It also shows the rights and burdens that are relevant to the plot, where appropriate.

We try to follow the mapping conventions references where possible, however, due to the bespoke nature of conveyancing and complexity of some titles, this is not always possible.

The references in the table are available to plans officers to create the cadastral unit and how the colours are presented in the title sheets.

The table shows the colour references guidelines for mapping conventions that are on a title plan
The colours on the cadastral map that we use, may look like other colours when printed. For example, brown may look like the colour orange.

On the cadastral map, you are likely to see references for:

  • red edges
  • coloured tints
  • other coloured edges and numbers
  • numbering and lettering
  • coloured broken lines
  • hatching
  • boundary reference arrows

Red edges

The most common reference you are likely to see on a cadastral unit is the red edge. Figure 1 shows the extent of registered land or in the case of a flatted property, it will define the tenement steading cadastral unit that represent the tenement including land next to it.

Figure 1:A red edge around a unit on a residential cadastral map

Figure 1: A cadastral map that shows a red edge around the unit on a title plan.

The red edging on a title plan shows you the registered land. It often follows boundary features shown on the Ordnance Survey (OS) map such as:

  • walls
  • hedges
  • fences

Even though a legal boundary follows these OS features, it might not be obvious exactly where the legal boundary is. For example, it might run through the middle of a hedge or to one side of it.

When we prepare a title plan, we try to show the legal boundaries as accurately as we can. However, we are limited by the scale and accuracy of the OS map. Sometimes the title deeds and other information we are given do not show the true position of a boundary.

Red edging lines

Where you see red edging, the black solid or dashed line shows the feature where edging has been used. In most cases this will be to the outer edge of the red, but in some cases, this may be on the inner edge. This looks like the red edge being flipped outside of the plot of land. An example is shown in figure 2.

We no longer use external edges on our title plans, however registered titles with external edging will still display on title plans, until an update to the mapping of the cadastral unit is completed.

Figure 2: Red,brown and blue edging around 2 units on a residental cadastral map

Figure 2: A cadastral map that shows external red edging to the boundary of the subjects. The brown and blue tints show servitude and burden.

We may use tints or hatchings to represent the extent of the subjects, shown in figure 3. The exact references that are used depend on the circumstances of the specific registration.

 Figure 3:Pink block edging next to blue block edging covering a unit on a residential cadastral map

Figure 3: A cadastral map which shows the extent of the subjects tinted pink and blue with a burden over the area tinted blue.

As well as showing the position and extent of a registered plot of land, the cadastral map will reference:

  • a particular part or parts of registered plot of land
  • adjacent land

This is used where certain encumbrances are affected. For example, where a neighbour may have access rights or where areas of ground have been leased. To show the encumbrance on the cadastral map, a plans reference will be shown for that encumbrance. An example is shown in figure 3 and figure 4.

 Figure 4: Blue boundary lines inside a larger red edging lines to show right of access to a plot of land on a residential cadastral map

Figure 4: A cadastral map that shows a red edge, with a burden right of access over the area in blue tints.

Coloured tints

There are common colours of tints that are used in the title plans to make sure they are easy and clear to identify. The guidelines we use are shown in the table.

Tint colour Tint description
  • solum of buildings
  • burden affecting the subjects
  • Pink
  • exclusive ground
  • drying green
  • Yellow
  • common paths and areas burdened by Tree Provision Orders (TPO)
  • show burden and benefitted servitude area
  • Brown
  • drying green or paths
  • burdened and benefitted servitude areas
  • Mauve small areas such as:
  • bin stores
  • garage forecourts
  • Red small areas but only when no red edge has been used
  • small areas
  • areas that were used to draw attention to a hole
  • island site within registered land
  • These areas were traditionally marked with a red edge, which is shown in figure 5

    We will try where possible to standardise the use of references, for example use:

    • brown tints for servitudes in favour of subjects
    • blue tints for burdens
    • yellow tints for common areas

    Figure 5: Red edging around blue and pink tints are burden references, red edging around green tints that show external edging and boundary labels marked X, Y and Z around the coloured tints on a residental cadastral map

    Figure 5: A cadastral map that shows subjects edged red, with the part tinted in green and external red edge not forming part of the subjects. Pink and blue tints are burdens references, boundary labels are shown labelled X, Y, Z.

    Illustrations of how different tints and edges can be used to construct cadastral units is shown in Figure 5 and Figure 6.

     Figure 6: Red edging around a plot of land on a residential cadastral map with yellow, blue, pink, mauve and brown tints inside the red edging

    Figure 6: A cadastral map of a flatted property with the tenement steading edged in red, the flat tinted in blue and pertinents in pink, brown, mauve, and yellow tints.

    There are some exceptions to these guidelines, which are specific styles that are set up for certain developments that reflect Deed of Conditions (DOC) references.

    Other coloured edges and numbers

    We use different coloured edging and number references for large  complex titles or parent titles instead of using tints.

    Edging and numbering in green

    We use green edges and numbers to reference those parts of a cadastral unit where the whole right, title and interest in those parts were removed and transferred to become a separate cadastral unit. For example, when a house plot is removed from a property developer’s title. An example of this is shown in figure 7.

    We no longer use this style for new developments.

    Figure 7: A series of buildings outlined in green within an area outlined in red on a residential cadastral map. The yellow tint and numbering are burdens reference

    Figure 7: A cadastral map of a housing development title extent that has red edging, with properties sold out edged and numbered in green. The yellow tint and numbering are burdens reference.

    Developments that are ongoing with this type of mapping may continue with this style for future removals. The style that we use for all new developments is shown in figure 8.

    Figure 8: A residential cadastral map of an area with pink tinks covering a main road and a street that includes yellow tints with red lettering

    Figure 8: A cadastral map of a housing development in pink and yellow tints. The areas in yellow tints and red lettering show burdens reference.

    Edging and numbering in blue

    We use blue edges and numbers in:

    • older title sheets to reference the superiority interest that used to exist in the parent title where parts of the subjects were feud. An example is shown in figure 9
    • the case of tinting method, where other ways to show areas have been used. For example, to define a drying green where brown tints have already been used, you will see blue tints

    Figure 9:A residential cadastral map of an area with pink tints and blue edging around a series of units with blue numbering inside the blue edging

    Figure 9: A cadastral map of a parent title extent, with pink tints that show parts previously feuded out and blue edging and numbers.

    There are rare instances of blue edging and numbering. For example, areas affected by DOC on certain Glasgow district council cases where additional pro indiviso land is not affected by the conditions.

    Edging and numbering in yellow

    We use yellow edging and numbering to reference the part of a cadastral unit that is a registered or a recorded lease. An example is shown in figure 10.

    figure 10: A residential cadastral map showing pink and brown tints with a yellow edge and number inside a section of the pink tinted area

    Figure 10: A cadastral map that shows a cadastral unit tinted pink, with the part that is leased has a yellow edging and number. The area in brown tint is a servitude.

    Edging and numbering in brown or mauve

    We use brown or mauve edging and numbering to reference a part of a cadastral unit that is affected by any deed that is not a lease, for example:

    • Standard Security of Part
    • Discharge or Disburdenment of Part
    • where multiple deeds are referred to for burdens

    Edging and numbering in red

    We use red edging and numbering when the area being registered, is made up of many portions. These need separate references and using other coloured edgings would be cumbersome or unclear.

    Other edging and numbering

    In a complex title we sometimes use an edge to free up a colour tint for another use. For example, using a blue edge instead of a blue tint for showing the solum of a building in complex titles that has multiple references. An example of this is shown in figure 11.

    Figure 11: A residential cadastral map showing a large area with solid red edge and inside is smaller areas which are tints in solid pink, blue, gree, yellow, brown and mauve. A solid dark blue edge covers blue, mauve and yellow. A blue dashed broken line extents through the red edge area

    Figure 11: A cadastral map of a solum of the building edged in blue, the extent of the flat in blue tint. Other pertinents, rights, and burdens are referenced in red edging, pink, brown, green, mauve and yellow tints, and a blue broken line.

    Numbering or lettering

    We use numbers and letters for different sized areas on a cadastral map. These include:

    • large areas have numbers or letters along with coloured edging
    • small areas or points have a mixture of arrows, letters or numbers which are also called labels
    • on a cadastral unit, individual trees within a TPO have arrows and the letter T in red
    • numbering and lettering may also be used to shows areas of ground that may limited by the scale and accuracy of the OS map

    Coloured broken lines

    We use coloured broken lines to show:

    • drainage and cables
    • water and gas
    • areas of ground that are limited by the scale and accuracy of the OS map

    An example of a cadastral unit with various lines is shown in figure 12.

    Figure 12:A urban area of a cadastral map that shows a solid red edge of an area with broken lines next to and inside the red edge

    Figure 12: An example of subjects edged red, with a servitude over the blue and brown broken lines and a burden over the green broken line. Septic tank has been labelled 'ST'.


    We use hatching to increase the number of references available when mapping a complex title. There are no specific guidelines to the colour used because it is used to make the areas clearer.

    A small number of historical titles have cross-hatching, which we no longer use as reference on a title plan.

    A title sheet will never include a plans reference that refers to a non-coloured section of the cadastral map.

    Boundary reference arrows

    We no longer describe boundary references descriptions on the cadastral map for new registrations in the deeds.  There are many older titles registered under the previous land registration legislation that may show these as lettered with:

    • blue arrows
    • black arrows

    Blue boundary reference arrows

    These give extra information about the boundaries of a plot and were added to the title deeds to include specific information about the legal boundary relative to a physical feature such as a:

    • fence
    • wall
    • hedge

    Blue arrows and letters which are also called labels, are still used on the cadastral map where the deeds show:

    • burdens over specific boundaries, which is shown in figure 5
    • the scale of the OS Map does not allow the exact boundary to be shown on the cadastral map

    Black boundary reference arrows

    We describe a boundary in the deed as following the centre line of a mutual gable wall, or the outer face of a hedge where the black arrow is:

    • across a feature on the map, this indicates that the boundary is stated to be the centre line of that feature
    • inside the plot and is pointing at the inside of a feature on the map, this indicates that the boundary is stated to be the inner face of that feature
    • outside the plot and is pointing at the outside of a feature on the map, this indicates that the boundary is stated to be the outer face of that feature

    Visualisation of the cadastral map

    The cadastral map shows the total registered geospatial data, except for supplementary data in individual title sheets. For complicated titles, showing this information can be difficult to show on the cadastral map.

    For complicated titles, where the volume of references, including the subjects or individual references are unclear and hard to identify, references may be transferred onto additional views or plans to the cadastral map. These views of the cadastral map are shown as supplementary data plan or title plan views as separate documents from the title plan.

    We use a sequential number form which is the title number then a dash and a number. For example, MID1-1. Supplementary data can also be presented in this same way and is shown within the title sheet.

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