The pioneers who mapped WW1 battlefields

Earlier this year we wrote about our role in World War One, from printing 33 million maps to help the war effort, to the 149 men and women sent out to France to carry out mapping near the battlefields.

However, it wasn’t just mapping on the ground that took place. World War One also saw the infancy of aerial photography and modern surveying techniques and ITV’s Simon Parkin discovered this recently.
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A wild summer

Today’s guest blog is from Holly Barber, part of the Simon King Wildlife team.

filled-in-logoThe summer holidays are here. The kids have already been off for a couple of weeks and with the prospect of at least 4 weeks to go until they are back at school again you’re in need of ideas to keep them busy … fear not! We’re here to help!

Here are our top 5 suggestions for wild things to do this summer that will get you closer to your natural neighbours!


1. Explore your own area Continue reading “A wild summer”

Where are we?

Our Flying Unit travel the length and breadth of the country each year, capturing some 50,000 aerial images covering 40,000 km2 of Britain’s urban, rural, moorland and mountain terrain. 

Our planes are two Cessna 404s called G-TASK and G-FIFA and they each fly with a highly-detailed digital camera – probably one the highest resolution cameras in the country – at 196 megapixels, which allows us to take high resolution images even from the skies. See this example below:

Continue reading “Where are we?”

Getting started with OS OpenData

opendatalogoWe pride ourselves on the level of detail that our digital map products have, but this can make them pretty daunting to work with, especially if you have never worked with the specialist map software, Geographic Information Software (GIS), needed to manipulate them before.

To help new users of our data, especially OS OpenData, we produced a series of videos to help:
1. View a simple map of where they live
2. View a map for a wider area
3. Create their own styled map
4. Show their data with postcodes and boundaries on a map Continue reading “Getting started with OS OpenData”

Enjoy National Parks week

It’s not too late to put some plans in place and make the most of National Parks week, which starts on 28 July. With 15 fantastic Parks to visit across Great Britain, there should be something for everyone – whether you want to go walking, camping, cycling, rock-climbing or even star-gazing.

We’ve pulled together some facts and figures on our National Parks to inspire you – take a look here. And if you do fancy a visit, check out our Map shop for discounted National Park map bundles too.


Maps on trend

map-floor-hay-on-wyeA recent article in The Times, confirmed what we already knew at map HQ – maps are the height of style right now. They said that maps are “both on trend and versatile: living room, bathroom or man cave – maps work anywhere.”

While, maps have traditionally been framed and hung on a wall, there appears to be an increasing variety in the way they are used. And we’re not talking small pieces anymore, maps are going HUGE! Our map floor at Hay-on-Wye festival last year was a big hit too. Continue reading “Maps on trend”

Walk of the week: Strange stones, hail and sunshine in the Black Mountains Brecon Beacons

Today’s guest walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park is by Simon Powell, Black Mountains Photography. All photos have been provided by Simon and are copyright Black Mountains Photography.

Length of route: 14.3 miles
Starting point: SO 310 221
Suitable for: Walking
Maps: OS Explorer Map OL13 Brecon Beacons (Eastern area)
Download our OS MapFinder app and record your route
Use OS getamap

Download GPX file

Continue reading “Walk of the week: Strange stones, hail and sunshine in the Black Mountains Brecon Beacons”

Catch up on Ordnance Survey’s appearance on BBC’s Coast

P1020479Did you spot the feature about Ordnance Survey in Tuesday’s episode of Coast on BBC2? The new series kicked off with a focus on The Channel, and presenter Mark Horton revealed how some two centuries ago, French mapmakers unwittingly gave birth to us at Ordnance Survey.

If you watch the programme, you’ll see how did an Anglo-French project, undertaken in the 18th century to measure the exact distance across the Channel, resulted in the accurate maps of Britain that many people rely on today.  Continue reading “Catch up on Ordnance Survey’s appearance on BBC’s Coast”

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games map now available

ICE-commonwealth-games-mapThe World Cup, Wimbledon and British Grand Prix may be over, but the sporting extravaganza continues this summer, with the Commonwealth Games kicking off in Scotland next week. We’ve worked with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) to create a special map which showcases Glasgow’s infrastructure works ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

The ‘Engineering the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games’ map includes civil engineering firsts such as the Hampden Park surface raising, which lifted the surface six feet on metal stilts to accommodate the running track and athletics field. Continue reading “Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games map now available”

First section of the England Coast Path now on maps

Ordnance Survey has worked alongside Natural England since 2013 to show a walking path around the whole of England’s Coastline. The first section of the England Coast Path around Weymouth Bay is now shown in the 1:25 000 scale mapping on our OS getamap and OS OpenSpace services, and is also available to download on our OS MapFinder mobile app. The paths will also be shown on our OS Explorer Maps as they come up for reprint over the next few months, starting with OL15 (Purbeck & South Dorset) which will be available later this summer.


Continue reading “First section of the England Coast Path now on maps”