Confirmation on changes to latitude and longitude shown on our paper maps

Back in September we asked you to tell us your thoughts on proposed changes to the way we show latitude and longitude on our paper maps (currently as shown below). .. and the results are in!


Thank you to the 710 of you who completed the short survey (plus those of you commenting here on the blog) for taking the time to consider the question and let us know your thoughts. An overwhelming majority of respondents supported the proposed change (combining the answers saying it would improve or make no difference to their use of OS paper maps). Continue reading “Confirmation on changes to latitude and longitude shown on our paper maps”

Digimap for Schools reaches 2000 subscribers

The Digimap for Schools service has hit a milestone with 2,000 primary and secondary schools now signed up. This gives hundreds of thousands of pupils access to the latest Ordnance Survey digital data, including our most detailed maps, OS MasterMap.


The fantastic service, developed by EDINA at the University of Edinburgh, is available to all schools in Great Britain. The key resource ensures that teachers and students can access the Ordnance Survey maps as defined in the National Curriculum. As well as our famous OS Explorer mapping at 1:25,000 scale, which is ideal for outdoor activities, there is a new historic map layer, extending its potential for use in schools across a wider spectrum of the national curriculum.  Continue reading “Digimap for Schools reaches 2000 subscribers”

Test your knowledge with a map symbol quiz

We thought it was about time to test your knowledge with a map symbols quiz. When you’re out and about using our well-known OS Landranger and OS Explorer Maps – do you know what all of the symbols mean? They’re there to give you valuable information about the environment you’re in.

Aside from highlighting tourist and leisure information, map symbols also provide vital information to let map readers know what to expect on the terrain they’re crossing. Information ranges from the kind of vegetation you can expect to encounter to detail on roads, public rights of way and even different rock features. If you would like to know more about map symbols, try the Simon King and Ordnance Survey video on understanding map symbols. It’s one of a series of short videos explaining the basics on using maps.

In the meantime though, have a go at our quiz and post your answers on the blog. We’ll be revealing the answers later…

GeoVation winners launch their Medal Routes App

Medal Routes WEB VERSIONGeoVation winners Ramblers Scotland launched their Medal Routes App this week. The team developed their free app using Ordnance Survey data to inspire people to be more active in their daily lives, fitting the GeoVation challenge to encourage active lifestyles in Great Britain.

The Medal Routes App identifies and maps short circular walks at three different levels, gold, silver and bronze. These walking challenges encourage people throughout Scotland to integrate walking into their daily life. They can progress from short 15 minute walks (bronze) to walking for up to an hour (gold). Wherever people are they will have hundreds of walks at their fingertips and, through the games and challenges in the app, incentives to walk and add and map their own routes. Continue reading “GeoVation winners launch their Medal Routes App”

What happens to old football grounds?

On my drive to work each day, I pass the ‘old’ Ordnance Survey site. We moved out of our former head office in 2010 and the buildings have long since been demolished, with the Compass Point housing estate emerging in its place. As you read this article, hundreds of changes will be taking place across Great Britain. We live in a world that is constantly evolving, from news-worthy changes such as the demolition of the towers at Didcot power station, to the more subtle as a building changes use from a pub into a convenience store.


Ordnance Survey’s former head office

Our master map of the country contains an amazing 460,000,000 features and the database processes around 10,000 changes a day. Our surveyors and our Flying Unit are constantly travelling the length and breadth of Britain to capture these changes and ensure they’re on the map.

One of the less frequent changes that they capture, but that often leads to a huge redevelopment, can be from the sites of vacated football grounds. West Ham are due to move into the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford in 2016 – and they’re just the latest in a series of clubs that have been rebuilding or relocating in the last 20 or so years. Continue reading “What happens to old football grounds?”

Announcing the end of an addressing era

AddressBasePlus_4Guest blog by Chris Chambers, Senior Product Manager

You might not know it, but Ordnance Survey’s legacy address products have been used in providing many services to you over the last 18 years. Be it the supply of council services such as waste collection, getting emergency vehicles to your location, supply of utility services, or getting a more accurate home insurance premium – many of these have been using Ordnance Survey’s ADDRESS-POINT, OS MasterMap Address Layer or OS MasterMap Address Layer 2 products.  Continue reading “Announcing the end of an addressing era”

Britain’s spookiest place names

In case you hadn’t realised, it’s Halloween today and we thought we’d have a dig around on OS getamap and find some of Britain’s spookiest place names. We’ve picked out our seven spooky favourites – but let us know yours too – post them on the blog.

1. In first place, representing the huge number of places with ‘Devil’ in their name, it’s the Devil’s Pulpit, perched high in the Wye Valley, near Tintern Abbey. Legend has it that the devil used the ‘pulpit’ to try to entice the monks toiling below to come and join him!

halloween-devils-pulpit Continue reading “Britain’s spookiest place names”

Journey down the Thames with Minecraft

One month on from our launch of the GB Minecraft map 2.0, we’re thrilled to see thousands of you have been busy downloading and trying it out. The 83 billion blocks were built using real-world geographic data from our free-to-use OS OpenData, including OS VectorMap District and OS Terrain 50. The map shows roads, water features, forests, woodlands and even houses – you can see where you live in the Minecraft world.

London show in our Minecraft map

London shown in our Minecraft map

We produced a couple of videos last month, taking you through Snowdonia and re-imagining the Eastenders opening sequence (for a bit of variety!) and they’ve gone down a storm. So, our pioneering Minecraft mapper Joseph Braybrook has filmed a new video exploring the world he created. Continue reading “Journey down the Thames with Minecraft”

Enabling people to live in better places

The latest GeoVation Challenge, calling for ideas to enable people in Britain to live in better places, has been running for a month now. We officially launched the challenge on Monday 15 September 2014 at The Building Centre during the London Design Festival.

Ordnance Survey, together with Land Registry,  are offering £101,000 in funding to the best ventures that address the problems of long term housing issues that we’ve identified, using  our established Problem Pow Wow methodology, in four key themes:

Affordability; Availability; Access and Infrastructure; Best use of Assets.

During the launch event speakers such as Finn Williams, Founder of Common Office and Andrew Van Doorn, Deputy Chief Executive of HACT, spoke in support of the GeoVation Housing Challenge.

Watch the video to find out more:

Continue reading “Enabling people to live in better places”

10 fascinating facts

We have over 460 million geographic features in our database and make around 10,000 changes a day to the master map of Great Britain. We’ve been crunching the numbers and extracted some fascinating facts and figures from a range of Ordnance Survey data products – including freely available OS OpenData such as the Meridian 2 road and rail networks – our addressing and location datasets, and OS MasterMap Topography Layer.

Did you know there are 93,733 postbox locations stored in our data? Or that there are 29,105,155 residential addresses located in Great Britain? Check our infographic to see the 10 fascinating facts.


Continue reading “10 fascinating facts”