Whereas cartography is the art and science of mapmaking, cartographic design concerns the map user. It governs the design of a map and it is the cartography that ensures the intended message is delivered both efficiently and aesthetically.
Our team, CartoDesign, performs a key role in the organisation, as the authority for cartographic design and development, and engaging with internal and external audiences to promote and communicate the value of cartography. We work on a broad range of projects and are responsible for styling all new products and services.
Our work includes developing the corporate map styles for our products and services including the OS VectorMap family and OS OnDemand.
We also work on a wide variety of projects from creating the mapping for data.gov.uk to designing one-off maps for charity events.
Ordnance Survey's GeoVation team have compiled this great list of data sources focussing primarily on national thematic datasets. These are superb candidates for map subjects or overlays for specific topics in Great Britain.
A library of cartographic resources to help you build a map. Often the best maps use a variety of resources that may include base mapping and other geodata , design inspiration, colours, fonts, symbols and even code!
OS OpenData Award
Ordnance Survey provides the British Cartographic Society (BCS) with an award to encourage excellence in cartographic design and the innovative and exciting use of OS OpenData. This is an annual award that is presented at the BCS Symposium.
Cartographic design principles
Inspired by Dieter Rams’ ‘ten principles of good design’, we have put together our own set of principles that we believe are fundamental to successful map design
We have developed a tradtional full colour style and a backdrop style that facilitates overlay that we use in-house to provide a consistent 'look and feel' across our product and service portfolio.
We have made it our responsibility to make these available as stylesheets for our customers and where appropriate style guides are also available.