Of the 450 million features in our most detailed mapping database, some are more prone to change than others. For example, road layout, housing developments, industrial units – there are changes like this taking place across Great Britain on a daily basis. We aim to capture all major changes like this and have them in our database within six months of completion.
Some features are less likely to change – such as hill figures. They have usually been around for a long period of time and will only see very minor changes to them, if anything at all. Although it seems some are disappearing as they do need maintainance.
There are throught to be more than 50 hill figures around Great Britain. They are usually created by cutting into a hillside and revealing the underlying geology, and they seem to have been intended to be viewed from a distance, rather than from above. The design is often redug and highlighted with chalk, so hill figures can also be known as chalk figures. It is common to see human figures as well as horses and other animals and they appear to have been created since the very early days of humans inhabiting the country, although the reasons why are unclear and can vary from place to place.
Keeping the figures visible involves maintainance, often from local groups and charities – and due to their hard work, these creations are then captured by our Flying Unit. We’ve gathered mapping extracts for eight of our nation’s hill figures to test your GI knowledge this week. They look a little different to our usual OS MasterMap Topography Layer extracts. This week we’ve used our OS MasterMap Imagery Layer to highlight the figures and then overlaid the usual OS MasterMap Topography layer to give it a similar feel to the usual quiz extracts. Let us know what you think. And see how many hill figures you can recognise and post your answers on the blog.