If you haven’t come across it before, the Geograph website is collecting photos for every grid square in Great Britain and Ireland. The website launched in March 2005, with the first photo being submitted on 6 March by Helena Downton, for grid square SO8001, showing Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire (worth a visit by the way if you’re in the area).
Geograph hit their millionth picture milestone in October 2008, then clocked up 2 million photos in August 2010, 3 million in June 1012 and 4 million in June 2014. To date, some 12,246 contributors have submitted 4,351,534 images covering 273,242 grid squares, or 82.3% of the total in Great Britain and Ireland.
The fantastic idea, a cross between a national geography and photography project, was the brainchild of Gary Rogers. He originally launched his idea on the geocaching.com website, wanting at least one photo per grid square, calling it a geograph. It proved so popular that Gary quickly teamed up with Paul Dixon and Barry Hunter to create a new website, launching it in March 2005 and having 1,000 images submitted in the first month.
There are some fabulous pictures on Geograph, it’s a great way to explore the country without leaving your armchair and get a feel for an area you might be thinking of visiting too. While over 80% of Britain and Ireland is now represented with photos, it’s not too late for you to get involved either. See if you can fill in some of the blank squares. Registration is free and the process is really simple. Any photos you upload are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike licence granting everyone the rights to use the image for any purpose (including commercial uses), as long as credit is given to the copyright holder. Give it a go and see if you become a Geograph addict.
If you’re feeling inspired by all of the fantastic photography – don’t forget about our OS Photofit competition, giving you the chance to have your photos on our new map covers. Take a look, enter your photos, or just vote for your favourites at www.os.uk/photofit.