First Martian map symbol announced for Mars map

A huge thank you to all of you who entered The Times competition to design a landing symbol for our Mars map. Paul Marsh won the competition and his design will feature on all future Mars maps we make.

The Times received hundreds of entries, with primary school children, designers, and even Olympic gold-medal winning athletes vying for the top prize. Paul’s design combined the astronomical symbol for Mars with the footprint of a landing craft, can be seen below and on our online map.


Our very own Cartographer Chris Wesson, creator of the Mars map, was on the judging panel alongside Dr Peter Grindrod. As well as being a UK Space Agency Research Fellow and lecturer in planetary science at Birkbeck, University of London, Peter also supplied the Mars data to Chris to help create the map.

They had a tough time judging the competition and working through all of the fantastic entries. Amongst those who sent in designs were Neil Floyd, a graphic artist on the film The Martian, the American athlete Ashton Eaton, who on his way to winning Olympic gold set a new world record for the decathlon at London 2012, and NASA’s ‘Keeper of the Maps’, Dr Fred J Calef III, who is the American space agency’s Geospatial Information Scientist for Curiosity (rover).

Winner Paul, a Marketing Manager from Bolton, described his win as ‘an honour’. As the creator of OS’s newest symbol he receives a framed one-off map of Mars featuring his design, a tour of OS’s head office and tickets to Leicester’s National Space Centre.

Chris and Peter said that Paul’s entry was a neat, simple idea to combine the astronomical/astrological symbol for Mars with the footprint of a landing craft. This entry stood out for its clarity at all scales and for being easy to interpret, but, as mentioned above, the changing of a lander foot to an arrow head was a really clever twist.

Find out more about our Mars map, see the original map on Flickr, view Paul’s winning symbol in our online map, or even buy a copy of our original Mars map.

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