We’re 227 today

Today marks 227 years since Ordnance Survey was founded. On 21 June 1791, the Board of Ordnance purchased a new Ramsden theodolite, and this is seen as the foundation of our organisation. A lot has changed in those 227 years: we moved from London to Southampton; we went from mapping for the military to mapping for people, businesses and the government; from mapping Kent (our first map published in 1801) to a geospatial database of Great Britain with over 460 million features…the list goes on.

We’ve also had a few different looks over the years, as you can see in our evolution of OS brand logos below.

Of course, it’s more than our brand logo which has changed over the years. Learn all about our history, right from the time of the French Revolution through to the present day.

Since the 1700s Britain’s landscape has changed beyond recognition; and we’ve changed too. Our video captures our story over the years, showing just how much we’ve evolved…


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