OS Moon map sales rocket

Are people already preparing for a holiday on the Moon?

In the past couple of years space organisations such as Elon Musk’s Space X, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin have expressed intentions to create space tourism. Some have even claimed we will be holidaying on the Moon within the decade, which begs the question: are people buying OS’s Moon map to plan and navigate in anticipation of this?

“You may wonder” says Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, “For more than 225 years Ordnance Survey has been helping more people to get outside more often with its maps. And today we are as focused as ever on making outdoor activities enjoyable, accessible and safe, and inspiring people to get outside, find new places, create lasting memories and enjoy their leisure time exploring Britain. So, it’d be nice to think people are using this map to plan their Moon holiday, but I suspect the reality is people find it very interesting and appealing to look at and are putting it up on their walls. Either way, it’s great people are enjoying it.”

It was in May of this year that Britain’s national mapping agency, OS, employed its distinctive cartographic style to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing with the release of a stunning map of the lunar landing site. Since its publication OS has sold more through its Map Shop than any other map.

Cartographer and data viz specialist, Paul Naylor, who used NASA open data to create the map depicting the landscape where Neil Armstrong famously took his ‘one small step’ and mankind’s ‘giant leap’, when becoming the first human to walk on the moon, says: “OS has a history with the Moon and once produced a paper map that was only useful for one day in 1927! The map was of Great Britain and showed the movement across the country of an eclipse as it hit our shores. It is a fascinating mix of Science and cartographic beauty.

“Sir Patrick Moore lived not far to the East of our Southampton offices, and he drew maps of the Moon which NASA used to plan the 1969 Moon landing. For me, this has been a pleasure to be able to celebrate one of humanity’s greatest scientific and engineering achievements by applying our innovative cartography and mapping tradecraft.

“Are people buying the map to plan their lunar holidays? Maybe. I would prefer they were buying it to hang on their wall so they can appreciate its aesthetics and Science, but we have sold a lot of the folded versions of the map, so perhaps there are a few people out there who are planning a ramble on the Moon.”

Moon-related geofacts

  • In the latest release of OS MasterMap Highways data there are a total of 258 road names across Great Britain that contain one of the surnames of the Apollo 11 crew.
  • The name Aldrin appears in 11 road names, which includes Aldrin Close, Aldrin way and Aldrin Road.
  • There are 116 road names with the Collins in.
  • Armstrong features in the name of 131 roads, with one in Southend-on-Sea called Neil Armstrong Way.
  • ‘Moon’ is named in 43 British roads, such as Moon Hill in Dover, Moon Avenue in Blackpool and Moon Ridge in Exeter. There are also 5 roads which share the name of the two of its largest craters: 3 for Sabine and 2 for Ritter.
  • The Apollo 11 lunar landed in the Sea of Tranquillity, which was chosen for its relatively smooth terrain. There are 3 road names in Great Britain featuring the word ‘Tranquillity’.
  • In OS Open Names, a comprehensive dataset of place names, roads numbers and postcodes, there are 52 place names that include the word ‘Halfmoon’ and just one with the word ‘Fullmoon’.
  • There are also 43 place names beginning with the word Moon including the island ‘Moon Rock’ in the Isles of Scilly.

Explore the importance of Moon mapping with our Esri story map.

Buy the Moon map

You can own the Moon map, it is available in both flat and folded formats.

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey

Our highly accurate geospatial data and printed maps help individuals, governments and companies to understand the world, both in Britain and overseas.

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