National Grid


It’s a stitch up! OS has Great Britain all sewn up

Using a wide range of techniques, our talented Craft Club have created a fantastic Great British Craftography Mapand we’re putting it up for auction to raise money for Solent Mind, our corporate charity. The crafty individuals recreated the Ordnance Survey National Grid into a 2.2m by 1.2m wall hanging. And you can now bid for the unique, mappy piece of art in an online charity auction.

OS Craft Club with their creation

OS Craft Club with their creation

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New electricity pylons being added to the map

We often talk about the 10,000 changes a day being captured in our database containing all of the features of Great Britain. It can be hard to grasp how that much change is taking place – until you think about all of the new roads and buildings under construction and then burrow down into the level of detail we capture – right down to phone boxes and even electricity pylons.


When National Grid announced that the first new electricity pylon design in 90 years was going to be erected in Nottinghamshire, we knew our surveying team would need to swing into action. Pylons not only feature in our large scale products, such as OS MasterMap for our business and government customers, but also in smaller scale products, like the 1:25,000 scale mapping in our OS Explorer maps used for outdoor activities. Read More


Map reading skills: learn how to use grid references

Thinking of getting out and about now spring is on the way? Do you need to brush up on your map reading skills? Make a start by finding out how to use grid references.

National Grid references are used to accurately pinpoint your location on an Ordnance Survey map. A series of faint blue lines on every map makes up a numbered grid that is used to create the National Grid reference. This is a simple way of finding points and places on a map, to give to others as a meeting location or to quote if you get into trouble and need to specify exactly where you are.

You may find a variety of terms used to describe National Grid references, such as ‘OS grid ref’, ‘grid reference’, ‘OS map ref’ or simply ‘map reference’. While the correct term for these is ‘National Grid reference’, these terms all mean the same thing; however, as we’ll see, grid references can be given in a number of different formats.

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