As maps can be relevant to pretty much any subject, we are very fortunate to be able to support some amazing projects – and Places of Poetry is no exception!
Have you ever explored the outdoors and found yourself inspired by the beauty around you? Or have you found yourself poring over a map and had a place name spark your imagination? From iconic historical sites to places of personal significance, the Places of Poetry project invites you to write poems and pin them to their map!
Places of Poetry is asking us all to think about the history and environment around us. Through creative writing, the aim of the project is to celebrate the diversity, heritage and personalities of places across England and Wales to prompt reflection on our national and cultural identities. And of course, no project with a sense of place would be complete without an OS map!
Guest blog by OS product manager Tim Newman.
If you’ve spent any time hillwalking or learning basic navigation skills, then chances are you’ve heard of Naismith and his eponymous rule for estimating walking times. It enables you, armed only with a paper map and a piece of string, to predict your route time or assess whether you’re quicker heading straight over a hill, or taking a longer detour round it.
|Allow one hour for every three miles walked.
Add one hour for every 2000 ft of ascent.
Allow one hour for every five kilometres walked.
Add one hour for every 600 metres of ascent.
Despite a number of corrections that have been proposed over the years (e.g. to take into account fitness or slope gradient), Naismith’s Rule has remained a staple on navigation syllabi across the country and is still used by our digital mapping product OS Maps.
Our OS Maps users created over 300,000 public routes across Great Britain in 2018 (covering some 2,950,000 miles…) and we were curious to see where you most (and least) enjoy exploring. Our Data Scientist Andrew Radburn set to work analysing the data before our Data Visualisation expert Charley Glynn set to work to showcase the results.
Analysing OS Maps route data
Here at OS, we get asked some curiously specific questions by our Twitter followers. Our teams are always up for a challenge and, as this query required map exploration, who better to ask than our amazing Consultation and Technical Services (CaTS) team? Please see the query embedded below.
@OrdnanceSurvey Hello! An enquiry if I may…..what (and where) is the longest distance you can walk in a straight line in England/Wales/Scotland without crossing a road (defined as a paved surface for vehicular use)?? Planning a potential expedition. Ta!
— Roger Dalton (@100in7) November 15, 2018
Now, not only were our CaTS team able to identify the longest distance in Great Britain you can walk in a straight line without crossing a road (which consequently you may have read about in some newspaper articles), but as this was in Scotland, the team also decided to find the longest in both England and Wales too.
While we’ve already celebrated the 25-year landmark since the last traditionally-cut benchmark was carved, we thought we’d carry on the merriment by adding them to OS Maps!
Yes, you heard right. So if you’re an avid benchmark bagger or just intrigued by geographical history, you’ll be delighted to know that, instead of downloading our benchmark archive, you can simply find them on OS Maps desktop. Not only that, but when you click on the specific benchmark, it will tell you which one it is and when it dates back to!
What is a benchmark?
Want to know which OS map gets the least attention? Read on to find out about the most unexplored parts of Great Britain are to be found – we’re ready to reveal some OS secrets!
According to our sales figures for 2017/18, we have been able to publish the top 10 least popular Explorer maps in England, Scotland and Wales.
Inspired by a previous blog post that re-imagined Winchester as the nation’s capital through mapping, guest blogger John Murray applied this technique to Chester.
There has been much speculation amongst historians and archaeologists on whether Roman Chester (Deva) was intended to be the capital of Britannia.
During an archaeological dig in 1939, the remains of a substantial elliptical building were discovered immediately to the dextral rear (north west) of the headquarters building (Principia).
The map below shows the approximate location of these buildings. The elliptical building would have been approximately where the present-day Chester Market Hall is located.
Tune into ITV at 7.30pm on Tuesday 30 January to see the nation’s favourite 100 walks revealed across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland*. Alongside National Trust and The Ramblers, we teamed up with ITV last year to encourage outdoors enthusiasts to vote for their favourite walks, and now the results are set to be revealed.
Over two and a half hours, presenters Julia Bradbury and Ore Oduba will showcase rambles, scrambles and ambles across the UK’s cities, countryside and coastline. We’re extremely pleased to say that four of our GetOutside champions will also be featuring in the programme, accompanying Julie and Ore on their walks. Look out for Two Blondes Walking in their favourite environment, Dartmoor; Zoe Homes (AKA Splodz) in Scotland; Phoebe Smith, wild camper and extreme sleeper; and the Get Out With the Kids family tackling the Chilterns.
By Richard Martin, GIS Analyst at the National Trust
As keen followers of the OS blog, we found the ‘trodden paths’ post in August of particular interest. The National Trust (NT) is a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. We were therefore interested in discovering how much NT land currently occupies the most popular OS 1km map tiles that contain the largest number of public routes going through them. We were delighted to find that within the OS top 20 tiles (2,000ha) the NT looks after 924ha (46%), showing a very strong correlation with the places that OS Maps subscribers most like to walk.