Having OS Maps downloaded to a mobile phone came in very handy for a walker who found himself completely stuck in mud on a cliff bank near Barton-on-Sea in Hampshire.
Aged 20, Barney Lee was seven weeks into a 6,000 mile-charity walk around the coast of Britain when he arrived at a beach between Barton and Highcliffe. Hoping to find a shortcut for the Mudeford ferry to Bournemouth, Barney followed footprints along a track which became wilder and less clear.
Back in May, we supported the launch of Places of Poetry with a blog about the project with details on how our mapping is involved. Led by poet and Radio 4 regular Paul Farley and academic Professor Andrew McRae, to celebrate National Poetry Day Andrew has kindly written a guest blog for us…
Thousands of subscribers to OS Maps have been out in force wandering the streets of London over the summer months – providing some revealing insights for us here at OS.
So many of you have poured out of tube stations, alighted from buses and spilled out of car parks to get outside and enjoy the majesty, wonder and gorgeous green space of London.
Thousands of journeys have been unselfishly logged, recorded and shared as routes in the phone and web app, whether that be cycle routes, gentle strolls or epic walks. And the data has thrown up some interesting results.
The number one place to start a walk in London this year – and end it – was Richmond station.
Top ten places in London where people start a route
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.