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Whether new to map design or an experienced cartographer, there is a wealth of guidance out there to help. Here at Ordnance Survey we know cartography, but we are always open to taking inspiration from other places to make our final output better.

‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.’

Although by no means a definitive list, here are some of the resources we use:

Data sources
The basis of any map is content. Even if you have data of your own you may be able to enrich it with complementing data or a base map. There is also a considerable amount of geographical open data now available.

Guides and tutorials
Cartographic development often requires looking up how to achieve certain aesthetics. Internet search engines are often your friend here but we have shared the specific references we use most frequently.

As well as desktop-based software, many web and cloud-based options now exist. Some of these are a very good and relatively easy way to get started in map creation. Others offer developers a way to create some rather cool visualisations.

Tools and libraries
Colour pickers to help improve visual contrast, downloadable fonts and icons to establish groups and language, and conversion tools all help us to style and design a successful map.

Through the correct application of cartography a well-designed map communicates its message clearly and provides a pleasing user experience.

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