Ordinance Survey MapEver since I was small, I have been fascinated by maps (more specifically maps and dictionaries – I’ll leave that there for the amateur shrinks among you!) but times have changed a lot since then. Google completely re-wrote the rules of online maps first with Google Maps and then mind-blowing Google Earth but, to many, especially in the UK, Ordinance Survey maps are still the zenith of cartography.

Even in a world dominated by the convenience of online maps, there is something luxurious, comforting and reassuring about holding an OS map (and even then I had a preference for the OS Landranger series rather than the OS Explorer series – I am still that picky!). To me, it felt a bit as if OS was going to stay in that ‘IRL’ space. However, they have been working on some fabulous digital stuff – lots of which is free to use.

OS’s OpenData section has grown and includes some fantastic, free online maps that can be mixed with other data sources (or enjoyed vanilla).

Highlights include:

A GB Minecraft Map for fans of blocky gaming

For politics obsessives, OS Election Maps;

A great map of regional dialects; and

A page of other users’ efforts including a fantastic map from Suffolk CAMRA of pubs!

There’s also the potential to develop your own maps using the OpenData programme – in fact, it’s encouraged.

Image Credit: Ordinance Survey. Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/osmapping/16268128200/

Written by James