Ever 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).
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/