Ordnance Survey
Overview
Ordnance Survey an executive agency
Executive agency
An executive agency, also known as a next-step agency, is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate in order to carry out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly or Northern Ireland...

 and non-ministerial government department
Non-ministerial government department
A non-ministerial government department is a department or ministry of a government that is not headed by a Government Minister or Government Secretary, and answers directly to a legislature ....

 of the Government of the United Kingdom
Government of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Government is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining Ministers...

, is the national mapping agency
National mapping agency
A national mapping agency is an organisation, usually publicly owned, that produces topographic maps and geographic information of a country. Some national mapping agencies also deal with cadastral matters.-List of national mapping agencies:...

 for Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, producing maps of Great Britain (and to an extent, the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

), and one of the world's largest producers of map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

s.

The name reflects its creation together with the original military purpose of the organisation (see ordnance and surveying
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

) in the first instance in mapping Scotland at the time of the creation of the British United Kingdom following many centuries of conflict and confirmed later during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 when there was a threat of invasion from France, and its logo includes the War Department's broad arrow
Broad arrow
A broad arrow or pheon is a type of arrow with a typically flat barbed head. It is a symbol used traditionally in heraldry, most notably in England, and later the United Kingdom to mark government property.-Use in heraldry:...

 heraldic mark.
Encyclopedia
Ordnance Survey an executive agency
Executive agency
An executive agency, also known as a next-step agency, is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate in order to carry out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly or Northern Ireland...

 and non-ministerial government department
Non-ministerial government department
A non-ministerial government department is a department or ministry of a government that is not headed by a Government Minister or Government Secretary, and answers directly to a legislature ....

 of the Government of the United Kingdom
Government of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Government is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining Ministers...

, is the national mapping agency
National mapping agency
A national mapping agency is an organisation, usually publicly owned, that produces topographic maps and geographic information of a country. Some national mapping agencies also deal with cadastral matters.-List of national mapping agencies:...

 for Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, producing maps of Great Britain (and to an extent, the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

), and one of the world's largest producers of map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

s.

The name reflects its creation together with the original military purpose of the organisation (see ordnance and surveying
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

) in the first instance in mapping Scotland at the time of the creation of the British United Kingdom following many centuries of conflict and confirmed later during the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 when there was a threat of invasion from France, and its logo includes the War Department's broad arrow
Broad arrow
A broad arrow or pheon is a type of arrow with a typically flat barbed head. It is a symbol used traditionally in heraldry, most notably in England, and later the United Kingdom to mark government property.-Use in heraldry:...

 heraldic mark. Ordnance Survey mapping is usually classified as 'large scale' (i.e. showing more detail) or 'small scale'. Large-scale mapping comprises maps at six inches to the mile or more (1:10,560, superseded by 1:10,000 in the 1950s); it was available in sheet-map form till the 1980s, since when it has become digital. Small-scale mapping comprises maps at fewer than six inches to the mile and includes the "leisure maps", such as the popular one inch to the mile and its metric successors, still available in traditional sheet-map form. Ordnance Survey of Great Britain maps are in copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 for 50 years after publication date. Some of the Copyright Libraries hold complete or near-complete collections of pre-digital O.S. mapping.

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, although part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, is mapped by a separate government agency, the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland was the official mapping agency of Northern Ireland. The agency ceased to exist separately on 1 April 2008 when it became part of Land and Property Services Northern Ireland, an executive agency of the Northern Ireland Department of Finance and Personnel, along...

.

Origins

The roots of Ordnance Survey go back to 1747, when Lieutenant-Colonel David Watson proposed the compilation of a map of the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

 to facilitate the subjugation of the clans following the Jacobite
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 rising of 1745
Jacobite rising
The Jacobite Risings were a series of uprisings, rebellions, and wars in Great Britain and Ireland occurring between 1688 and 1746. The uprisings were aimed at returning James VII of Scotland and II of England, and later his descendants of the House of Stuart, to the throne after he was deposed by...

. In response, King George II
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...

 commissioned a military survey of the Highlands, and Watson was placed in charge under the command of the Duke of Cumberland. Among his assistants were William Roy
William Roy
Major-General William Roy FRS was a Scottish military engineer, surveyor, and antiquarian. He was an innovator who applied new scientific discoveries and newly emerging technologies to the accurate geodetic mapping of Great Britain....

, Paul Sandby
Paul Sandby
Paul Sandby was an English map-maker turned landscape painter in watercolours, who, along with his older brother Thomas, became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768.-Life and work:...

, and John Manson. The survey was produced at a scale of 1 inch to 1000 yards. The labours of Watson and Roy, in particular, resulted in The Duke of Cumberland's Map, now in the British Library.

Roy would go on to have an illustrious career in the Royal Engineers, and he was largely responsible for the British share of the work in determining the relative positions of the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 royal observatories. This work was the starting point of the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain
Principal Triangulation of Great Britain
The Principal Triangulation of Britain was a triangulation project carried out between 1783 and about 1853 at the instigation of the Director of the Ordnance Survey General William Roy ....

 (1783 – 1853), and led to the creation of the Ordnance Survey itself. Roy's technical skills and leadership set the high standard for which Ordnance Survey became known. Work was begun in earnest in 1790 under Roy's supervision, when the Board of Ordnance
Board of Ordnance
The Board of Ordnance was a British government body responsible for the supply of armaments and munitions to the Royal Navy and British Army. It was also responsible for providing artillery trains for armies and maintaining coastal fortresses and, later, management of the artillery and engineer...

 (a predecessor of part of the modern Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

) began a national military survey starting with the south coast of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

By 1791, the Board received the newer Ramsden theodolite
Ramsden theodolite
The Ramsden theodolite is a large theodolite that was specially constructed for use in the first Ordnance Survey of Southern Britain. It was also known as the Great or 36 inch theodolite....

 (an improved successor to the one that Roy had used in 1784), and work began on mapping southern Great Britain using 5 mile baseline on Hounslow Heath
Hounslow Heath
Hounslow Heath is a public open space and local nature reserve to the west of Hounslow, a London borough. It now covers about , the residue of the historic Hounslow Heath that covered over .-History:...

 that Roy himself had previously measured and that crosses the present Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

. A set of postage stamps, featuring maps of the Kentish village of Hamstreet
Hamstreet
Hamstreet is a village in Kent, in South East England.The village is located some 6 miles south of Ashford on the A2070, the main road between Ashford and Hastings...

, was issued in 1991 to mark the bicentenary.

In 1801, the first one-inch
Inch
An inch is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, and United States customary units. There are 36 inches in a yard and 12 inches in a foot...

-to-the-mile
Mile
A mile is a unit of length, most commonly 5,280 feet . The mile of 5,280 feet is sometimes called the statute mile or land mile to distinguish it from the nautical mile...

 (1:63,360 scale) map was published, detailing the county
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, with Essex following shortly after. The Kent map was published privately and stopped at the county border while the Essex maps were published by Ordnance Survey and ignore the county border, setting the trend for future Ordnance Survey maps.

During the next twenty years, roughly a third of England and Wales was mapped at the same scale (see Principal Triangulation of Great Britain
Principal Triangulation of Great Britain
The Principal Triangulation of Britain was a triangulation project carried out between 1783 and about 1853 at the instigation of the Director of the Ordnance Survey General William Roy ....

) under the direction of William Mudge
William Mudge
William Mudge was an English artillery officer and surveyor, an important figure in the work of the Ordnance Survey.-Life:He was a son of Dr. John Mudge of Plymouth, by his second wife, and grandson of Zachariah Mudge, and was born at Plymouth on 1 December 1762...

, as other military matters took precedence. It took till 1823 to re-establish a relationship with the French survey made by Roy in 1787. By 1810, one inch to the mile maps of most of the south of England were completed, but were withdrawn from sale between 1811 and 1816 because of security fears. It was gruelling work: Major Thomas Colby
Thomas Frederick Colby
Thomas Frederick Colby , a British major-general and director of the Ordnance Survey , was born at St. Margaret's, Rochester, Kent, England, as a member of a South Wales family. Entering the Royal Engineers he overcame the loss of one hand in a shooting accident to begin in 1802 a lifelong...

, later the longest serving Director General of Ordnance Survey, walked 586 miles (943.1 km) in 22 days on a reconnaissance in 1819. In 1824, Colby and most of his staff moved to Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 to work on a six-inches-to-the-mile (1:10,560) valuation survey. The survey of Ireland, county by county, was completed in 1846. The suspicions and tensions it caused in rural Ireland are the subject of Brian Friel's
Brian Friel
Brian Friel is an Irish dramatist, author and director of the Field Day Theatre Company. He is considered to be the greatest living English-language dramatist, hailed by the English-speaking world as an "Irish Chekhov" and "the universally accented voice of Ireland"...

 play Translations
Translations
Translations is a three-act play by Irish playwright Brian Friel written in 1980. It is set in Baile Beag , a small village at the heart of 19th century agricultural Ireland...

.

Colby was not only involved in the design of specialist measuring equipment. He also established a systematic collection of place names, and reorganised the map-making process to produce clear, accurate plans. He believed in leading from the front, travelling with his men, helping to build camps and, as each survey session drew to a close, arranging mountain-top parties with enormous plum puddings.
The British Geological Survey
British Geological Survey
The British Geological Survey is a partly publicly funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research. The BGS headquarters are in Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, but other centres...

 was founded in 1835 as the Ordnance Geological Survey, under Henry De la Beche
Henry De la Beche
Sir Henry Thomas De la Beche FRS was an English geologist and palaeontologist who helped pioneer early geological survey methods.-Biography:...

 and remained a branch of the Ordnance Survey until 1965. At the same time the uneven quality of the English and Scottish maps was being improved by engravers under Benjamin Baker. By the time Colby retired in 1846, the production of six inch maps of Ireland was complete. This had led to a demand for similar treatment in England and work was proceeding on extending the six inch map to northern England, but only a three inch scale for most of Scotland.

When Colby retired he recommended William Yolland
William Yolland
William Yolland CB, FRS was an English military surveyor, astronomer and engineer, and was Britain’s Chief Inspector of Railways from 1877 until his death...

 as his successor, but he was considered too young and a less experienced Lewis Hall
Lewis Hall
Lewis R. Hall was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.-Biography:...

 was appointed instead. When after a fire in the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, the headquarters of the survey was moved to Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, Yolland was put in charge, but Hall sent him off to Ireland so that he was again passed over when Hall left in 1854 in favour of Major Henry James. Hall was enthusiastic about extending the survey of the north of England to a scale of 1:2,500. In 1855, the Board of Ordnance was abolished and the Ordnance Survey was placed under the War Office
War Office
The War Office was a department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence...

 together with the Topographical Survey and the Depot of Military Knowledge. Eventually in 1870 it was transferred to the Office of Works
Office of Works
The Office of Works was established in the English Royal household in 1378 to oversee the building of the royal castles and residences. In 1832 it became the Works Department within the Office of Woods, Forests, Land Revenues, Works and Buildings...

.

The primary triangulation of the United Kingdom of Roy, Mudge and Yolland was completed by 1841, but was greatly improved by Alexander Ross Clarke
Alexander Ross Clarke
Alexander Ross Clarke was a British geodesist, primarily remembered for his work defining different reference ellipsoids approximating the shape of the geoid.Clarke was born on December 16, 1828 in Reading, Berkshire, England...

 who completed a new survey based on Airy
George Biddell Airy
Sir George Biddell Airy PRS KCB was an English mathematician and astronomer, Astronomer Royal from 1835 to 1881...

's spheroid in 1858, completing the Principal Triangulation
Principal Triangulation of Great Britain
The Principal Triangulation of Britain was a triangulation project carried out between 1783 and about 1853 at the instigation of the Director of the Ordnance Survey General William Roy ....

. The following year he completed an initial levelling
Levelling
Levelling or leveling is a branch of surveying, the object of which is1) To find the elevation of a given point with respect to the given or assumed Datum.2) to establish a point at a given elevation with respect to the given or assumed Datum....

 of the country.

The Great Britain 'County Series'

After the first Ireland maps came out in the mid-1830s, the Tithe Commutation Act 1836
Tithe Commutation Act 1836
The Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom with the long title "An Act for the Commutation of Tithes in England and Wales". It replaced the ancient system of payment of tithes in kind with monetary payments...

 led to calls for a similar six-inch to the mile survey in England and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. Official procrastination followed, but the development of the railways added to pressure that resulted in the Ordnance Survey Act 1841. This granted a right to enter property for the purpose of the survey. Following a fire at its headquarters at the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 in 1841 the Ordnance Survey relocated to a site in Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

 and was in disarray for several years, with arguments about which scales to use. Major-General Sir Henry James
Henry James (Ordnance Survey)
Major General Sir Henry James FRS MRIA RE was the director-general of the Ordnance Survey, the British Government mapping agency, from 1854 to 1875. Sir Henry was described by the agency itself as "perhaps Ordnance Survey's most eccentric and egotistical Director General"...

 was by then Director General, and he saw how photography could be used to make maps of various scales cheaply and easily. He developed and exploited photozincography
Photozincography
Photozincography, sometimes referred to as Heliozincography but essentially the same process, known commercially as zinco, is the photographic process developed by Sir Henry James FRS in the mid-nineteenth century....

, not only to reduce the costs of map production but also to publish facsimiles
Facsimile
A facsimile is a copy or reproduction of an old book, manuscript, map, art print, or other item of historical value that is as true to the original source as possible. It differs from other forms of reproduction by attempting to replicate the source as accurately as possible in terms of scale,...

 of nationally important manuscripts. Between 1861 and 1864, a facsimile of the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 was issued, county by county, and in 1870 a facsimile of the Gough Map
Gough Map
The Gough Map or Bodleian Map is a map of the island of Great Britain, dating between 1355 and 1366, and is the oldest surviving route map of Great Britain. Its precise date of production and authorship are unknown. It is named after Richard Gough, who donated the map to the Bodleian Library in 1809...

.

From the 1840s the Ordnance Survey concentrated on the Great Britain 'County Series', modelled on the earlier Ireland survey. A start was made on mapping the whole country, county by county, at six inches to the mile (1:10,560). From 1854, to meet requirements for greater detail, including land-parcel numbers in rural areas and accompanying information, cultivated and inhabited areas were mapped at 1:2500 (25.344 inches to the mile), at first parish by parish, with blank space beyond the parish boundary, and later continuously. Early copies of the 1:2500s were available hand-coloured. Up to 1879, the 1:2500s were accompanied by Books of Reference or "area books" that gave acreages and land-use information for land-parcel numbers. After 1879, land-use information was dropped from these area books; after the mid-1880s, the books themselves were dropped and acreages were printed instead on the maps. After 1854, the six-inch maps and their revisions were based on the "twenty-five inch" maps and theirs. The six-inch sheets covered an area of six by four miles on the ground; the "twenty-five inch" sheets an area of one by one and a half. One square inch on the "twenty-five inch" maps was roughly equal to an acre on the ground. In later editions the six-inch sheets were published in "quarters" (NW,NE,SW,SE), each covering an area of three by two miles on the ground. The first edition of the two scales was completed by the 1890s. A second edition (or "first revision") was begun in 1891 and completed just before the First World War. From 1907 till the early 1940s, a third edition (or "second revision") was begun but never completed: only areas with significant changes on the ground were revised, many two or three times.

Meanwhile funding had been agreed in the 1850s for a more detailed survey of towns and cities. From 1850-53, twenty-nine towns were mapped at 1:528 (10 feet to the mile). From 1855 1:500 (10.56 feet to the mile) became the preferred scale. London and some seventy other towns (mainly in the north) were already being mapped at 1:1056 (5 feet to the mile). Just under 400 towns with a population of over 4000 were surveyed at one of these three scales, most at 1:500. Publication of the town plans was completed by 1895. The London first edition was completed and published in 326 sheets in the 1860s-70s; a second edition of 759 sheets was completed and brought out in the early 1890s; further revisions (incomplete coverage of London) followed between 1906 and 1937. Very few other towns and cities saw a second edition of the town plans.

From 1911 onwards (mainly 1911-1913), the Ordnance Survey photo-enlarged to 1:1250 (50.688 inches to the mile) many 1:2500 sheets covering built-up areas, for Land Valuation / Inland Revenue purposes. About a quarter of these 1:1250s were marked "Partially revised 1912/13". In areas where there were no further 1:2500s, these partially revised "fifty inch" sheets represent the last large-scale revision (larger than six-inch) of the County Series. The County Series mapping was superseded by the Ordnance Survey National Grid 1:1250s, 1:2500s and 1:10,560s after the Second World War.

From the late 19th century to the early 1940s, for War Office
War Office
The War Office was a department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence...

 purposes, the O.S. produced many "restricted" versions of the County Series maps and other War Department sheets, in a variety of large scales, that included details of military significance, such as dockyards, naval installations, fortifications, and military camps. These areas were left blank or incomplete on standard maps - though for a brief period in the early 1930s, during the Disarmament
Disarmament
Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons. Disarmament generally refers to a country's military or specific type of weaponry. Disarmament is often taken to mean total elimination of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear arms...

 talks, some of the blanks were filled in. The War Department 1:2500s, unlike the standard issue, were contoured. The de-classified sheets have now been deposited in some of the Copyright Libraries, helping to complete the map-picture of pre-Second World War Britain.

The 20th century

During the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Ordnance Survey was involved in preparing maps of France and Belgium for its own use, and many more maps were created during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, including:
  • 1:40000 scale map of Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1:100000 scale map of Brussels, Belgium
  • 1:5000000 scale map of South Africa
  • 1:250000 scale map of Italy
  • 1:50000 scale map of Northeast France
  • 1:30000 scale map of the Netherlands with manuscript outline of German Army occupation districts.

After the war, Colonel Charles Close
Charles Close
Colonel Sir Charles Frederick Arden-Close, KBE CB CMG FRS was a British geographer and surveyor, he was Director General of the Ordnance Survey from 1911 to 1922...

, then Director General, developed a marketing strategy using covers designed by Ellis Martin to increase sales in the leisure market. In 1920 O. G. S. Crawford
O. G. S. Crawford
Osbert Guy Stanhope Crawford was an English archaeologist and a pioneer in the use of aerial photographs for deepening archaeological understanding of the landscape.-Early life:...

 was appointed Archaeology Officer and played a prominent role in developing the use of aerial photography to deepen understanding of archaeology.

In 1935, the Davidson Committee was established to review Ordnance Survey's future. The new Director General, Major-General Malcolm MacLeod
Malcolm MacLeod (scientist)
Major-General Malcolm Neynoe MacLeod was Director General of the Ordnance Survey from 1935 to 1943.In 1935 he started the retriangulation of Great Britain, an immense task which involved erecting concrete triangulation pillars on prominent hilltops throughout Britain...

, started the retriangulation of Great Britain
Retriangulation of Great Britain
The retriangulation of Great Britain was a triangulation project which involved erecting concrete pillars on prominent hilltops throughout Great Britain...

, an immense task involving erecting concrete triangulation pillars (trig point
Trig point
A triangulation station, also known as a triangulation pillar, trigonometrical station, trigonometrical point, trig station, trig beacon or trig point, and sometimes informally as a trig, is a fixed surveying station, used in geodetic surveying and other surveying projects in its vicinity...

s) on prominent (often inaccessible) hilltops throughout Great Britain. These were intended to be infallibly constant positions for the theodolites during the many angle measurements, which were each repeated no fewer than 32 times.

The Davidson Committee's final report set Ordnance Survey on course for the twentieth century. The national grid reference system was launched, with the metre
Metre
The metre , symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units . Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole , its definition has been periodically refined to reflect growing knowledge of metrology...

 as its unit of measurement. An experimental 1:25000 scale map was introduced. The one-inch maps remained for almost forty years before being superseded by the 1:50000 scale series, as proposed by William Roy more than two centuries earlier.

Ordnance Survey had outgrown its site in the centre of Southampton (made worse by the bomb damage of the Second World War). The bombing during the Blitz
Southampton Blitz
The Southampton Blitz was the heavy bombing of Southampton by the Nazi German Luftwaffe during World War II. It was targeted mainly in the first phase of the Blitz....

 devastated Southampton in November 1940 and destroyed most of Ordnance Survey's city centre offices. Staff were dispersed to other buildings, and to temporary accommodation at Chessington and Esher, Surrey, where they produced 1:25000 scale maps of France, Italy, Germany and most of the rest of Europe in preparation for the invasion of Europe. Ordnance Survey largely remained at its Southampton city centre HQ and temporary buildings nearby in the Southampton suburb of Maybush until 1969, when a new purpose-built headquarters was opened in Maybush adjacent to the wartime temporary buildings there. Some of the remaining buildings of the original Southampton city-centre site are now used as part of the court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 complex.

The then-new head office building was designed by the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works (MPBW) for 4000 staff, including many new recruits that were taken on in the late 1960s and early 70s as draughtsmen and surveyors. The complex originally contained factory floor space for photographic processes such as Heliozincography and printing of maps, as well as large buildings for storing flat maps. Above the industrial areas are extensive office areas. The complex is notable by its concrete mural by sculptor Keith McCarter and the concrete elliptical paraboloid shell roof over the staff restaurant building.

In 1995, Ordnance Survey digitised the last of about 230,000 maps, making the United Kingdom the first country in the world to complete a programme of large-scale electronic mapping. In 1999 Ordnance Survey was designated a Trading Fund
Trading Fund
A trading fund is a UK executive agency, government department or part of a department, which has been established as such by means of a Trading Fund Order made under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973....

, required to cover its costs by charging for its products and remit a proportion of its profits to the Treasury. Officially, it is now a civilian organisation with executive agency
Executive agency
An executive agency, also known as a next-step agency, is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate in order to carry out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly or Northern Ireland...

 status.

By the late 1990s, the need for vast areas for storing maps and for making printing plates by hand had been made obsolete by technological developments. Although there was a small computer section at Ordnance Survey in the 1960s, the digitising programme had replaced the need for printing large-scale maps while computer-to-plate technology in the form of a single CTP machine had also made obsolete the photographic platemaking areas. Part of the latter was converted into a new conference centre in 2000, which was used for both internal events and made available for external organisations to hire.

In summer 2010, the announcement was made that printing and warehouse operations were to be outsourced, ending over 200 years of in-house printing. As already stated, large-scale maps were not printed at Ordnance Survey since the common availability of geographical information systems (GIS), but until late 2010, the OS Explorer Map and OS Landranger Map leisure products were printed in Maybush.

In April 2009 construction began on a new head office located at Adanac Park on the outskirts of Southampton.

As of 10 Feb 2011, virtually all staff had relocated to the new building 'Explorer House'.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the new headquarters building on 4th October 2011.

GB map range

Ordnance Survey produces a large variety of paper maps and digital mapping
Digital mapping
Digital mapping is the process by which a collection of data is compiled and formatted into a virtual image. The primary function of this technology is to produce maps that give accurate representations of a particular area, detailing major road arteries and other points of interest...

 products.

Business mapping

Ordnance Survey produces a wide variety of different products aimed at business users, such as utility companies and local authorities. The data is supplied by Ordnance Survey on optical media or increasingly, via the Internet. Products can be downloaded via FTP or accessed 'on demand' via a web browser. Organisations using Ordnance Survey data have to purchase a licence to do so. Some of the main products are:
  • OS MasterMap - Ordnance Survey's most detailed mapping showing individual buildings and other features in a vector format. Every real-world object is assigned a unique reference number (TOID) that allows customers to add this reference to their own databases. OS MasterMap consists of several 'layers', the main one being the Topography Layer but also available are aerial imagery, transport links and postcodes.
  • OS VectorMap Local - a recently-launched customisable vector product at 1:10 000 scale.
  • OS Landplan - a raster map at 1:10 000 scale
  • Meridian 2 and Strategi - mid-scale vector mapping.
  • ADDRESS-POINT and Code-Point - Datasets with address information, allowing postcode searches of maps and so on. This is a joint venture with Royal Mail
    Royal Mail
    Royal Mail is the government-owned postal service in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail Holdings plc owns Royal Mail Group Limited, which in turn operates the brands Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide...

    .
  • Boundary-Line - Mapping showing administrative boundaries, such as counties, parishes and electoral wards.
  • 1:10 000, 1:25 000, 1:50 000 and 1:250 000 Scale Raster - raster versions of the leisure maps at those scales.
  • OS Street View - highly simplified mapping that focuses on showing streets and their names at the expense of other features.
  • Land-Form PROFILE, PROFILE Plus and Panorama - these are digital terrain models.

Leisure maps

OS's range of leisure maps are published in a variety of scales:
  • Tour (c.1:100,000 scale except Scotland) – One-sheet maps covering a generally county-sized area, showing major and most minor roads and containing tourist information and selected footpaths. Tour maps are generally produced from enlargements of 1:250,000 mapping. Several larger scale town maps are provided on each sheet for major settlement centres. The Tour maps have sky-blue covers and there are now eight sheets in the series.
  • OS Landranger map (1:50,000 scale) – The "general purpose" map. They have pink covers; 204 sheets cover the whole of Great Britain and the Isle of Man
    Isle of Man
    The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

    . The map shows all footpaths and the format is similar to that of Explorer, albeit with less detail.
  • OS Landranger Active map (1:50,000 scale) – select OS Landranger maps are available in a plastic-laminated waterproof version, similar to the OS Explorer Active range. , 25 of the 204 Landranger maps were available as OS Landranger Active maps.
  • OS Explorer map and Outdoor Leisure (1:25,000 scale) – Specifically designed for walkers and cyclists. They have orange covers, and the two series together contain 403 sheets covering the whole of Great Britain (the Isle of Man is excluded from this series). These are the most detailed leisure maps that Ordnance Survey publish and cover all types of footpaths and most details of the countryside for easy navigation. The Outdoor Leisure series complement the OS Explorer Map, showing areas of greater interest in England and Wales (e.g. Lake District, Black Mountains) with an enlarged area coverage. It appears identical to the Explorer, except the numbering and a little yellow mark on the corner (relic of the old OL series). The OS Explorer maps, together with Outdoor Leisure, superseded the previous Pathfinder maps (green covers) which were numerous in their coverage of the country.
  • OS Explorer Active map (1:25,000 scale) – the OS Explorer and Outdoor Leisure maps are also available in a plastic-laminated waterproof version.


Until recently OS also produced the following:
  • Route (1:625,000 scale) – A double-sided map designed for long-distance road users, covering the whole of Great Britain
    Great Britain
    Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

    .
  • Road (1:250,000 scale) – A series of eight sheets covering Great Britain
    Great Britain
    Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

    , designed for road users.

These, along with fifteen Tour maps, were discontinued during January 2010 as part of a drive for cost-efficiency, Ordnance Survey believing these products could no longer compete with similar maps produced by other companies and satellite navigation devices.

Custom products

Ordnance Survey also offers a print-on-demand service called 'OS Select'. This is printed to order from digital raster
Raster graphics
In computer graphics, a raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium...

 data, allowing the customer to choose exactly which area the map should cover. There is choice of two scales: 1:50,000 (area covered 40 km x 40 km) or 1:25,000 (area covered 20 km x 20 km).

Ordnance Survey also produces more detailed custom mapping at 1:10,000 (Landplan) and 1:1,250 or 1:500 (Siteplan), which is available from some of the more specialist outlets. Again, this is produced to order from Ordnance Survey large-scale digital data, and custom scales can also be produced by enlargement or reduction of existing scales.

Educational mapping

Ordnance Survey produces maps for educational use, which are faithful reproductions of old Ordnance Survey maps dating from the early 1970s to the early 1990s (estimated). These maps are widely seen in British schools and schools in former British colonies (including the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

), either as stand-alone geographic aids or sold as part of geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 workbook
Workbook
Workbook is the title of Bob Mould's first solo album after leaving Hüsker Dü. The album is primarily acoustic and has a strong folk influence - very different from much of his group's heavier music. The single "See a Little Light" was a hit on the US Modern Rock chart...

s and/or textbook
Textbook
A textbook or coursebook is a manual of instruction in any branch of study. Textbooks are produced according to the demands of educational institutions...

s.

From the early 2000s, Ordnance Survey offered a free OS Explorer Map to every 11-year-old in UK primary education in an attempt to increase school children's awareness of maps. By the end of 2010 when the scheme closes, over 6.4 million maps will have been given away. In place of the Free maps for 11-year-olds scheme, all schools that were eligible to receive free maps will have free access to the Digimap for Schools service provided by EDINA
EDINA
EDINA is a UK-based data centre , which provides data applications delivered over the Internet and aimed primarily at Higher Education staff and students in the United Kingdom....

. This service is available to all schools, though those who are not eligible for free maps have to pay "a modest annual fee".

With the trend away from paper products towards geographical information systems (GIS), Ordnance Survey has been looking into ways of ensuring schoolchildren are made aware of the benefits of GIS and has launched an interactive website aimed at children called 'MapZone' that features map-related games and learning resources. Ordnance Survey publishes a quarterly journal aimed at geography teachers called 'Mapping News'.

Derivative and licensed products

One series of historic maps (published by Cassini Publishing Ltd) is a reprint of the Ordnance Survey first series from the mid 19th century, but re-scaled to 1:50,000, re-projected to the OS Landranger map projection, and given 1 km gridlines. This means that features from over 150 years ago fit almost exactly over their modern equivalents, and modern grid references can be given to old features.

The digitisation of the data has allowed Ordnance Survey to experiment with selling maps electronically. Several companies are now licensed to produce the popular scales (1:50,000 and 1:25,000) of map on CD/DVD or to make them available online for download. The buyer typically has the right to view the maps on a PC, a laptop and a pocket PC/smartphone, and to print off any number of copies. The accompanying software is GPS-aware, and the maps are ready-calibrated. Thus, the user can quickly transfer a desired area from their PC to their laptop or smartphone, and go for a drive or walk with their position continually pinpointed on the screen. The price for an individual map is more expensive than the equivalent paper version, but the price per square km falls rapidly with the size of coverage bought.

Cartography


The original maps were made by triangulation
Triangulation
In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by measuring angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline, rather than measuring distances to the point directly...

. For the second survey, in 1934, this process was used again, and resulted in the building of many triangulation pillars (trig point
Trig point
A triangulation station, also known as a triangulation pillar, trigonometrical station, trigonometrical point, trig station, trig beacon or trig point, and sometimes informally as a trig, is a fixed surveying station, used in geodetic surveying and other surveying projects in its vicinity...

s): short (approx. 4 feet/1.2 m high), usually square, concrete or stone pillars at prominent locations such as hill tops. Their precise locations were determined by triangulation, and the details in between were then filled in with less precise methods.

Modern Ordnance Survey maps are largely based on aerial photograph
Aerial photography
Aerial photography is the taking of photographs of the ground from an elevated position. The term usually refers to images in which the camera is not supported by a ground-based structure. Cameras may be hand held or mounted, and photographs may be taken by a photographer, triggered remotely or...

s, but large numbers of the pillars remain, many of them adopted by private land owners. Ordnance Survey still has a team of surveyors across Great Britain who visit in person and survey areas that cannot be surveyed using photogrammetric methods (such as land obscured by vegetation) and there is an aim of ensuring that any major feature (such as a new motorway or large housing development) is surveyed within six months of its construction. While original survey methods were largely manual, the current surveying task is simplified by the use of GPS technology, allowing the most precise surveying standards yet. Ordnance Survey is responsible for a UK-wide network of GPS stations, known as OS Net. These are used for surveying but other organisations can purchase the right to utilise the network for their own uses.

Ordnance Survey still maintains a set of master geodetic reference points to tie the Ordnance Survey geographic datums to modern measurement systems including GPS. Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain do not use latitude and longitude to indicate position but a special grid. The grid is technically known as OSGB36 (Ordnance Survey Great Britain 1936), and was introduced after the retriangulation of 1936–53.

OS MasterMap

Ordnance Survey's flagship digital product, launched in November 2001, is OS MasterMap
OS MasterMap
OS MasterMap® is Ordnance Survey's flagship digital product, launched in November 2001. It is a database that records every fixed feature of Great Britain larger than a few metres in one continuous digital map. Every feature is given a unique TOID , a simple identifier that includes no semantic...

. This is a database
Database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

 that records every fixed feature of Great Britain larger than a few metres in one continuous digital map. Every feature is given a unique TOID
TOID
A TOID is a unique reference identifier assigned by the Ordnance Survey to identify every feature in Great Britain. The identifier consists of two parts, a prefix ‘osgb’ and a unique identifier that is 13-16 digits long...

 (TOpographical IDentifier), a simple identifier that includes no semantic information. Typically each TOID is associated with a polygon that represents the area on the ground that the feature covers, in National Grid coordinates.

OS MasterMap layers

OS MasterMap is offered in themed 'layers', each linked to a number of TOIDs. As of September 2010, the layers are:
  • OS MasterMap Topography Layer - the primary layer of OS MasterMap, consisting of vector data comprising large-scale representation of features in the real world, such as buildings and areas of vegetation. The features captured and the way they are depicted is listed in a specification available on the Ordnance Survey website.
  • OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network Layer - this is a link-and-node network of transport features, such as roads and railways. This data is at the heart of many satnav systems. In an attempt to reduce the number of HGVs using unsuitable roads, a data capture programme of 'Road Routing Information' was recently undertaken and this aims to add information such as bridge height restrictions and one-way streets to the product.
  • OS MasterMap Imagery Layer - as the name suggests, this product is orthorectified raster format aerial photography.
  • OS MasterMap Address Layer and Address Layer 2 - this shows every address in the UK as an overlay to the other layers. Address Layer 2 adds additional information, such as addresses with multiple occupants (blocks of flats, student houses etc.) and objects with no postal address, such as fields and electricity substations.


Pricing of licenses to OS MasterMap data depends on the total area
Area
Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

 requested, the layers licensed, the number of TOIDs in the layers, and the period in years of the data usage.

OS MasterMap can be used to generate maps for a vast array of purposes, and maps can be printed from OS MasterMap data with detail equivalent to a traditional 1:1250 scale paper map.

Ordnance Survey states that OS MasterMap data is never more than six months out of date, thanks to continuous review. The scale and detail of this mapping project is unique. By 2009, around 440 million TOIDs had been assigned, and the database stood at 600 gigabytes in size; currently (March 2011) OS claims 450 million TOIDs . As of 2005, OS MasterMap was at version 6; 2010's version 8 includes provision for Urban Paths (an extension of ITN) and pre-build address layer. All these versions have a similar GML
GML
GML may refer to:* Middle Low German , a language used around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea from 1100 to 1600* Gostomel Airport , an international cargo airport, near Kiev, Ukraine* Gradient Multi-Layer nano-film...

 2 schema.

Ordnance Survey is encouraging users of its old OS Land-Line data to migrate to OS MasterMap and in June 2007 announced a notice of withdrawal for this product as of 30 September 2008. Land-Line was a first-generation digital mapping product consisting of 'tiles' of map data. OS MasterMap is described as 'seamless', with no tiles, allowing customers to be more specific about their areas of interest.

Geographical information science research

For several decades, Ordnance Survey has had a Research department that is active in several areas of geographical information science, including:
  • Spatial cognition
  • Map Generalisation
  • Spatial Data Modelling
  • Remote sensing and analysis of remotely sensed data
  • Semantics and ontologies


Ordnance Survey actively supports the academic research community through its External Research and University Liaison team. The Research department actively supports MSc and PhD students as well as engaging in collaborative research. Most Ordnance Survey products are available to UK universities that have signed up to the Digimap
Digimap
Digimap is a web mapping and online data delivery service developed by the EDINA national data centre for UK academia. It offers a range of on-line mapping and data download facilities which provide maps and spatial data from Ordnance Survey, British Geological Survey, and Ltd....

 agreement and data is also made available for research purposes that advances Ordnance Survey's own research agenda.

More information can be found at Ordnance Survey Research.

Access to data and criticisms

Ordnance Survey has been subject to criticisms. Most criticism centres on the point that Ordnance Survey possesses a virtual government monopoly on geographic data in the UK, while, although a government agency, since 1999 it has been required to act as a Trading Fund
Trading Fund
A trading fund is a UK executive agency, government department or part of a department, which has been established as such by means of a Trading Fund Order made under the Government Trading Funds Act 1973....

 or commercial entity. This means that it is supposed to be totally self-funding from the commercial sale of its data and derived products - whilst at the same time it is supposed to be the public supplier of geographical information. In 1985 the "Committee of Enquiry into the Handling of Geographic Information" was set up in to “advise the Secretary of State for the Environment within two years on the future handling of geographic information in the UK, taking account of modern developments in information technology and market needs”. The Committee's final report was published under the name of its chairman, Roger Chorley
Roger Chorley, 2nd Baron Chorley
Roger Richard Edward Chorley, 2nd Baron Chorley is a British chartered accountant and peer.The son of the 1st Baron Chorley was educated at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in natural sciences and economics in 1953...

, in 1987. The report stressed the importance of widely available geographic information to the UK and recommended a loosening of government policies on distribution and cost recovery.

Since August 2007, Ordnance Survey has contracted the political lobbying company Mandate Communications to help campaign against the free data movement and discover which politicians and advisers continue to support their current policies.

In response to the feedback from the consultation, the government announced that a package of Ordnance Survey data sets would be released for free use and re-use. On 1 April 2010 Ordnance Survey released the brand OS OpenData, under an attribution-only license compatible with CC-by
Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

. Various groups and individuals had campaigned for this release of data, but some were disappointed when some of the profitable datasets were not included - withheld for the counter-argument that if licensees do not pay for OS data collection then the government would have to be willing to foot a £30m p.a. bill, to obtain the future economic benefit of sharing the highly detailed mapping produced by the UK's national agency.

Historical material

Ordnance Survey historical works are generally available, as the agency is covered by Crown Copyright
Crown copyright
Crown copyright is a form of copyright claim used by the governments of a number of Commonwealth realms. It provides special copyright rules for the Crown .- Australia :...

: works more than fifty years old, including historic surveys of Britain and Ireland and much of the New Popular Edition, are in the public domain. However, finding suitable originals remains an issue as Ordnance Survey does not provide historical mapping on 'free' terms, instead marketing commercially 'enhanced' reproductions in partnership with Landmark. This can be contrasted with, for example, the approach in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 in more recent times, where Ordnance Survey Ireland
Ordnance Survey Ireland
Ordnance Survey Ireland is the national mapping agency of the Republic of Ireland and, together with the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland , succeeded, after 1922, the Irish operations of the United Kingdom Ordnance Survey. It is part of the Public service of the Republic of Ireland...

 claims regular copyright over its mapping (and over digital copies of the public domain historical mapping).

See also

  • Alastair Macdonald
    Alastair Macdonald
    Alastair Macdonald MBE is a retired land surveyor and author.-Achievements:Macdonald decided to become a surveyor at the age of nine.He took part in two Spitsbergen expeditions while at Cambridge University....

    , Director of Surveys and Production at Ordnance Survey 1982-1992
  • Cartography
    Cartography
    Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

  • International Map of the World
    International Map of the World
    The International Map of the World was a project begun in 1913 to create a complete map of the world according to internationally agreed standards...

  • Geoinformatics
    Geoinformatics
    Geoinformatics is the science and the technology which develops and uses information science infrastructure to address the problems of geography, geosciences and related branches of engineering.-Overview:...

  • Grid reference
    Grid reference
    Grid references define locations on maps using Cartesian coordinates. Grid lines on maps define the coordinate system, and are numbered to provide a unique reference to features....

    • Great Trigonometric Survey
      Great Trigonometric Survey
      The Great Trigonometric Survey was a project of the Survey of India throughout most of the 19th century. It was piloted in its initial stages by William Lambton, and later by George Everest. Among the many accomplishments of the Survey were the demarcation of the British territories in India and...

    • Irish national grid reference system
      Irish national grid reference system
      The Irish grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references commonly used in Ireland . The Irish grid overlaps the British grid.-Usage:...

    • Ordnance Survey National Grid
  • Hydrography
    Hydrography
    Hydrography is the measurement of the depths, the tides and currents of a body of water and establishment of the sea, river or lake bed topography and morphology. Normally and historically for the purpose of charting a body of water for the safe navigation of shipping...

    • Hydrographic survey
      Hydrographic survey
      Hydrographic survey is the science of measurement and description of features which affect maritime navigation, marine construction, dredging, offshore oil exploration/drilling and related disciplines. Strong emphasis is placed on soundings, shorelines, tides, currents, sea floor and submerged...

    • United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
      United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
      The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is an organisation within the UK government responsible for providing navigational and other hydrographic information for national, civil and defence requirements...

  • Maps of the UK and Ireland
    Maps of the UK and Ireland
    Maps of the UK and Ireland are available in various media.-Maps on CD ROM:ISYS OUTDOORS, Anquet Maps and Fugawi offer a series of 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 scale UK Ordnance Survey maps including agazetteer of place names...

  • Martin Hotine
    Martin Hotine
    Brigadier Martin Hotine CMG CBE was the head of the Trigonometrical and Levelling Division of the Ordnance Survey responsible for the 26 year long retriangulation of Great Britain and was the first Director General of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys .According to Nicholas Crane :...

    , founder of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys
  • National mapping agency
    National mapping agency
    A national mapping agency is an organisation, usually publicly owned, that produces topographic maps and geographic information of a country. Some national mapping agencies also deal with cadastral matters.-List of national mapping agencies:...

  • Ordnance Survey International
    Ordnance Survey International
    From 1946 to 1999, Ordnance Survey International and its predecessors built the Ordnance Survey International Collection , an archive of air photography, map and survey records derived from its mapping activities outside the UK.The agency was closed in 2001...

  • Romer
    Romer
    A Reference Card or "Romer" is a device for increasing the accuracy when reading a grid reference from a map. Made from transparent plastic, paper or other materials, they are also found on most baseplate compasses. Essentially, it is a specially marked-out ruler which matches the scale of the map...

    , a device for accurate reading of grid references from a map
  • Sea level
    Sea level
    Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...



External links


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