back to article Happy Mappiversary, Ordnance Survey

The Ordnance Survey celebrates its 225th birthday this week, and is commemorating it with two new custom retro-styled maps. Both marry historically accurate styles to modern data. On 21 June 1791, the then "Board of Ordnance" purchased a Ramsden theodolite to survey Britain and protect from a French invasion, hence the 225th …

  1. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    On 21 June 1791 ...the first map was produced 10 years later.

    Maybe we should have a seance and get them to manage HS2 ?

  2. Paul Slater

    What is the air-line ? Not being from London these things are not always obviously hilarious to me

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      re: What is the air-line ?

      1. mhoulden

        Re: re: What is the air-line ?

        Also known as the Dangleway, which I think is more in keeping with El Reg house style.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    morris minor??

    That's a Morris Traveller.

    1. TimR

      Re: morris minor??

      A Morris Minor Traveller - as opposed to, say, a Mini Traveller. Look at the model name on the back door

  4. J.G.Harston Silver badge


  5. ISYS

    Happy days

    I love OS maps (sad I know) and remember many a Geography lesson learning about them.

    Church with a tower

    Church with a dome

    A Tumulus


    Scree - Google Maps still does not include this useful bit of information.

    A pint to OS - If you need to know where to get the pint - Search for the pint pot with a handle.

    1. TimR

      Re: Happy days

      "I love OS maps (sad I know)..." - nothing sad about that!

    2. WraithCadmus

      Re: Happy days

      Google's great for roads as befits an American company, but you cannot use them as soon as you leave the highways, only a proper paper topographical map will do (either as a primary navigation tool or as a backup).

    3. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Happy days is good for that, for certain resolutions.

      A chum of mine once wrote a screen scraper to grab the entire British Isles from it, and then hacked together a quick script to auto-generate an A4 (or whatever) compatible printout of any area he wanted to cycle/ramble in.

    4. Tony S

      Re: Happy days

      Totally agree, nothing to feel sad about.

      I spent many a happy hour / day / week pottering up and down various hillsides, along footpaths in my younger days. A great way to get out, get exercise, fresh air, and enjoy the countryside.

      After I reached 18, and could legally be served in pubs... well actually, it didn't make a lot of difference, as I had been nipping in and out since 16, but there was a greater sense of enjoyment.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Happy days

        Great fan of OS maps too. Whenever I am on holidays in a part of Britain I haven't been before, the first course of action is to get a good set of local OS maps (Exlporer or Landranger, as a rule).Wouldn't go hiking without one

    5. The First Dave

      Re: Happy days

      You didn't learn very well then - no such thing as "Church with a dome", just:


      Church w/ Tower

      Church w/ Spire

  6. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

    The London map is already up for sale

    Where? Couldn't find it in the OS Map Shop, and the blog suggests to register for an alert instead.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: The London map is already up for sale

      Maybe it's not quite finished - like Slartibartfast, they're working on the crinkly bits.

  7. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    " ... to survey Britain and protect from a French invasion ... "

    I do wonder, was that in their original job description? "Go outside. Take a survey. Draw some maps. And ward off the French."

    1. AdamT

      well, hence the name _Ordnance_ Survey. Meaning either artillery or military planning/logistics.

  8. TooLongWednesday


    Am i the only one who's seen the cheeky cockney pub reference in Tiree? Rubha Dubh? (twice)...

    1. Kernel

      Re: Rub-a-dub?

      "Am i the only one who's seen the cheeky cockney pub reference in Tiree? Rubha Dubh? (twice)..."

      Sorry to disappoint you, but Rubha Dubh translates as Black Promontory - rubha = promontory, dubh = black.

      It's pretty obvious even to a none Gaelic speaker from the opposite side of the world (such as myself) that rubha has to have a meaning like cape, point or promontory.

      1. FlossyThePig

        Re: Rub-a-dub?

        Isn't bh in a Gaelic word pronounced like a "v"?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rub-a-dub?

          "isn't bh in a Gaelic word pronounced like a "v"?"

          So Dubh = Duv (dove?) Is that some kind of pigeon Gaelic?

  9. C. P. Cosgrove

    OS 1/4 inch series

    I always liked the appearance of the 1/4 inch series which, to my mind, had a reasonable balance between supuplying sufficient ground detail and covering a reasonable area, particularly for driving. If you were on foot then of course they were inadequate but that was what the 1 inch was designed for. And the 1/4 inch was less likely to suffer from the problem common to both the 1 inch and the 1:50,000 - everywhere you want to go to is right in the corner of the map !

    I have found that there is little to choose between the 1 inch and 1:50,000, they are both excellent maps, but aesthetically the 1/4 inch had them both beat !

    I too raise a glass to the OS, and to 'Liberty, Fraternity and Equality'.

    Chris Cosgrove

  10. MJI Silver badge

    I like maps

    And have quite a collection of 1:50,000 and now 1:25,000

    So usefull to find your way around with.

    Worst maps are googles online junk with light grey roads on light grey background.

  11. Ashley_Pomeroy

    Someone has written little appreciations of the B-roads of Tiree, e.g.:

    It makes me want to visit, it looks really nice.

    1. Z80

      I haven't been to Tiree but I've been to Mull. One of the reasons I'd like to go back someday is to drive the B8035 alongside Loca na Keal again. In places the single track road is the only thing between the sea and the foot of the cliffs. Magic.

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