All Mapped Out..

If you want a map with lots of detail, great if you enjoy hiking, cycling or just enjoy a nice gentle stroll, the map of choice in the UK is Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey (OS) is the national mapping agency for Great Britain and is one of the world’s largest producers of maps. Since the first of April 2015 it has operated as Ordnance Survey Ltd, a government-owned company that is 100% publicly owned.

The agency’s name indicates its original military purpose, mapping Scotland in the wake of the Jacobite rebellion in 1745. There was also a more general and nationwide need for maps in light of the potential threat of invasion during the Napoleonic Wars, reflected in the inclusion of the War Department’s broad arrow in the agency’s logo up until 2015.

Ordnance Survey mapping is usually classified as either “large-scale” (in other words, more detailed) or “small-scale”. The Survey’s large-scale mapping comprises maps at six inches to the mile or more (1:10,560,  superseded by 1:10,000 in the 1950s) and was available as sheets until the 1980s, when it was digitised. Small-scale mapping comprises maps at less than six inches to the mile, such as the popular one inch to the mile “leisure” maps and their metric successors. These are still available in traditional sheet form.

This year Ordnance Survey decided to update their cover photos and I’m really pleased to say that one of my photographs will now adorn Map 204, Truro and Falmouth, part of the very popular 1:50,000 Landranger series.  The picture was taken of Fowey from across the Fowey River on a footpath known as Hall Walk.  You take the Bodinnick Ferry from Fowey and a little way up the road, the foot path begins on your right.

I’ve done a bit of cut and pasting to show how the map will look (roughly).  The photograph was taken on one of the most glorious June Mornings I can remember.  It was just a perfect day and to have that day immortalised (well nearly) on the cover of a map covering my area of Cornwall, that makes me happy.  This is a walk that I couldn’t manage today so it’s extra special and it’ll be very nice keepsake to have.  The new maps will be available from February next year.  I hope many visitors to the area will enjoy days similar to that one, although it has to be said, over the last few years these days, weather wise have been rare.. :-)

Truro and Falmouth Ordinance Survey Landranger Map photo by Adrian Theze


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40 responses

  1. Great post about the Ordnance Survey, and I agree with you Adrian, an absolute essential item for anyone that loves the outdoors!

    December 1, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    • Thank you Andy! I think an Ordnance Survey map has always been one of the first thing I’ve bought when going on holiday or moving to anywhere new.

      December 2, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      • Exactly!!!! That’s the first thing I do too!! I was gutted when I first moved up here, it took me 2 weeks before I could get to a shop selling OS maps :-( I could get hold of other maps, but it has to be an OS map!!!

        December 2, 2015 at 12:20 pm

  2. beautiful day! Congrats on having your photo chosen :)

    December 1, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    • Thank you very much!

      December 2, 2015 at 12:16 pm

  3. Great news Adrian, so how did they choose/come across your photo?

    December 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    • Thank you Mark. Ordnance Survey held an open competition. It was free to enter. Just a matter of uploading images to their website where they had galleries of photos that people could then vote for. I think there was perhaps a final judging phase, I’m not sure to be honest.

      December 2, 2015 at 12:25 pm

  4. What a wonderful and beautiful place.

    December 1, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    • Thank you very much Lou! Fowey is a lovely town.

      December 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

  5. Aye, well done!

    December 1, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    • Thank you Mike!

      December 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

  6. Congratulations! I love Ordnance Survey maps.

    December 1, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    • Thank you Bunty! :-)

      December 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

  7. Beautiful view. Good to see your wonderful work being recognised :)

    December 1, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    • Thank you very much Jude! :-)

      December 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

  8. That’s wonderful Adrian. I’d say they made an excellent choice!

    December 2, 2015 at 12:26 am

    • Thank you Neil!

      December 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

  9. What a magnificent photo. Adrian. Congratulations on the publication. You must be very thrilled. :)

    December 2, 2015 at 12:35 am

    • Thank you Sylvia. I remember looking at an Ordnance Survey map a number of years ago and thinking ‘I wonder where they got that photo?’ I’m really chuffed to be on this particular map’s cover. This map was one of the first things I bought when I moved to Cornwall. :-)

      December 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

  10. Perfectly lovely!

    December 2, 2015 at 2:39 am

    • Thank you Gunta! :-)

      December 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

  11. Congratulations. Truly a beautiful image.

    December 2, 2015 at 7:33 am

    • Thank you Shimon! I really appreciate your comments very much!

      December 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm

  12. Congratulations. I remember those maps from many years ago.

    December 2, 2015 at 11:07 am

    • These maps were a big part of my teens and early adult life Victor. Thanks you very much!

      December 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm

  13. that is great :)

    December 3, 2015 at 7:10 am

    • Thank you Joshi! :-)

      December 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm

  14. Congratulations with the photo on one of the maps by the Ordnance Survey. Must be exciting. :-)

    December 3, 2015 at 10:36 am

    • Thank you Otto! It is exciting. A very nice Christmas present. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the maps in the shops.

      December 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm

  15. Congrats Adrian! it’s the perfect cover. :)

    December 3, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    • Thank you Camilla! It was a really nice thing to happen. It’s been a good year! :-)

      December 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

  16. That’s great – a real gift to you – and to everyone who uses the map. Over here we have the USGS – US Geographical Survey – and being a map lover, I’ve always been wild about them. But no photos on them!*kirkland+wa*&layout=6_1_61_58&uiarea=2&ctype=areaDetails&next=seeItem&carea=0000000093&citem=00000015020000000153%29/.do
    (My neck of the woods, if the link works).

    December 5, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    • Sadly the link didn’t work Lynn. I would of liked to take a peek at your neck of the woods and thank you for such a lovely comment!

      December 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    • That one didn’t look too trustworthy! :-) Maybe another time!

      December 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

  17. How perfect Adrian – you’re becoming quite the rock star!!!

    December 6, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    • Aww thanks Tina. I must admit to feeling really rather chuffed about this one. :-D

      December 7, 2015 at 4:06 pm

  18. A really massive congrats on such an accomplishment. Thoroughly deserved. Best regards, James

    December 7, 2015 at 11:09 am

    • Thank you James. I often used to wonder where the photos came from for the maps. I didn’t imagine that one of my photos would end up on the cover. Really very pleased with this one. :-)

      December 7, 2015 at 4:10 pm