Brief Thoughts On Maps

There are plenty of map based posers up the thread (the questions, not the people).

Things like “which is the farthest east - the eastern or the western end of the Panama Canal”.
Yes, I know that one!

Then there's the interesting bits in the UK, like Edinburgh being further west than Bristol.
 

Count_Zero

Swinger
Just a heads up for those that are interested.. "Timeshift: A Very British Map:The Ordnance Survey Story" is being shown again on BBC4 on Sunday night at midnight...
 
For those who haven't read it, 'Map of a Nation' by Rachel Hewitt is very good. I think it was referenced earlier in the thread. Here's a link again:

On Amazon:

At Waterstones:
 

Karamoja

Old-Salt
I have mixed feelings about the OS. During the early 90s, I was investigating whether the spatial adjustment rubber sheeting part of ARC GIS could be used by Local Authorities to quickly make land use maps from aerial photography without using highly technical photogrammetry. Anyway. I could actually see a trig point on a particular photo so I decided to use it as a control point so I phoned up the OS to get its co-ords and much to my astonishment and disgust, I was told I had to pay for them! I suppose I had been spoilt by working with the Surveyor-General in Rhodesia where they were free. The chap I spoke to frankly admitted that it was no longer the the same OS as to when he started. Anyway it totally gob-smacked me.
 

Karamoja

Old-Salt
For those who haven't read it, 'Map of a Nation' by Rachel Hewitt is very good. I think it was referenced earlier in the thread. Here's a link again:

On Amazon:

At Waterstones:
I concur, it is worth reading.
 
Just a heads up for those that are interested.. "Timeshift: A Very British Map:The Ordnance Survey Story" is being shown again on BBC4 on Sunday night at midnight...
The last time they broadcast it there was much harrumphing here about people saying ”ordinance”.

A good programme though.
 

Karamoja

Old-Salt
Just listened to the latest edition of Inside Science on R4. The program visited the HQ of the OS in Southampton. It was interesting to hear how they update the master map every 3 years and the technology used. It is worth catching up with if you like maps, even if they are money grabbing bastards!:)
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Just listened to the latest edition of Inside Science on R4. The program visited the HQ of the OS in Southampton. It was interesting to hear how they update the master map every 3 years and the technology used. It is worth catching up with if you like maps, even if they are money grabbing bastards!:)
The old OS HQ is half a mile down the road. The new one is half a mile the other side over the fields.
 
Just listened to the latest edition of Inside Science on R4. The program visited the HQ of the OS in Southampton. It was interesting to hear how they update the master map every 3 years and the technology used. It is worth catching up with if you like maps, even if they are money grabbing bastards!:)
I was listening to that also, very interesting.
 
I was listening to that also, very interesting.
Same here. Half a billion data points for the master map, accurate to 2cm. Absolutely fascinating
 
I have mixed feelings about the OS. During the early 90s, I was investigating whether the spatial adjustment rubber sheeting part of ARC GIS could be used by Local Authorities to quickly make land use maps from aerial photography without using highly technical photogrammetry. Anyway. I could actually see a trig point on a particular photo so I decided to use it as a control point so I phoned up the OS to get its co-ords and much to my astonishment and disgust, I was told I had to pay for them!....
I think you always had to pay for the data on trig points and bench marks. You got a certain number of points for your fee - and if you were lucky some of them were still there on the ground! The OS obviously didn't have the resources to check all the minor points.

There are web sites with this information, not sure how up to date it is.
 

TamH70

MIA
This site shows the trig point on the hills near my old village - the Gleniffer Braes near Neilston. Fairly accurate.

 
Looking at some old maps and saw this:

FCD9D8E2-78F9-460D-8C61-0C15B2259E39.jpeg


Struck me as a bit odd. I have never heard the North Sea referred to as the German Ocean. Of all the countries around the North Sea I would have thought the Boxheads would have the least claim to it as Germany has the smallest shoreline out of all the shoreline nations.

If that map was 1913 I bet it was changed pretty sharpish a year later.
 

QRK2

LE
Looking at some old maps and saw this:

View attachment 450423

Struck me as a bit odd. I have never heard the North Sea referred to as the German Ocean. Of all the countries around the North Sea I would have thought the Boxheads would have the least claim to it as Germany has the smallest shoreline out of all the shoreline nations.

If that map was 1913 I bet it was changed pretty sharpish a year later.
It would have been. 'German Ocean' was the common name up to 1914.
 

Karamoja

Old-Salt
This site shows the trig point on the hills near my old village - the Gleniffer Braes near Neilston. Fairly accurate.

Interesting site that. Looked up the trigs around me and saw that quite a few had sadly been destroyed. I know they are now obsolete but they represent a lot of hard work and required the cutting edge science of their day and I think they have historical significance. In Rhodesia, in case a trig was destroyed, each one had three or four witness marks placed in the vicinity of the trig. They were surveyed in so were on the co-ordinate system. This meant that a replaced trig could quickly be surveyed (fixed) using them.
 
It’s probably fair to say that the trig point is possibly one of Britain’s most successful exports over the years. Sadly one we probably didn't get any revenue from (maybe a bit of consultancy work but the army officers who ran the OS were never very commercially minded).

We have lost about a thousand of them (6500 built, 5500 remaining). In addition there were another (roughly) 24,000 coordinated points used in the “great retriangulation” of Britain.

The trig points gave us an accuracy of about 20 metres over the entire length of the U.K. They are sadly obsolete because the modern OS Net has an accuracy of 3mm over the same distance using just 110 points.

The OS could argue that “you are never lost with an OS map” but they could also add “unless you are an officer”.

OS Net is also available 24/7 in all weather. Which helps.

I always look for trig points as they usually offer the best view of the surrounding countryside.
 
Last edited:

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top