OS Mapping

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The Ordnance Survey came into existence because of the Government of 1791 recognised a need to map the south coast in preparation for a French Invasion following the French Revolution. However, it was not until 1801 that the first map was published - of Kent! Read more on The OS Website.

List of Maps

A list of the changes to Ordnance Survey of Great Britain mapping from 1801 to present.

Year From Year To Map Name Scale Notes
1801 18?? One Inch 1st Edition 1:63360 This series pre-dates Classification
1903 1931 One Inch 3rd Edition 1:63360 This series pre-dates Classification
1911 1911 2 Miles to inch 1:123720 This series pre-dates Classification, Example seen from 1911
1919 1940 One Inch Popular Edition 1:63360 Never included road numbers, but from 1934 A roads were shown in red
1923 1936 Ministry of Transport Road Map 1:123720 The first maps to show Classification. Based on reduced 3rd Edition mapping from the early 20th century with classified roads as an overlay.
1931 1940 One Inch 5th Edition 1:63360 Included road numbers from the start, but was never completed (sheets 1-92 were not published, nor were the sheets of South Wales and east Kent)
1932 1964 Ten-Mile Road Map of Great Britain 1:625000 Based on other mapping with classified roads shown as an overlay.
1945 1961 One Inch 6th Edition 1:63360 Marketed as the New Popular Edition
1952 1976 One Inch 7th Series 1:63360 This was the last version of the one inch mapping. Net backed maps were phased out in circa 1963 and a more modern cover introduced in 1968.
1952 c1996 One Inch Touring Maps 1:63360 These One Inch maps lasted much longer than the main series. Like the main series, net backed maps were phased out circa 1963 and a more modern cover introduced in 1965. Also unlike the main series, these had pictures on them, replaced by photographs in 1984 & replaced by the touring series in c1996
1964 2009 Route Planning Map 1:625000 Replacement for the Ten Mile Road Map series
1974 1979 1:50000 Series 1:50000 This was the first version of 1:50000 mapping though maps 176 & 177 have always been in second series style.
1979 present Landranger Series 1:50000 This is the current spec of Ordnance Survey mapping Pictures were added to the covers in 1984 and first Series 1:50000 style was phased out in 1990 with the update of Map 26.
1974 2003 Pathfinder 1:25000 This was the main spec 1:25000 series of Ordnance Survey mapping. Replaced with the Explorer Series.
1974 2002 Outdoor Leisure Series 1:25000 This was merged into the Explorer series
1994 present Explorer 1:25000 This is the current spec of 1:25000 Ordnance Survey mapping
1945 1977 Quarter Inch Map 1:250000 17 Sheets for GB coverage. This was the preciser of the Travelmaster maps
1977 2001 Travelmaster 1:250000 This was a larger scale maps for long distance journeys. rebranded in 2002.
2002 present Road Map 1:250000 This is the re-branded Travelmaster series. Now numbered 8 maps.
2002 present Route Map 1:625000 This is the former map 1 of the Travelmaster series.
c1996 Present Touring Map/Tour 1:250000 This is the replacement of the old one-inch touring maps.

Map Symbols

Main Article: OS Map Symbols

OS Mapping
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Road Mapping
Ordnance SurveyMoT Maps • Ten Mile Road Map • Route Planning Map • One Inch(Popular Edition) • Landranger • Half Inch • Quarter Inch • Routemaster • Travelmaster • Road Map • Travel Map • Pathfinder • Explorer  • Outdoor Leisure • Tourist • Ten Mile • City Link  • City, Town and Neighbourhood
Ordnance Survey Northern IrelandRoad Map • One Inch • Discoverer
Ordnance Survey IrelandDiscovery
Other MappingA-Z • AA • Bartholomew • Book of the Road • Google • Michelin • Philips • Others