Ord­nance Sur­vey Ex­plorer Map

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - News -

For­get Pi­casso, da Vinci, van Gogh: for many walk­ers the most beau­ti­ful bit of art­work in the world is an Ord­nance Sur­vey Ex­plorer map. Un­fold a crisp new sheet and in­stantly you start dream­ing of the walks you’ll take among its exquisitely drawn con­tour lines, streams, woods, lakes, walls and paths. Then, map in hand out in the hills and dales, its ev­ery in­cred­i­ble de­tail helps guide you safely through un­known ter­rain. And over the years each map be­comes a tes­ta­ment to your ad­ven­tures: ev­ery sun- bleached, wind- bat­tered, rain- spat­tered, mud­splat­tered square a re­minder of great days out. The ge­n­e­sis of the map­ping agency was far from artis­tic, though. As the name sug­gests, its ori­gin was mil­i­tary – the he first maps were cre­ated af­ter the Ja­co­bite­co­bite ris­ings of 1745, to try to un­der­stand thee ter­rain of the Scot­tish High­lands and track ack down dis­senters. Later, the threat of Napoleon­apoleon in­vad­ing spurred the map­ping of Eng­land’s gland’s vul­ner­a­ble south coast to fa­cil­i­tate troop oop move­ment and cam­paign plan­ning – de­tailed map­ping which even­tu­ally ex­tend­ed­tended across Bri­tain. And dur­ing both world wars the OS pro­duced a heroic quan­tity an­tity of maps of home and abroad: 20,000,000 0,000,000 dur­ing the first one, and 345,000,0005,000,000 dur­ing the sec­ond.

And while dig­i­tal map­ping is be­com­ing more­ore and more pop­u­lar, we still think a pa­per­per one is some­thing to be trea­sured, a price­less ar­ti­fact as mean­ing­ful to its own­er­wner as the Mona Lisa.

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