how to understand ordnance survey maps

If you look closely at a map, you will see that it is dotted with these symbols throughout. For example, this could be a car park, a viewing point or a trig pillar. Ordnance Survey divides Great Britain into 100 km by 100 km squares, each with a two-letter code. Make sure you check the map legend carefully to make sure you interpret the map correctly. A Simple Guide to Map Reading – Ordnance Survey. Most maps have a legend for you to refer to, so you know what you are looking at. They can represent an environment in extraordinary detail. You need to adjust your compass for magnetic variation.

For example, in 2015 six new symbols were introduced for electric car charging points, art galleries, solar farms, skateboard parks, toilets and kite surfing areas. identify and locate physical and human features and patterns, use maps in association with photographs, field sketches, cross sections/transects, Using four and six-figure grid references, . OS maps use symbols that label real-life features and make the maps easier to understand. Even if you know the area well, you may even discover features on the map that you’ve never realised were there when you passed close by on foot or by car! It is important that you know both, numbers along the bottom of the map come first and the numbers up the side of the map come second, the four-figure reference 2083 refers to the square to the east of Easting line 20 and north of Northing line 83, the six-figure reference 207834 will give you the exact point in the square 2083 - 7/10s of the way across and 4/10s of the way up, For example, on the map below, the six-figure reference, © Crown copyright and database rights 2015 Ordnance Survey 100039117. when using an OS map to answer questions, you MUST always give grid references in your answer. With preceding numbers identifying the Ordnance Survey map sheet number  – ‘17/609543’ for OS Explorer Map OL17 or ‘115/609543’ for OS Landranger Map sheet 115. The lines represent the contours of the land, and the numbers tell you the height each line is above sea level.

Phone batteries can run out, or you may be stuck somewhere remote with no phone signal – in these scenarios being able to read a map would be more than useful. An easy way to remember this is that to get the first number, you go along the corridor (horizontal, x axis, eastings) and then up the stairs (vertical, y axis, northings). How to read and understand OS Maps for National 5 Geography, For the National 5 Geography examination, you need to be able to: -. Top tip! Our team of exam survivors will get you started and keep you going. These squares can be used to give a place a four or six-figure grid reference. Flat land = 6145, gentle slope = 6047 and steep land = 6450. When you look at an Ordnance Survey map – online, on the maps app, or on a paper map, there are lots of symbols, each describing different features. Once you have done this, the direction of travel arrow should be pointing in the direction you need to go. This is useful for being able to simply give others your location (e.g. So, we have asked Ordnance Survey to put together a quick a simple guide on how to read a map and use a compass.. The romer lines marked on the base plate of most compasses can help you to get a more accurate grid reference. In the example below, the grey box is in the four-figure grid reference square ‘18 44’, but more accurately it is 7 tenths across and 8 tenths up within that larger grid square, therefore the six-figure map reference is ‘187 448’. Each grid square has associated numbers, and these numbers are what you use to pinpoint your location on a map. Confusing boundary lines, paths and footpaths – people can often misinterpret a boundary line for a path or footpath or vice versa when looking at a map. 4. Eg (50.937880, -1.470625) is the lat/long coordinates of Ordnance Survey. For example: on a 1:50 000 map, 2 cm on the map (one grid square) represents 1 km on the ground. Map reading made easy! Cudham Tithe Barn How to read and understand OS Maps for National 5 Geography. For the National 5 Geography exam, you should be able to work out the distance between different points on both 1:25 000 and 1:50 000 OS maps. Selecting a moving object to walk towards – It best to be walking towards something in the distance that is not likely to move (eg in poor visibility it is easy to mistake a sheep for a rock!). How to read and understand OS Maps for National 5 Geography. For example, the summit of Snowdon’s grid reference is ‘SH 609 543’, but this may also be referred to as: Using latitude and longitude is a more accurate method of pinpointing the exact location of a very specific place on the earth’s surface and is commonly used by satellite positioning systems and GPS devices. Kelsey Media Ltd Description: Flat land; gentle slope; steep land. Skip to content.

See a better place. When giving a four-figure grid reference, you should always give the eastings number first and the northings number second, very much like when giving the reading of a graph in school, where you give the x coordinate first followed by the y. Part of. Grid references, being read left to right on a map, are called eastings, and grid references going bottom to top, are called Northings. Geography. When you quote your grid ref number, be sure to include the two-letter prefix, so that the grid ref corresponds to the correct square. Learn the use and meaning of contour lines on maps and understand how to use them on your map when you're planning routes or out and about. The steeper the slope the closer together the contour lines will be. You could pick a tree or a house, but don’t pick anything like an animal as these are likely to move! Being able to read a map is an essential life skill if you plan on spending time in the hills. 1. How to read and understand OS Maps. mountain rescue).

OS map symbols are used to represent three basic types of information, known as point data, line data and polygon data. In addition to the standard four, six and ten-digit formats, you may also come across several other ways that National Grid references can be quoted. How to read and understand OS Maps for National 5 Geography. And the more you understand the symbols, the language of the map, the more it can tell you. You would need to pick a map of a scale that is appropriate for what you need.

OS Map Symbols – Unlocking the Code. The first Ordnance Survey (OS) map was published in 1801, but the first OS map symbols did not appear until 1886, when they were used to illustrate trees and vegetation. The numbers going across the map from left to right are called eastings, and go up in value eastwards, and the numbers going up the map from bottom to top are called northings, because they go up in a northward direction. Hills, slopes and You can see from the picture above the link between the shape of a hill and the contours representing it on a map.

To calculate a straight-line distance on an OS map, use a ruler to measure the distance on the map in centimetres. You can now order the latest issue of The Great Outdoors online and get it delivered straight to your door for no extra cost. Not trusting your compass – If you think your compass is pointing you in the wrong direction, then start again to work out your direction. The first Ordnance Survey (OS) map was published in 1801, but the first OS map symbols did not appear until 1886, when they were used to illustrate trees and vegetation. Ordnance Survey maps are covered in a series of faint blue lines that make up a grid. Note: when using an OS map to answer questions, you MUST always give grid references in your answer. Kent TN16 3AG Then, use the scale line at the bottom of the map to calculate the real distance. Throughout the blog you will find great advice on this very important skill plus a section on the most common mistakes (don’t forget to share this article with that friend who is always getting lost). OS maps are divided into numbered squares.

Now you can take your compass off the map. The ability to understand the shape of the ground from a map is a useful skill to learn, particularly in mountainous landscapes and when you are out and about hiking. All rights reserved. Berry's Hill 3. 2. SN 2435 6374 = 8 ). Introducing the Flock Together Collective, Ben Robertson on the life saving benefits …, GORDON DAVISON, CO-FOUNDER OF BERGHAUS, 30.11.34 – …. Always know your location whether walking, running, cycling, or horse riding – every map comes with a free digital download for your devices to use while you’re out & about. They are given as coordinates, made from horizontal lines, with the equator referring to 0 latitude, and vertical lines, with the line passing through the prime meridian referring to 0 longitude. You need to give your answer in either metres or kilometres. And if you’re planning a walk this post on how to plan a walk with an OS map is a useful read. The closer together the contour lines are, the steeper the slope. eight-figure grid reference, such as ‘1926 4548’, indicates a 10 m by 10 m square on the map; and, ten-figure grid reference, such as ‘19267 45487’, indicates a 1 m by 1 m square on the map. When contour lines are very close, the land is steep. Using this system you can identify a 10 kilometre grid square. Log in . For example, the above image shows TL63. The lines have numbers accompanying them that allow you to accurately pinpoint your location on a map. Look for the height and shape of the ground which is shown on 1:25 000 scale maps by brown contour lines. You may come across the abbreviated version of the terms ‘lat-long’. A map is a graphic, two-dimensional visualisation of the world around us. Water                                                          Woodland                                                                Sand.

A contour is a line drawn on a map that joins points of equal height above sea level. Weather conditions, forecasts and analysis for the UK and the world. Brown/orange lines with numbers on them called contour lines.

Church Symbols This means that the highest point on the map is 895 metres at that grid reference.

For example, they can show whether a piece of woodland is composed of deciduous or coniferous trees, and reveal the character of the ground you will cross – very useful to avoid muddy and marshy areas on your walk. There are two main types of grid reference: In practice, it’s the six-digit grid reference number that is most commonly used, although the more digits used gives you a more precise location.

At the bottom of each map there's a scale that indicates the distance on the map. Map skills related to Ordnance Survey (OS) maps. All of the features you will see when out and about are on your OS map, and the symbol will help you with your map reading and to understand what your map is telling you. All trademarks acknowledged. Contour lines are orange or brown squiggly lines, with numbers next to them. Leisure Business and Government Education. 5. It is important that you know both four-figure and six-figure grid references.

These are usually represented by the following shapes or symbols: Parking                              Viewing Point                                Trig Pillar. How contour lines show a pair of small hills. Sign up to receive the very best of OS and its group of companies, straight to you by email. Some of these can reveal the hidden history of a place. Read about our approach to external linking. It’s best to line your compass up with something in the distance and head towards that. For example, on the map below, the six-figure reference 207834 shows a church in Bamford. The full ten-digit grid reference with National Grid letter – ‘SH 60989 54379’ or without letters ‘60989 54379’ – the most accurate grid reference. You will find a legend or key printed at the side of every map that lists all of the symbols used. To work out a 4-figure grid reference, always give the eastings number first and northing second.

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