Ordnance Survey

Grid square TF from the Ordnance Survey National Grid, shown at a scale of 1:250,000. The map shows the Wash and the North Sea, as well as places within the counties of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk
Part of an Ordnance Survey map, at the scale of one inch to the mile, from a New Popular Edition map published in 1946
Roy Military Survey of Scotland 1747–1755, Mansewood.
The original draftsman's drawings for the area around St Columb Major in Cornwall, made in 1810
Detail from 1901 Ordnance Survey map of the Imperial fortress colony of Bermuda (showing St. George's Town and St. George's Garrison), compiled from surveys carried out between 1897 and 1899 by Lieutenant Arthur Johnson Savage, Royal Engineers.
The former headquarters of the Ordnance Survey in London Road, Southampton (2005)
The cover of the 5th series OS map Chelmsford and Southend sheet 108. Art by Ellis Martin
Front cover of a one-inch to the mile New Popular Edition, from 1945
Detailed scan of a complete 7th series sheet
Former Ordnance Survey headquarters in Maybush, Southampton, used from 1969 until 2011
Headquarters in Adanac Park opened in 2011
Ordnance Survey maps on sale
Illustration of the Ordnance Survey National Grid coordinate system, with Royal Observatory Greenwich as an example
The Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain use the Ordnance Survey National Grid

National mapping agency for Great Britain.

- Ordnance Survey

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The original draftsman's drawings for the area around St. Columb Major, Cornwall, made in 1810.

National mapping agency

Organisation, usually publicly owned, that produces topographic maps and geographic information of a country.

Organisation, usually publicly owned, that produces topographic maps and geographic information of a country.

The original draftsman's drawings for the area around St. Columb Major, Cornwall, made in 1810.
The Mount Marcy area of New York State in 1892 in a 15-minute quadrangle at 1:62,500.
The southern half of same area about a century later (1979) in a 7.5- by 15-minute metric map at 1:25,000.

The first national mapping agency was the Ordnance Survey in the United Kingdom; its roots go back to 1747, when the compilation of a map of the Scottish Highlands was proposed.

William Roy monument, Carluke

William Roy

Scottish military engineer, surveyor, and antiquarian.

Scottish military engineer, surveyor, and antiquarian.

William Roy monument, Carluke
Detail (Pollokshaws, now in Glasgow) from a map in Roy's Military Survey of Scotland.
Blue plaque at Roy's London home, 10 Argyll Street.
Cannon in Roy Grove, Hampton marking the Hampton end of the first baseline of the triangulation of Great Britain
Cannon near Heathrow Airport Northern Perimeter Road, marking the northern end of the baseline
The proposed triangulation mesh of the Anglo-French survey 1784–1790. For the actual mesh used see [[:File:Anglo-French survey of 1784-1790.jpg]]
Rough Castle, on the Antonine Wall, drawn by William Roy in 1755.

It was Roy's advocacy and leadership that led to the creation of the Ordnance Survey in 1791, the year after his death.

British Geological Survey

Partly publicly funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research.

Partly publicly funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research.

British Geological Survey roundel

It remained a branch of the Ordnance Survey for many years.

A surveyor using a total station

Surveying

Technique, profession, art, and science of determining the terrestrial two-dimensional or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them.

Technique, profession, art, and science of determining the terrestrial two-dimensional or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them.

A surveyor using a total station
A student using a theodolite in field
A plumb rule from the book Cassells' Carpentry and Joinery
Table of Surveying, 1728 Cyclopaedia
A map of India showing the Great Trigonometrical Survey, produced in 1870
A railroad surveying party at Russel's Tank, Arizona in the 1860s
A German engineer surveying during the First World War, 1918
A standard Brunton Geo compass, still used commonly today by geographers, geologists and surveyors for field-based measurements
Example of modern equipment for surveying (Field-Map technology): GPS, laser rangefinder and field computer allows surveying as well as cartography (creation of map in real-time) and field data collection.
Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services staff member conducts tide station leveling in support of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Richmond, Maine.
A survey using traverse and offset measurements to record the location of the shoreline shown in blue. Black dashed lines are traverse measurements between reference points (black circles). The red lines are offsets measured at right angles to the traverse lines.
The pundit cartographer Nain Singh Rawat (19th century) received a Royal Geographical Society gold medal in 1876, for his efforts in exploring the Himalayas for the British
An all-female surveying crew in Idaho, 1918
Surveying students with their professor at the Helsinki University of Technology in the late 19th century

In 1784, a team from General William Roy's Ordnance Survey of Great Britain began the Principal Triangulation of Britain.

100km squares

Ordnance Survey National Grid

System of geographic grid references used in Great Britain, distinct from latitude and longitude.

System of geographic grid references used in Great Britain, distinct from latitude and longitude.

100km squares
Grid square TF. The map shows The Wash and the North Sea, as well as places within the counties of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
Illustration of the Ordnance Survey National Grid coordinate system, with Royal Observatory Greenwich as an example

The Ordnance Survey (OS) devised the national grid reference system, and it is heavily used in their survey data, and in maps based on those surveys, whether published by the Ordnance Survey or by commercial map producers.

Southampton

Port city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in southern England.

Port city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in southern England.

Part of Southampton's Town Walls
The memorial to the engineers of the
Southampton Civic Centre
Constituencies
Southampton's geothermal power station
Westquay Shopping Centre
Westquay South
Tudor House, City Centre
SeaCity Museum, Civic Centre
The Mayflower Theatre
St Mary's Stadium
The Rose Bowl hosting a Twenty20 International
Southampton Central Police Station
The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
The George Thomas building at the University of Southampton
Southampton Central railway station
Queen Mary 2 at the new Ocean Terminal, with Isle of Wight passenger ferry Red Jet 3
Bluestar and First Southampton buses outside the Guildhall
A "Lucy Box"
Craig David was brought up on the Holyrood estate in the city centre

Some notable employers in the city include the University of Southampton, Ordnance Survey, BBC South, Associated British Ports and Carnival UK.

Mountjoy House, the headquarters of Ordnance Survey Ireland, in the Phoenix Park, Dublin

Ordnance Survey Ireland

National mapping agency of Ireland.

National mapping agency of Ireland.

Mountjoy House, the headquarters of Ordnance Survey Ireland, in the Phoenix Park, Dublin

It and the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) are the ultimate successors to the Irish operations of the British Ordnance Survey.

A trigonometrical station in Hong Kong

Triangulation station

Fixed surveying station, used in geodetic surveying and other surveying projects in its vicinity.

Fixed surveying station, used in geodetic surveying and other surveying projects in its vicinity.

A trigonometrical station in Hong Kong
The triangulation point on top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire
A geodetic survey marker in Wellington, New Zealand
Class 3 triangulation point in Shiroyama Park in Inagi, Tokyo
Trig beacon on the summit of Lion's Head in Cape Town
A triangulation pillar in Torre del Miguelete. Valencia (Spain)
A trig point near Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire, England
Trig point on Mam Tor, Derbyshire, England
Trigonometrical station, NSW, Australia.

In the United Kingdom, trig points are typically concrete pillars and were erected by the Ordnance Survey.

The bottom part of the diagram shows some contour lines with a straight line running through the location of the maximum value. The curve at the top represents the values along that straight line.

Contour line

Curve along which the function has a constant value, so that the curve joins points of equal value.

Curve along which the function has a constant value, so that the curve joins points of equal value.

The bottom part of the diagram shows some contour lines with a straight line running through the location of the maximum value. The curve at the top represents the values along that straight line.
A three-dimensional surface, whose contour graph is below.
A two-dimensional contour graph of the three-dimensional surface in the above picture.
Edmond Halley's New and Correct Chart Shewing the Variations of the Compass (1701)
Isohyetal map of precipitation
Video loop of isallobars showing the motion of a cold front
The 10 C mean isotherm in July, marked by the red line, is commonly used to define the border of the Arctic region
Topographic map of Stowe, Vermont. The brown contour lines represent the elevation. The contour interval is 20 feet.
Isogonic lines for the year 2000. The agonic lines are thicker and labeled with "0".
From economics, an indifference map with three indifference curves shown. All points on a particular indifference curve have the same value of the utility function, whose values implicitly come out of the page in the unshown third dimension.
A single production isoquant (convex) and a single isocost curve (linear). Labor usage is plotted horizontally and physical capital usage is plotted vertically.
Contour map labeled aesthetically in an "elevation up" manner.

By around 1843, when the Ordnance Survey started to regularly record contour lines in Great Britain and Ireland, they were already in general use in European countries.

Cap badge of the Corps of Royal Engineers

Royal Engineers

Corps of the British Army.

Corps of the British Army.

Cap badge of the Corps of Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers recruitment poster
Corps of Royal Engineers Cypher
The Royal Albert Hall, designed by Captain Francis Fowke RE
Drop Redoubt.
Pentonville Prison designed by Capt Joshua Jebb RE
1848 Woodcut of HMD Bermuda, Ireland Island, Bermuda.
Slip 7 at Chatham Dockyard, designed by Col. G. Greene RE
Slip 3 at Chatham Dockyard, designed and built by the Corps
ME – Fabricator in Iraq
ME – Armoured operating an AVRE in Canada
Combat Engineers prepare a bridge for demolition in Malaya.
Royal Engineers' Surveyors in Europe
Combat Engineers of 20 Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment practice landmine clearance.
Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers, Bobin, on D Day
RE Plant Operators construct foundations for a new bridge in Workington after floods
Sappers launching a Logistic Support Bridge at Workington in order to reduce effects of collapsed bridges
TROJAN AVRE with Full Width Mine Plough and Fascine.
HQ Royal School of Military Engineering.
Camp Gate Flag of the Royal Engineers
Royal Engineers' Ensign
Rochester Castle from across the Medway. Engraving from image by G.F. Sargent c1836.
Rochester Cathedral from the West
Musicians from the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers during a Medals Parade for 32 Engineer Regiment.
The Ravelin Building at the Royal School of Military Engineering, Chatham, is now home to the Institution and the Corps Museum.
Un-defaced Blue Ensign flown by members of the REYC.
REYC Burgee.
The Royal Engineers pictured in 1872. Back: Merriman, Ord, Marindin, Addison, Mitchell; Front: Hoskyns, Renny-Tailyour, Creswell, Goodwyn, Barker, Rich.
Rorke's Drift, 22–23 January 1879, a battle fought under the command of Lt. John Chard, RE. Eleven Victoria Crosses were won during the battle, including one by Chard. Painting by Alphonse de Neuville

Although mapping by what became the Ordnance Survey was born out of military necessity it was soon realised that accurate maps could be also used for civil purposes.