Saturday 20 August 2011

Map of a Nation

Rachel Hewitt's Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey talk was very enjoyable. She started by discussingg the extensive military mapping of the Highlands that was done after Culloden. Previous maps of the north were very much a matter of hit or miss. We were told of an Army commander who was somewhat perplexed when a promontory on his rudimentary map turned out to be an island!

The Ordnance Survey organisation was formally started in 1791 and a comprehensive programme of mapping the UK was undertaken. The south coast of England was a priority during the Napoleonic period.

Interestingly, Hewitt stated a preference for real, paper maps over GPS systems and the like. I agree. In fact I sometimes think it a bit wimpish of me if I have to consult any map when I'm in the car.

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