Worcestershire Record No. 24 April 2008 p. 15


John Partridge

I recently got to wondering whether any of the new mapping systems on the web, such as Google Maps, could be of any use, for WBRC in particular.

I discovered that, if you have a web-site available, you can use both Google Maps and OS OpenSpace, without charge, for non-commercial use.

I tried the Ordnance Survey version first, since it uses OS Grid References, whereas Google Maps use latitude and longitude.

The result of this can be found on our web site, where I have tried to produce an interactive guide to Grid References, starting with 4-figure, and moving on through 6- and 8-figure. Unfortunately, OS are not using their 1:25 000 maps for the ‘zoomed-in’ presentations, which means that most of our countryside shows up as empty space, since the field boundaries are not shown. However, it is good enough for 6-figure references from the 1:50 000 maps, and 8-figure references from urban areas, since individual buildings are shown.

Google Maps do not use OS mapping, at far as can be seen, but they do have satellite mapping, which not only shows up field boundaries, but also individual trees in some landscapes – an ideal choice for displaying the Ancient Tree records. The library of examples that is available is also far superior to anything yet produced by OS.

My attempts at mapping the Ancient Trees can also be found on the web site. I have not given any links here, since I shall probably change them as things develop, but you can just go to the home page at www.wbrc.org.uk

You may find this slow. It is probably only useable on broadband, since there is a lot of information travelling around, from your computer, to our web-site, and to the Google Map web-site and back to your computer.

I would be very pleased to have comments on the wording for both the Grid Reference guide, and for the Ancient Tree mapping, since both need to present information in an easily digestible form.

Also on the our web site I have given a link to a very nice site that has Google Maps and OS Open Space side by side. This enables you to locate points quite easily, and to get a Grid Reference off the screen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t start off in Worcestershire, so you have to do a bit of zooming out, dragging, and zooming back in again, but it is worth it. (Since this article was printed you can now search for places and postcodes)

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