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New Sheet Map of London
20 Sept 2011

New Sheet Map of London is the first to take advantage of the “Free our Data Campaign” and Ordnance Survey’s recent relaxation in licensing policies.

Cassini Maps has launched a new folded sheet map of London using Ordnance Survey data at 1:50,000 scale.

One may initially think, “so what? Another map of London?”

However the story behind this seemingly unremarkable occurrence shows it is rather more than that...

The Ordnance Survey Landrangers at 1:50,000 scale, often referred to as the pink maps (unsurprisingly, due to their distinctive pink covers), have provided the definitive coverage of Great Britain since the 1970s. It’s probably true that a vast proportion of UK households contain one Landranger, somewhere on a shelf or in a rucksack.

These are derived from a seamless digital map of Great Britain which is chopped into manageable 40km x 40km chunks and printed on a series of large sheets – 204, to be exact.

The problem with chopping the country up in this way is that there are going to be towns or cities which fall across a join. Norwich, Swansea, Sheffield and Ordnance Survey’s home city of Southampton all suffer from this problem to some degree. But nowhere suffers as badly as London.

The capital is split across two Landrangers, 176 (West London) and 177 (East London) with a considerable overlap. It’s not known why this seemingly odd decision was taken; but once made, Ordnance Survey did not re-adjust the coverage, despite the fact that the whole of London more or less up to the M25 can be accommodated on one Landranger-size sheet.

This is the problem that Cassini has solved with its new London map using Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 mapping data.

“This problem struck us when we preparing our boxed set of historical Ordnance Survey maps of London in 2007,” Cassini’s Cartographic Director James Anderson recalls. “We’d already spent three years scanning and combining historical maps to match the Landranger sheets and people had to buy twice as many maps as they really needed to cover the whole of London. So, we decided to create a set of historical maps centred on Charing Cross.”

Five such maps of the city having been created, the logical step was to produce a matching present-day one. “Unfortunately,” Anderson recalls, “Ordnance Survey’s licensing policy at that time prohibited anything other than one-off reproduction of this data at larger than A3 size. Somewhat to our surprise, and much to our disappointment, we were therefore unable to proceed. We were convinced there was a demand for this, both as a stand-alone and as part of our London map set; but, as matters stood, nobody but Ordnance Survey could satisfy it. We can’t deny it was frustrating – rather like publishing a book but with the last chapter missing.”

The following years witnessed ever-intensifying discussions between Ordnance Survey, the government, the OFT and various other interested parties to bring these licensing regulations into line with current attitudes and regulations concerning freedom of information, competition and third-party access to public data.

Between April 2010 and May 2011, various far-reaching licensing relaxations were finally announced. One of the many changes was to the 1:50,000 mapping, which could now be produced by other publishers in formats that Ordnance Survey had previously been unwilling to provide.

For the first time since the inception of the Landranger series in the 1970s, a new full-sized sheet map at 1:50,000 was born. The whole city is now available, at a glance and on one sheet – and using the most up-to-date version of the familiar, authoritative Ordnance Survey mapping that has been part of the national consciousness for nearly four decades.

The map has an RRP of £6.95 (zero-rated for VAT) is available from a wide range of retail outlets and on-line.
ISBN: 9781847368195

View the new Cassini Sheet Map of London

New 1:2500 County Series Maps
2 May 2011

We're delighted to announce Ordnance Survey's highly detailed 19th-century mapping is now available on our web site.
This means you can create your own 1:2,500 map, centred on any point you choose, and you can download it as a PDF file within minutes.
To create your map simply:
Enter a place name or post code in the search box, view the thumbnail view of the map you've selected and add it to the shopping basket.
Dating from the 1860s to the 1880s, these fascinating maps are the first ever produced at this highly detailed scale, revealing virtually every man-made feature of the Victorian landscape.
Order one today

Cassini sign long term deal with Ancestry

4 April 2011

Many people today are interested in genealogy to understand not just where and when people lived, but also their lifestyles, surroundings and motivations. This often requires knowledge of old political boundaries, migration trends and historical social conditions. One important way to understand how one's ancestors fit into the landscapes of the past is to place them in space and time by using historical mapping. Historical maps should be at viewed as an essential and often referred to resource when undertaking family history research. Cassini’s range of maps have been cleaned resized and aligned with the equivalent modern Ordnance Survey mapping, making comparing the present with the past even easier.

To bring together the two areas of historical records and historical mapping is an important step forward in finding out as much as possible about your family history and Cassini is delighted to announce the beginning of an exclusive partnership with, including the development of a number of exciting projects over the coming months and years, which will see maps and historical records combine to allow users to understand their ancestors place in history with a new clarity.

Initially a range of Cassini historic mapping products will be made available in the Ancestry shop but more integrated products will follow, which will allow Ancestry members to use historic mapping in much the same way as they use vital records and census documents at the moment.

To quote Dan Jones, international content director of
"Has the time of historic mapping as a mainstream research resource finally arrived? Now Ancestry and Cassini are working together, I think it just might…"
Find out about the maps on offer in the shop.
4 April 2011

Cassini Maps feature in BBC Country Tracks with Ben Fogle

28 March 2011

Historical maps help Ben Fogle reveal/discover the secrets of the past.

Explorer and TV presenter Ben Fogle turned time traveller when, with the detective help of local historian Stephen Langton, he discovered a Cotswold footpath that turned out to be no ordinary route in an episode of BBC series Country Tracks.

Using the Cassini’s re-projected 1828 Old Series map, Stephen revealed the footpath near Sapperton to be the old towpath of the Thames & Severn Canal. He showed Ben the still visible basins of the original canal locks and, buried in the woods, an eerie tunnel long since overgrown and forgotten. At the Tunnel House pub, originally built for the navvies who constructed the canal, Ben and Stephen studied the 19th century map and found clues to the local area’s heritage of canals, tow paths, tunnels and lanes. “This old map helps you imagine what the landscape of the Cotswolds used to be like”, says Ben.

“We were working in wet conditions so the Cotswold shoot was quite a challenge,” Programme Director Anna Jones admitted, “but we’re very pleased with the result. The historical maps helped to bring the story alive and add the extra sparkle we needed.”

Country Tracks “Cotswolds” was broadcast on BBC One at 11am on 11 April 2010.

AA team up with Cassini to create Time Machine app

24 March 2011

Have you ever wanted to see what your town was like in the past? Well now you can with the AA/Cassini Time Machine app. This app allows you to travel back in time by viewing Great Britain maps from the past.
Historical map tiles available for the following years: 1816, 1897, 1919 and 1940.

The app comes complete with enough credits to download 4 historical map tiles for the area of your choice.

The AA/Cassini Time Machine app has the following main features:
• Download Cassini historical map tiles for anywhere in Great Britain
• time travel by using the slider to change the mapping from 1816 through to the modern day
• search for a historical map by town name, postcode or use your GPS location
• see your current GPS location on an old historical map
• view up to date street level maps
• ability to purchase additional historical maps for anywhere in Great Britain

Download now from iTunes

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