April means the Landscape MA GIS course is here again, so we’ll be busy spending the next few days working on all sorts of maps. With that in mind, here is a quick run through some of the websites that we use most often for viewing maps and aerial photographs, and for working out grid references of important landscape features.
The new and improved version of the Norfolk Emap Explorer. This allows you to view and compare Tithe Award maps, Enclosure maps, the Six Inch OS map and aerial photographs from 1946 and 1988 for Norfolk. It also now gives eastings and northings (in the bottom left corner of the screen) which is very useful for GIS purposes. It’s probably the best historic map viewer currently available online, but we are terribly biased…
We’ve long been fans of Neave’s Flash Earth. It’s a quick and uncluttered site that’s great for viewing aerial photography of anywhere in the world. It also gives latitude and longitude in DMS and decimal degrees, which is nice.
This website, created by the Bedfordshire Natural History Society, provides an easy way of working out grid references in multiple formats. It also shows grid squares of various sizes to help make sense of the references. The only downside is that there is a daily limit of how many OS tiles you can use, so don’t waste too much time panning around over huge areas! For a more streamlined Google Maps based grid ref finder see UK Grid Reference Finder
The Fielden Maps Coordinate Converter is an incredibly useful site, which not only allows simple conversions from lat/long to OS grid references, but also includes some rather more obscure systems too. If you ever need to use the GB Yard Grid or the War Office Grid then you know where to come.
We’ll be making use of all of these (and probably a few more) over the next couple of days, and if all goes to plan you should be seeing some of the results of the GIS course on here shortly.