29th April 2014

New Cartographic Design resources


It is really important to us to make our products as easy to use as possible so, hot on the heels of our recent release of stylesheets and to follow up a previous post introducing the importance of resources, we are pleased to launch the latest additions to our Cartographic Design and Development web pages. We have just added an updated library of cartographic resources and a media library of news, forums, blogs and articles. These now sit alongside our cartographic design principles, our map showcase, stylesheets, thematic data sources, our blog posts and our OS OpenData Award to form a set of resources that we hope will help during the map-making process.

Book of resources

Whether new to map design or an experienced cartographer, there is a wealth of guidance out there to help. Here at Ordnance Survey we know Cartography but we are always open to taking inspiration from many other places and using online resources to make our job easier and our final output better. Whether you’re looking for colour advice, latest trends or the most appropriate software to use, we have compiled these libraries into one handy place so you can spend less time surfing the web and more time making your maps!

On our resources page you will find a selection of the resources that we use. We have grouped them into the following categories:
Data sources: The basis of any map is content. Even if you have data of your own you may be able to enrich it with complementing data or a base map. There is also a considerable amount of geographical open data now available.
Guides and tutorials: Cartographic development often requires looking up how to achieve certain aesthetics. Internet search engines are often your friend here but we have shared the specific references we use most frequently.
Software: As well as desktop-based software, many web and cloud-based options now exist. Some of these are a very good and relatively easy way to get started in map creation. Others offer developers a way to create some rather cool visualisations.
Tools and libraries: Colour pickers to help improve visual contrast, downloadable fonts and icons to establish groups and language, and conversion tools all help us to style and design a successful map.
Theory: Through the correct application of cartography a well-designed map communicates its message clearly and provides a pleasing user experience.
Media library

Whether for inspiration, to better understand our customers or to simply remain current; we find it incredibly useful to know what is going on in the map world. Our new media library contains:
News and forums: Mapping news from around the web, online forums for cartographers and anyone working with geographic information and a selection of significant cartography articles.
Blogs: A number of cartography blogs exist with experts sharing a range of interesting and useful posts from tips and tricks to journalistic-type articles.
Please visit our web pages and check out all these great resources. We hope they can provide help and inspiration to you like they do to us and we look forward to seeing lots of great maps. If there are any resources that you use regularly and would like us to consider for our library then please get in touch by emailing CartoDesign@ordnancesurvey.co.uk
OS OpenData Award 2014 – The deadline for our BCS award is 30 April so be sure to enter your maps to be in with a chance to win.