OS 25K map symbols

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright April 2010, David Hawgood; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.


Note that the articles are being updated with new symbols being introduced from 2016, particularly for access land and water activities, but the update is not complete - some new symbols have not been found on maps yet.

Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale (25K) Explorer maps use about 200 standard symbols, about 60 additional to those on 1:50,000 scale (50K) maps, about 20 different from those on 50K maps. Geograph now has photos of almost all the types of feature depicted by symbols. For 50K a set of articles has been developed to show photographs, and map extracts with the symbols. They are linked from OS 50K map symbolsExternal link. Geograph contributors have suggested the examples.

We are now developing articles with examples of symbols on 25K maps. Symbols are shown on the maps, and online on pdf pages OS key to 25K map symbolsExternal link and 25K extra symbolsExternal link. Some symbols show features not visible on the ground.

The aim is that each symbol will be shown together with a photo showing its occurrence. Ordnance Survey have told us that although the symbols are copyright they allow them to be copied without charge or specific licence.

We also have articles listing abbreviations and descriptive words. See OS 50K map symbolsExternal link for links to these.

Articles for types of symbol

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