Find by Place - Help

You can use this application to search and view all of our online maps. This facility complements our Explore Georeferenced Maps application that allows a selection of seamless mosaics to be viewed.

Watch a Help video on the Find by Place viewer.

Main search process

Choose the map category that you would like to search from the left-hand list. These are ordered roughly by date and from more detailed to less detailed maps. Zoom in on your area of interest and click on the map to view the sheet that covers this area. The sheet that you have selected is highlighted in blue, and a brief record and image of it appears in the right-hand panel. Select this to view a zoomable image or further information about the map sheet. As you zoom or pan the main map, the series lists in the left-hand panel update to show just those that cover the current map view.

You can search all the maps in the viewer, all Ordnance Survey maps, or all non-Ordnance Survey maps by selecting the 1. Select a category: 'Multiple categories / group search' option. Click on the map to return all maps covering this point ordered roughly by date and scale. Bounding boxes of maps are only shown of the results.

Find by Place interface with instructions

All of our online maps are included in this application:

Scotland
Maps of Scotland - 1560-19121014 sheets
Pont manuscript maps - ca. 1583-161438 sheets
Gordon manuscript maps - 1630s-1650s64 sheets
Blaeu maps - 165447 sheets
Moll maps - 174535 sheets
Thomson maps - 1820-183031 maps
Other county maps - 1630-192862 maps
Taylor and Skinner - 1775-661 maps
Bartholomew Survey Atlas - 191258 maps
OS Air Photo Mosaics - 1944-1950     221 air photo mosaics
OS Quarter Inch - 1921-1923     10 sheets
OS 1 inch - 1856-1891131 sheets
OS 1 inch - 1895-1900131 sheets
OS 1 inch - 1903-1912131 sheets
OS one-inch Land Utilisation Survey, Scotland - 1931-193592 sheets
OS 1 inch Popular - 1921-193092 sheets
OS 1 inch Popular with National Grid - 1945-194792 sheets
OS 6 inch - 1843-18822,132 sheets
OS 6 inch - 1892-19607,486 sheets
OS 25 inch - 1855-188213,045 sheets
OS 25 inch - 1892-194917,466 sheets
OS County Series Indexes - 1854-8632 sheets
Ordnance Survey National Grid maps - 1940s-1960s4,200 sheets
Coastal charts - 1583-1850950 maps
Admiralty Charts - 1795-196379 sheets
Military Maps - 18th century44 maps
Roy Military Antiquities - 179344 maps
Bathymetrical Survey - 1897-1909223 maps of 562 lochs
Sutherland estate maps - 1772-7436 maps
Great Reform Act towns - 183271 maps
Other town plans - 1580-193173 maps
OS Town Plans - 1847-189562 towns, 1,872 sheets
England and Wales
Ordnance Survey, Five feet to the mile, London, 1893-1896753 sheets
Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile, 1841-1952
Ordnance Survey, Six-Inch, England and Wales - 1842-195237,390 sheets
Ordnance Survey One-inch New Revised edition, England and Wales, 1892-1908691 sheets
Great Britain
Ordnance Survey "ten mile" Planning Maps of the United Kingdom, 1944-1960
OS 1 inch Seventh Series - 1952-1961190 sheets
OS 1 inch Seventh Series - 1952-1961190 sheets
OS 1:25,000 maps - 1937-19612027 sheets
Ordnance Survey National Grid maps, 1940s-1960s
Belgium / France
British First World War trench maps of Belgium/France1915-1918307 sheets

Multiple categories / Group search

It is possible to search for everything we have online covering a location, as well as groups of maps. To do this, under the 1.Select a category drop-down list, scroll down to choose 'Multiple categories / group search'. Bounding boxes are only shown of the results. Click on the map to return all maps covering this point - they are ordered roughly by date and scale. It is also possible to search for all Ordnance Survey maps, all non-Ordnance Survey maps and all coastal charts by selecting these options in the 2. Select a map / map series: drop-down list.

Gazetteer, National Grid Reference, and Counties/Parishes for searching

The Gazetteer at the top of the map allows you to locate your area on the map using modern place names from Nominatim, as well as by British National Grid Reference - 2,4,6,or 10 figures. Further left, drop-down boxes allow counties and parishes (based on their names and boundaries in the 1940s) to be searched. In all cases, the map will then position to the place, National Grid Reference, county or parish that has been selected. We gratefully acknowledge the Vision of Britain project for allowing us to use these county and parish boundaries.

Background map

By default, the background map shows a modern Bing road layer. Select the drop-down list to choose Bing satellite or hybrid layers, MapBox streets or satellite layers, 1920s mapping from the NLS Historic Maps API, OpenStreetMap, or Ordnance Survey Opendata as background maps. Double-click on the map or slide the zoom slider (upper left) to zoom in on the map. Hold the ALT and SHIFT keys down and drag with the mouse to rotate the view.

Location

In the lower-right of the map, the location of your mouse position is shown as a British National Grid Reference, as British National Grid Eastings and Northings, and as longitude and latitude.

Linking to the viewer

The URL in your web browser address bar changes dynamically as you zoom and pan the map, and when you alter visible map layers and overlays. You may copy or bookmark the URL in your web browser address bar to save the current viewer location and zoom level.

Application

This application uses GeoServer and OpenLayers, and was originally customised for by Klokan Technologies.

We have released the code behind this viewer on Github for onward use. We hope that other libraries, archives and institutions may benefit from the code in making available their geographical collections.

Please email maps@nls.uk for further assistance, or to provide general comments/feedback.