OS 25 Inch Edinburgh Transcription Project Viewer


Our OS 25 Inch Edinburgh Transcriptions viewer allows you to search all the text on Ordnance Survey 25 inch maps of Edinburgh from 1892-4. There are over 21,950 transcriptions – you’ll find street and other place names, real-world features such as breweries, churches, football grounds, hospitals, pubs and schools, as well as numeric transcriptions for things like acreages and heights.

Search interface

The Search interface allows you to search the transcriptions by keyword and view the results on the map. Type a name or keyword (such as a street name, building name, or place name) into the search box and click on the ‘Search’ button (or press Enter).

illustration of the search interface

If you hover your mouse over the transcription in the search results, it is highlighted in orange on the map. If you click on the blue link of the transcription itself, the map locates to show this particular transcription on screen.

The following provide examples of real-world features which can be searched and viewed as geographic distributions (with the number of features in brackets): acreage (5488), asylum (5), bench mark (2313), boundary (740), brewery (25), cemetery (14), chapel (30), church (216), conduit (11), crane (33), cricket (15), curling (14), dairy (11), dovecot (11), drinking fountain (92), flagstaff (14), football (11), foot bridge (145), foot path (72), gas station/works (22), grave yard (14), guide posts (76), hall (39), hospital (32), hotel (45), icehouse (10), inn (29), iron (45), laundry (12), letter box (73), lodge (233), man hole (18), manse (30), mile post (37), mile stone (64), mill (57), mooring (43), north british (38), nursery (plants) (38), old shaft (mines) (38), parcel number (4825), pavilion (25), pillar letter box (48), pit (coal, gravel, sand) (27), police station (10), post office (54), public house (116), pump (482), quarry (103), reservoir (26), school (131), sheepfold (76), signal post (366), sluice (148), smithy (38), spring (109), station (86), statue (15), sun dial (45), sunday school (18), surface level (1870), target (14), tennis (17), timber yard (19), tramway (36), urinal (5), waterfall (15), weighing machine (45), weir (47), well (175), works (89).

Please note that many features which today may be written as one word, were written as two on these maps e.g. Bench Mark, Mile Stone, Sun Dial, Foot Path, Grave Yard, Man Hole, so searching for 'Graveyard' doesn't find anything.

The search panel itself is expandable by dragging the lower right corner, or you can hide it by clicking the cross at the top. Click on ‘Search Transcriptions’ to get it back at any time.

Click on 'Clear' in the Search interface box at any time to start a new search.

If you hover over a transcription in the list, you will see it highlighted in orange on the distribution map. Selecting a transcription in the list will take you to the relevant transcription on the map.

Clicking on a name on the map will bring up full details of transcription, including reference numbers:

illustration of viewing transcription details in a popup box

Browse interface

The Browse interface allows you to browse all the text transcriptions that appear on the maps. These are listed alphabetically and clicking on any of these transcriptions will take you to that transcription on the map.

illustration of the browse interface

You can also filter this list by typing a text string in the box with 'Filter list below...' in it, and just those names with your text string will be displayed. Select 'Clear Filter' to remove the filter and return to the full list of names.

View related mapping for the same area

To compare an area on the OS 25 inch Edinburgh mapping with another map, use the links near the bottom right of the screen to 'Explore this area in other viewers:' These will open in a new tab so you can easily return to your search screen.

Dynamic URL

The URL in the address bar records the specific map view you are looking at. In addition, the keyword or name you have searched for is also added to the URL, so this address (and a particular search) can be copied and saved or forwarded to someone else if you want to share your search results.