Symbols & Features

Symbols & Features


Maps are rich in information, but you need to understand the symbols and features if you're to make sense of it all


Symbols & Features 

Symbols & Features

 

All maps have pictorial symbols that represent features in real life, and an early learning stage of navigation is to learn to recognise the symbols. In the hills the features and symbols shown on the map are more subtle than urban areas, and it takes practice and skill to be able to make the visual link between what you can see in front of you, and the map. All maps will have a key, or legend to explain the symbols & features, but referring back to that whilst on the hill would be inconvenient, or impossible in bad weather. Below are links to the Ordnance Survey legends for 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 maps.


1:25 000 scale Explorer™ England & Scotland
1:50 000 scale Landranger® English version


Key Symbols & Features

The key symbols and features are shown below



Reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright

Reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright



Field Boundaries


There does seem to be an important symbol missing from the symbols pages via the link to the Ordnance Survey. One of the key differences between 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 maps is that the 1:25,000 have on what's called 'field boundaries'. Any ground feature that separates fields is represented on the map by a solid black line. The obvious ground features are fences and walls, but a line of conifers or a ditch between fields could also be shown as a field boundary on the map. These are especially useful for measuring progress on a route, other than open moorland, as you can check-off when you pass a wall or fence etc and relate that easily to the map.



Abbreviations

Maps also contain lots of abbreviations to save space - and there are a lot of abbreviations.
Abbreviations used on 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scale maps
1:25,000 scale Explorer additional symbols


Video
Ordnance Survey have produced a video about map symbols.




Ordnance Survey MapZone

Ordnance Survey have put together an interactive guide relating map symbols 

Ordnance Survey MapZone