|1000 BC||The Bedolina map carved on rocks in the Eastern Alps of Northern Italy is one of the oldest representations of territory in the world. It dates from either the Bronze or Early Iron Age and wasn’t used to direct from A to B but to seek reassurance from the gods during the unsettling transition between food supplies being hunted and gathered and the development of crop planting.|
|600 BC||An instrument known as an astrolabe was in use for determining latitude, surveying and triangulation.|
|125 AD||Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy) the Greek scientist and mathematician who lived in Alexandria wrote his "Geographia" guide to the world based upon surveys done by Marinus of Tyre and reports from travellers.|
|200||The Antonine Itinerary listed main roads in the Roman Empire.|
|300||The Tabula Peutingeriana was a linear diagrammatic map of main roads in the Roman Empire. A parchment scroll copy made by a monk in Colmar in the thirteenth century, (0.34 m high and 6.75 m long) is the only known surviving Roman map.|
|1136||The Yu Ji Tu, or Map of the Tracks of Yu Gong, carved into stone is located in the Stele Forest of Xian. This 3 ft squared map features a graduated scale of 100 li for each rectangular grid showing China's coastline and river systems.|
|1154||The Tabula Rogeriana (The Book of Roger in Latin), is a description of the world and world map created by the Arab geographer, Muhammad al-Idrisi, in 1154. Al-Idrisi worked on the commentaries and illustrations of the map for fifteen years at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, who commissioned the work around 1138. The book, written in Arabic, is divided into seven climate zones (in keeping with the established Ptolemaic system), each of which is sub-divided into ten sections, and contains maps showing the Eurasian continent in its entirety, but only the northern part of the African continent. The map is oriented with the North at the bottom. It remained the most accurate world map for the next three centuries. To produce the work al-Idrisi interviewed experienced travellers individually and in groups on their knowledge of the world and compiled "only that part... on which there was complete agreement and seemed credible, excluding what was contradictory."|
|1200||Deforestation of Lancashire began when King John sold rights to freemen permitting them to clear assarts for arable use.|
|1300||Medieval (T in O) maps were largely schematic and based on religious mystical conceptions that the earth was the centre of a universe divided into four elements - fire, water, air and earth. The Hereford Map is the largest surviving example of a T in O map.|
|1300||Portolan sea charts made in Spain and Italy were reasonably good maps of the Mediterranean coasts and harbours but they depicted Britain very poorly.|
|1360||The first relatively accurate portrayal of Britain in map form was by an anonymous mapmaker on two joined skins of vellum. It was called the Bodleian or Gough Map because it passed from the antiquary and topographer Richard Gough to the Bodleian Library in 1799.|
|1533||The Dutch cartographer Gemma Frisius proposed using triangulation to accurately position far-away places for map-making in his pamphlet Libellus de Locorum describendorum ratione (Booklet concerning a way of describing places). This became very influential, and the technique spread across Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.|
|1539||King Henry VIII commissioned maps of the entire English coastline for defensive purposes.|
|1540||Sebastian Munster published a revised edition of Ptolemy's Geographia.|
|1546||First copper-engraved map published by George Lily, artistic but not accurate.|
|1564||Gerard Mercator's larger scale effort was little better.|
|1570||First "Atlas" published by Abraham Ortelius incorporated Mercator's map of Britain.|
|1573||Ortelius published a supplement to his atlas including a better map of England and Wales drawn by Humphrey Lhuyd.|
|1574||Christopher Saxton was commissioned by Thomas Seckford to survey and map England and Wales. Around this time Leonard and Thomas Digges devised the theodolyte.|
|1576||Laurence Nowell, a son or nephew of John Nowell of Read Hall died leaving unpublished a series of new and more accurate maps.|
|1577||Christopher Saxton's map of Lancashire included Huncot, Altham, Martholme, Ryshton, Church, Akrington and Dunkenhalghe. Bridges over rivers were depicted but no roads and there was little indication that he applied triangulation.|
|1579||The astronomer Tycho Brahe applied triangulation in Scandinavia, completing a detailed triangulation of the island of Hven, where his observatory was based.|
|1579||Saxton's Atlas of England and Wales published. For nearly two centuries afterwards this remained the definite basis for all new British atlases and maps.|
|1603||William Smith was producing maps at this time but his work was not recognised until 40 years after his death.
||1607||William Camden used smaller scale versions of Saxton's maps in his Britannia Atlas.||1610||John Speed published his atlas "The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain". The maps were largely based upon Saxton's but with enhancements like, extra place names and boundaries of the hundreds or wapentakes shown.||1615||The modern systematic use of triangulation networks stems from the work of the Dutch mathematician Willebrord Snell, who surveyed the distance from Alkmaar to Bergen op Zoom, approximately 70 miles.||1663||Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered a means to determine longitude on land.||1669||Snell's methods were taken up by Jean Picard who in 1669–70 surveyed one degree of latitude along the Paris Meridian using a chain of thirteen triangles stretching north from Paris to the clocktower of Sourdon, near Amiens. Thanks to improvements in instruments and accuracy, Picard's is rated as the first reasonably accurate measurement of the radius of the earth.||1675||John Ogilby produced a series of highly accurate and detailed strip road maps of Britain.||1682||Giovanni Domenico Cassini completed an accurate triangulated map of the area of France but the King was dismayed that is was 20% smaller than previously thought.||1695||Robert Morden produced new maps for Edmund Gibson's English translation of Camden's Britannia but they were based on revisions of Saxton, Speed and Ogilby.||1700||Advances were made in surveying techniques with instruments like a plane table but new mapping work seems to have been focused on estate ownership and extent.||1701||Contour lines would seem to have been invented around this time but did not find general adoption in mapping for another 100 years.||1720||Emanuel Bowen, John Owen and Thomas Bowles cooperated to produce the "Britannia Depicta" or "Ogilby Improved".
||1724||Herman Moll published his "New Description of England and Wales". It was yet another revision of Saxton, Speed and Ogilby with a few refinements.||1733||Jacques Cassini and his son César undertook the first triangulation of the whole of France, including a re-surveying of the meridian arc, leading to the publication in 1745 of the first map of France constructed on rigorous principles.||1746||Following the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion when English soldiers had been frustrated by the complicated geography of the mountains and glens King George II commissioned a military survey of the Scottish Highlands by a Scottish engineer William Roy.||1747||William Roy began the military survey of Highland Scotland during the summer months using a simple theodolite called a circumferentor. This project took him 8 years.||1749||English country map making was dominated in the mid 18th Century by Thomas Kitchin and Emanuel Bowen who cooperated to produce the Large English Atlas in 1760.
The scale was much larger than had been produced before but cartographically it made little progress.||1756||The Seven Years War brought an end to William Roy's map making when he was drafted into the army.||1759||Because industry was quickly changing the topography of the country better maps were needed. The Society of Arts, prompted by one of their Fellows William Borlase offered a prize of £100 for "an accurate Actual Survey on the scale of one inch to a mile. The next 100 years proved a golden age for surveyors. Their skills were in great demand nearly everywhere to build turnpikes, canals, railways, streets, bridges and enable parliamentary boundary reform and land enclosures.||1766||William Roy suggested to King George III that complete national map was required but the idea was rejected.||1767||Benjamin Donn won the first Society of Arts prize for his map of Devon.||1768||Captain James Cook started charting the world’s oceans.||1769||Peter Burdett won the second Society of Arts award for a map of Derbyshire.||1771||Daniel Paterson a former assistant to the Quartermaster General of His Majesty's Forces published "A New and Accurate Description of All the Direct and Principal Cross Roads in Great Britain in strip map form.||1774||Scientists and surveyors had long been concerned that plumb lines were deflected away from the true perpendicular by mountain masses. The Royal Society commissioned an experiment on the mountain Schiehallion in Scotland. To calculate the mountains volume it was fully surveyed and mapped with a new innovation, contour lines.||1782||Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond, was appointed Master General of the Board of Ordnance.||1784||Accurate trigonometrical surveying began in Britain with William Roy’s measurement of a Hounslow Heath baseline which he determined to be 5.19 miles. To carry out the survey he commissioned Jesse Ramsden to create the most sophisticated theodolite in the world.||1786||William Yates won the award for the first "triangulation" map of Lancashire.||1787||Jesse Ramsden completed the Great (and more accurate) Theodolite.||1787||John Cary produced the "New and Correct English Atlas".||1788||Relative positions of the Greenwich and Paris Observatories fixed scientifically by triangulation.||1790||General William Roy died on 30th June. His ideas were taken up by Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond and great grand son of King Charles II. He was then the Master-General of the Board of Ordnance and instigated the National Triangulation Survey.||1791||William Roy's Hounslow Heath baseline was remeasured by Isaac Dalby, Edward Williams and William Mudge.
They found it to be 4 inches shorter than calculated by Roy.
||1791||The Board of Ordnance Survey was founded, initially named Trigonometrical Survey. It was conceived by William Roy a Scottish surveyor and the Duke of Richmond, Master General of His Majesty’s Ordnance. There was an urgent need for good maps for military purposes and the defence of the Realm against Napoleon. Surveying at one inch to the mile started in the south-east and took 70 years to complete!||1794||The Postmaster General commissioned John Cary to survey and map the 9000 miles of main roads of Great Britain.||1795||An Ordnance Survey map of Sussex was published but it was not then conceived as a series.||1801||The first Ordnance Survey map of a national series was published, the One Inch to One Mile Map of Kent.||1804||Charles Smith published his "New English Atlas".||1805||Ordnance Survey map published of Essex, (One Inch to One Mile; Old Series).||1806||John Carey produced a fine map of Lancashire showing the new canals.||1810||First recorded use of the term Ordnance Survey on a map (One Inch; Sheet 10).||1818||Christopher Greenwood started producing maps based upon Ordnance Survey data.||1819||A third of England and Wales had been mapped at the One Inch scale.||1830||George Hennet published maps of even better detail.||1841||Ordnance Survey Act passed giving surveyors legal right to enter any land. Headquarters of O.S. established in Southampton following a fire in the Tower of London.||1842-44||The national triangulation and mapping had reached Lancashire and Yorkshire and the O.S. had changed the basic scale to 6 inches to one mile and introduced contours.
However, the published maps would be reduced to the one inch size to continue producing the "First Series".||1855||O.S. became part of the War Office.||1856||O.S adopted 25 inches to one mile survey standard with many towns on an even larger scale.||1870||O.S. became part of the Government Office of Works and at last completed the "First Series" so that the entire country was mapped at the one inch scale.||1893||Comprehensive revision of the one inch survey commenced (Second Series).||1901||Another comprehensive revision of the one inch survey commenced (Third Series).||1920||First Tourist Map published by O.S. (Snowdon).||1921||A Tidal Observatory was established at Newlyn in Cornwall to determine the mean sea level that is the starting point for levelling in the UK. A brass bolt set into a rock is the benchmark for the whole of the United Kingdom, that is, all heights are referenced to this point. The height of the benchmark was established over a six year period from 1915 to 1921, when visual observations of water level on a tide were made by staff every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. From the data collected over this period, mean sea level was found and this vertical level assigned to the head of the bolt.||1922||Activities of Ordnance Survey curtailed by Government economies after the First World War.||1928||First motorist's maps published.||1935||A Departmental Committee was set up under the chairmanship of Sir J.C. Davidson to consider how to restore the Board's effectiveness. Re-triangulation of Britain began including the building of concrete trig columns.||1938||The Committee's report was published but could not be implemented because of the outbreak of World War Two. Davidson recommended the introduction of a standard metric National Grid system and a single projection to cover the whole country.||1962||Retriangulation and revision of geodetic levelling were completed.||1972|| Publication of the first Outdoor Leisure Map – The Dark Peak.||1990|| O.S. became an Executive Agency. Work commenced on the National Global Positioning System Network, replacing the triangulation network.||1993|| Launch of Explorer series maps.||2002|| Outdoor Leisure maps merged into O.S. Explorer series.||2004|| O.S. started showing areas of access land on Explorer Maps.|
|Plane Table||a horizontal drawing board for sighting and plotting bearings|
|Circumferentor||an alidade or sighting bar fixed to a compass to measure angles of sight lines|
|Theodolite||a more sphisticated sighting instrument with a telescope for measuring horizontal and vertical angles|
|Clinometer||an instrument for measuring angles of inclination|
||Topography||detailed description of a place or tract of land||Hundred||a political division of territory comprising of a hundred households||Tithing||a political division of territory comprising of ten households||Palatine||a county possessing royal privileges|