back to article Ordnance Survey unfolds handy Mars map

Those of you planning a hiking holiday on Mars will be pleased to learn that Ordnance Survey has produced a handy map of the Red Planet, or at least a 3,672 by 2,721km chunk of it. OS used elevation data from the Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) and official International Astronomical Union and U.S. …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: #wtf: Royal ORDNANCE survey of Mars ???!!!!

      I had to look that up. TIL the difference between "ordnance" and "ordinance".

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: #wtf: Royal ORDNANCE survey of Mars ???!!!!

        The Ordnance survey is famously "the survey by the Board of Ordnance" so we know where to site artillery in case of invasion. Which is why the Ordnance survey still proudly and prominately shows the War Department logo (the famous English broadhead arrow) in the Ordnance survey logo which is displayed on the front of every map they print.

        Having invaded virtually every country on earth at some point new frontiers obviously await her Majesties armed forces!

        Ok, more seriously this is good practice for the map makers, though it's probably going to be some time before they can check the measurements with a theodolite to make sure the map is passably accurate. It's quite amusing to reflect that it's likely that mission planners may well end up using these maps of Mars in mission planning in the future because they are going to be readily available and easily comprehensible!

        1. WraithCadmus

          Re: #wtf: Royal ORDNANCE survey of Mars ???!!!!

          Which is why the Ordnance survey still proudly and prominately shows the War Department logo (the famous English broadhead arrow)

          Not so, the OS' whalesong boutique produced this last year some time.

          1. BobRocket

            Re: #wtf: Royal ORDNANCE survey of Mars ???!!!!

            That new logo reminds me of the ink blot t-shirts referenced in the porn filter comments, I'm amazed they managed to slip it through.

  2. Scott 53


    So that rules out animal life on Mars.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Quorn?

      Is that because of the food or the hunt?

    2. PNGuinn

      Re: Quorn?

      I aint gettin' on the b ark until they puts some BEEF on the A ark!

      And lamb and porkers.

      After no manned mission would be possible without BACON, right?

      That map is seriously deficient. So sign of where the salt mines or oak forests are yet. How do they expect us to smoke the porkers???

      And no sign of a PH, a PC or T anywhere?? Where's a man gonna go?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's pretty cool. When are google going to do a streetmap?

    1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

      I'm really looking forward to craterview.

    2. Lusty

      "When are google going to do a streetmap?"

      Years ago...

      Google Mars

      I've no idea why OS have bothered unless they thought astronauts might need a horrible projection/datum in space as well as at home. At least on Mars there isn't any GPS yet so they won't look quite as outdated...

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Never underestimate the pleasure of taking an OS map off the bookshelf (sandwiched in next to two dozen other ones) and unfolding it on the kitchen table to plan your day out with your Dad.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        I've no idea why OS have bothered

        How about because they were asked? And also because they know a lot about maps.

        Just compared the image with Google Mars and the OS winds hands down on legibility and orientation and that's because they've taken the trouble of not making something for computers that people may or may not be able to use.

        There's a lot to admire in Google's mapping stuff but they're not designed for serious navigation.

        1. graeme leggett

          The client - Dr Grindrod - is reported to have said that "he had always admired OS maps and pointed out that they are good at including lots of information in an easily read format"

        2. PNGuinn

          "the OS winds hands down"

          Sounds painful. There should be laws against that sort of thing.

        3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          I've no idea why OS have bothered

          Because it's there. You don't have to do something just because somebody's told you to, there's this thing called personal curiosity you know. Without which you wouldn't have any of the technology that allows you to post your disparaging comments here.

      3. Simon Harris

        "I've no idea why OS have bothered"

        Maybe they've managed to sell a licensing agreement to StreetMap.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You do understand that it is google that use a "horrible projection"? The world is not remotely a sphere.

        1. Lusty

          No I know it's not remotely a sphere, that's what wgs84 is for which allows maps to use a standard reference system which all the gadgets output. Perhaps I should have been clearer that my only real gripe with OS is that they refuse to add gps compatible coordinates in the face of overwhelming evidence that that's now how people navigate. The maps, I agree, are otherwise lovely.

          1. Chorotega

            OS MAps are WGS84 compatible (New Ones)

            Hello, The new OS maps with the new logo are WGS84 (GPS) compatible. I know this because I was involved in the project that did this!

            1. Lusty

              Re: OS MAps are WGS84 compatible (New Ones)

              Well I think they should release a patch for all the products I've bought over the years...

              Thanks, I'll go and buy new maps :)

      5. Dr_N Silver badge

        "I've no idea why OS have bothered"

        They are being privatised. All publicity is good publicity.

      6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Transverse Mercator is the perfect projection for a long, thin, north-south country, and is the perfect projection for global mapping, slicing the globe into north-south segments.

  4. BurnT'offering

    I'm waiting for the A-Z

    I always get lost on the way to Zaaarrgg Street

    1. Montreal Sean

      Re: I'm waiting for the A-Z

      Yeah, I keep ending up on Aaaaaarg Street by mistake.

  5. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Next step

    Uploading it to Curiosity's satnav system.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Next step

      You may have been joking, it's hard to tell, but Curiosity hasn't got SatNav they just drive it about and watch on the cameras and telescopes. I'm not even sure a compass would work on Mars so it's probably all just dead reckoning.

  6. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

    Pity the poor sod tasked with carrying the concrete for the trig point at the top of Olympus Mons

  7. piscator

    #wtf: Royal ORDNANCE survey of Mars ???!!!!

    Looks like the UK really have set their hearts on leaving Europe after all, but isn't this taking things a bit far ... ?

  8. cd / && rm -rf *

    I'd buy the dead tree version


    It'd look awesome on my wall as a poster.


    ps. Big version (67MB, 11574x9921 ) here:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd buy the dead tree version

      I've used pixel2print for posters, not bad and cheap. I got a Soul Eater 40x30 from a jpg for 4 quid.

  9. s. pam

    Those damn Martians....

    Had better have paid HMRC the taxes due for O/S wasting British taxpayers ££'s on this kind of crap.

    No wonder UK.Gov is broke

    1. Jelder

      Re: Those damn Martians....

      Nah - OS hasn't been taxpayer funded for years.

      Unlike, y'know, the space program.

    2. Jelder

      Re: Those damn Martians....

      Nah - the OS hasn't been taxpayer funded for years.

      Unlike other things, like the European Space Program - but I'm sure you think that's a waste too...

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Those damn Martians....

        OS hasn't been taxpayer funded for years.

        Does that mean that in the event of invasion the Ordnance will have to go down to W H Smith and buy some maps? Or do they aim their guns using Google these days?

        1. Alister

          Re: Those damn Martians....

          Or do they aim their guns using Google these days?

          Umm, guns... Yes... well we've got the ceremonial cannon at Windsor and the Tower...

          Real artillery? No, we don't do that anymore, too expensive.

          1. Alistair

            Re: Those damn Martians....


            Outsourced that department did we?

            (I have trouble typing that name ..... dunno why)

        2. KA1AXY
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Those damn Martians....

          They'll just get a copy of whatever they need from NIMA/DMA/NGA or whatever the US mapping agency is calling themselves this week.

      2. fruitoftheloon

        @Jelder (S.Pam) Re: Those damn Martians....


        I wonder if S.Pam thinks much at all. occasionally...



    3. Tromos

      Re: Those damn Martians....

      They have paid all the UK taxes due. None. All profits were channelled via Saturn.

  10. Blergh

    Map for The Martian

    That section of Mars is the same part used in the book "The Martian" and covers area used on his road trip.

    1. AdamT

      Re: Map for The Martian

      yup - I spotted that too. I wonder if it was deliberate or perhaps that area of Mars is just "interesting" whether you are an author, a NASA lander or a quiet bunch of Brit cartographers with a dream ...

  11. alain williams Silver badge

    prime meridian

    I notice that the Mars prime meridian is based on Airy-0, a crater named after a British Astronomer Royal, the choice made by someone from Stanford University.

    Do the French have a different prime meridian for Mars ?

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Richard Hewitt

    They built a pub on mars once. It had to close, no-one would use it - no atmosphere.

    1. Simon Harris

      Must have been a Wetherspoon's.

  14. pabc

    serious question

    Does Mars have magnetic poles? I mean, can you take a bearing and then follow it on a compass, because if not, this map isn't much use for hikers.....

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: serious question

      Just use your GPS ;-)

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: serious question

      Mars is smaller than Earth and it's planetary core has cooled substantially more than our own. Whilst there is a magnetic field it is substantially weaker than that here.

      Stick to the canal towpaths would be my advice.

    3. rh587 Silver badge

      Re: serious question

      No. They address this in The Martian. With no satnav either, Mark Watney has to navigate through a combination of dead reckoning, rudimentary astronomy and landmarks/surface features.

    4. PNGuinn

      Magnetic poles? @pabc

      I don't know about magnetic poles but I bet there are loads of Polish builders. I'd take a tent if I were you.

    5. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: serious question

      It has been pointed out to me (by a certain Mr E. John of Watford) that Mars ain't the kind of place to raise a kid.. fact it's cold as hell

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Get your ass to mars.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Why? Are there any special attractions for donkeys?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Yes, lots of "beach"

  16. Spaceman9

    Google Mars

    Google Mars has also been available for quite some time

  17. imanidiot Silver badge

    Cool. I might jus go get that printed

  18. rh587 Silver badge

    I'm sure it's no coincidence that they chose to map the exact area depicted in Andy Weir's book The Martian, recently filmed with Matt Damon starring.

    The Ares 3 base is located in Acidalia Planitia, and he has to journey to the Ares 4 MAV in Schiaparelli Crater. He also goes and scavenges Pathfinder (marked) for it's comms array.

  19. Simon Harris

    Isidis Planitia

    When they get around to mapping that part of Mars, will they include an English Heritage symbol?

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Isidis Planitia

      > will they include an English Heritage symbol?

      Marking the spot of Beagle 2's resting place? Good idea. Or maybe a new symbol of two crossed Blue Streak rockets, marking the only nation to have renounced a space-faring capability.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isidis Planitia

      It's called Historic England these days. EH are now the Other Lot..

  20. Allan George Dyer Silver badge


    At a scale of 1:4000000 it really isn't a walkers map, and they haven't marked a single footpath or bridalway.

    I'll get my coat, boots and oxygen mask.

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: Disappointed...

      Look on the bright side - no cycle paths either.

      1. Montreal Sean

        Re: Disappointed...

        Even better, no reserved bus lanes.

    2. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Disappointed...

      Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? asked Alice. That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. said the Cheshire cat. I don't much care where -- said Alice. Then it doesn't matter which way you go. said the Cat. -- so long I get somewhere, Alice added as an explanation. Oh you're sure to do that, said the Cat, if you only walk long enough.

      Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

  21. bed

    Site of old folk's home?

    It could do with one or more old folk's homes as it seems to be full of old craters.

  22. Stevie


    I'm pretty sure the OS already released maps of both Mars and The Moon, back in the late 70s/early 80s, because I have a copy of each somewhere in my basement of crap. I may be confusing them with McNally products; I haven't actually had mine in my hands for over three decades.

    I love OS maps. I used to grab a 1:50 000 map of anywhere I worked or holidayed during my UK consulting career, just because. I used the older 1 inch to 1 mile ones too. They taught us how to read them in Geography class, and I used them in my outward bound stuff as a young teenager. For a while you could get both because there was a commitment to mapping the entire British Isles at 1 inch to 1 mile and they weren't done when the move to metric began.

    I miss them. They don't have such things in the US. The nearest you can get for the detail as far as I know are military maps or forestry maps. I seriously doubt that anyone under the age of fifty could read one absent military training anyway.

    1. AdamT

      Re: Bah!

      Absolutely! That was my favourite bit of the Geography O-Level exam - the "here's a nice OS map for your perusal and a number of questions about it" question. Sad thing was that we didn't get to keep the maps afterwards.

  23. Wiltshire

    I'm just wondering where the OS put their little triangular concrete trig points to do the survey. That really would give life to the idea of pyramids on Mars.

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