back to article If you're ever lost on the Moon, Ordnance Survey now has you covered for Apollo 11 anniversary

The UK's Ordnance Survey has followed up the Mars map with a little something to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in its own, distinctive cartographic style. Paul Naylor, programme chair and council member of the British Cartographic Society, spent three weeks painstakingly piecing together data to …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    I might well get one

    I already have t-shirts and a mug for the 50th anniversary of one of my fondest childhood memories (and one of mankind's greatest achievements), so I might as well add the this map. Alternatively, I will stick to imaging the moon.

    1. Spacedinvader
      Thumb Up

      Re: I might well get one

      Nice moon pic

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I might well get one

      My family got a TV for the first time to see it, one of my earliest memories too. If you have an android phone I recommend the moon phase live wallpaper from the Pixel 3 (available as an APK on XDA).

    3. Jedit

      "the 50th anniversary of one of mankind's greatest achievements"

      But … Deep Purple in Rock wasn't released until 1970?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do they do a waterproof "active map" version...?

    I'm just asking in case I find water on the moon and need something to sit down on to eat my lunch without getting my space trousers wet.

    1. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      "There's a frood who really knows where his towel is!"

      Useful for hiding from Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts as well as drying space trousers, y'know :-)

      Mine's the one with the battered copy of 'that hack-rag' in the pocket.

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Fixed it for you...

        Useful for hiding from Soup Dragonses as well as drying space trousers, y'know :-)

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Just turn your buts towards the Sun and I guess any water will evaporate quickly.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        But not of course if you have 'moved to the dark side' - Darth Moonlander

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was born on the 26th May 1969.

    This makes me feel both proud and old...

    anon because of teh ID thievery buggrehs

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yuo're going to reach 50 a month before me. HA-HA! ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        April 1969.

        I've been told I was held in front of the tv to watch it, but have no memories...

        1. MrBanana Silver badge

          I was six at the time. I remember a small, dark room crowded with a lot of people and cigarette smoke. A hazy black and white picture on a tiny TV. Why are they cheering, can I go to bed now?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'm the same age and remember us being led from class into the Infants school hall to watch it on TV. A relatively big (for the day), 24" ish, B+W with the matt black cupboard doors and shade across the top to 'enhance the experience'.

            Grainy images and very excited adults

            To this day, it remains one of my most influential memories.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Same here

              Daubeny Infants School, Clapton

              all in the hall with Mrs Windsor (headteacher)

              Fun days!!

    2. jake Silver badge

      You are but a child.

      Remember, 50 is the new 30.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You are but a child.

        I can just remember being 30, I could drink a gallon of larger and then dance until the wee hours of the morning before stopping off for a kebab on the way home, and I could still get into work after a just a couple of hours of sleep. Now I'm the wrong side of 50, its five pints at most, and I'm n bed before midnight, and no chance of going to work the next day. 50 is not the new 30.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: You are but a child.

          I could drink a gallon of larger

          Ah, I could only manage small beer...


      2. genghis_uk Silver badge

        Re: You are but a child.

        30?? I can still party like a teenager... it just takes 3 days to recover afterwards :)

        Icon: head in the morning

    3. swm Silver badge

      I remember watching the first moon landing descent (with the computer program alarms) when I was in college. It was exciting.

      I was also listening to the live feed when Apollo 13 blew an oxygen bottle. The only time I heard an astronaut get excited was when ground control said, "turn off the react on oxygen bottle #1."

      "Did you say, 'turn off the react on oxygen bottle #1?!?!' "

      "That's affirmative"

      At that moment the mission was scrubbed. The news commentators never had a clue and were wondering if the mission would proceed. I was wondering if the astronauts would make it back. They were not on a free return path to Earth, They had powered down the command module's inertial platform before they powered up the lander's platform and had to align it. They couldn't see any stars because of the debris from the explosion.

      Once they got things more or less under control they did a small burn to get them back to Earth. "The Atlantic ocean?" "We're working on it."

      Eventually another small burn got them to a Pacific ocean landing.

      Just before landing they powered up the command module. The news commentators were worried if there was enough battery power - still no clue as the battery in the command module was designed to handle re-entry.

      These are just some of my my recollections - I never saw the movie.

  4. Tim Greenwood

    I like ordnance survey these days. They could have become almost an irrelevance in the modern GPS equipped world. Instead, they seem to have become quite interesting, proactive and still relevant.

    I do love real maps anyway, so am really glad they are going from strength to strength.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      I'm also a bit of a mapoholic. GPS is handy, but really only lets people get lost to a high degree of accuracy. You are here, in this blank space shown on your satnav, and it can't route you to where you want to go because it can't find any roads. Or it may happily direct you over a cliff because it doesn't understand contours. Which is a bit of a challenge for people with GPS enabled gadgets who fancy a spot of outdoor activity. Landranger + gizmo makes it a whole lot easier to set waypoints for an easy/strenuous hike.

      Best thing about OS is it's backed off a bit from it's initial land-grab, ie as commercialisation crept it, so did.. interesting licence conditions for GIS like wanting to charge a hefty fee per map tile displayed. With likely roaming charges Moon-Earth, licence fees for any digital Lunar Landranger might put a spanner on the first ever Lunar Orienteering event.

      (I guess some old traditions live on, ie the use of 'easter eggs' to aid copyright claims on maps is an old trick..)

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      GPS only tells you where you are, you still need a map to tell you where "here" is, and OS maps are the best topo maps in the world. (I just wish they hadn't dumbed down the 6-inch, 25-inch and 50-inch mapping - the 1950s series was the pinnacle of high-scale mapping).

  5. Blockchain commentard

    But is there a Halfords there incase my moon buggy gets a flat?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Well, if you will buy a Rover...

    2. Keith Oborn

      Don't worry, Haynes has you covered, just take an adjustable spanner as well:

      (I have the original, I still use it to inspire future science/engineering students. The last word in Bog Boys Toys)

      1. Robigus

        My recollection of Haynes manuals was that any manufacturers special tool requirement could be substituted by a knitting needle and a house brick.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Personally I would include duct tape and dental floss to round out that tool manufacturing kit to be a universal one.

          Personally I just hope the easter eggs aren't the locations of the 96 bags of astronaut poo that also got left behind...

    3. Alister Silver badge

      It's my recollection that the moon buggy tyres are already full of holes, so you'd need more than an air pump to fix a flat...

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        That was my first thought, but a more limiting factor would be if you got a flat battery.

        (Especially as the ones on the moon buggies were non-rechargeable).

      2. jake Silver badge

        Given that ...

        ... the tires are steel mesh, with titanium treads, I'd recommend fence pliars. I have several pair of these, all over 25 years old. Spendy, but you get what you pay for ... and I'll bet a plugged nickle that NASA's procurement process could up that by a couple orders of magnitude.

        1. STOP_FORTH

          Re: Given that ...

          I have a couple of those as well (different brand). I suppose I could lend one of them to somebody going to the moon, as long as I get them back.

          Is it proper orienteering if you use a buggy?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Given that ...

          Nice tool. I especially like the description... "Allows quick access to locations surrounded by wire fence."

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

            Re: Given that ...

            Ah, the old hand held portable gate...

  6. Chris G Silver badge


    One of the things I always appreciated with OS maps was that they were considerate enough to include pubs, essential when camping or hiking.

    Wonder how long before there are PHs on Lunatic maps?

    1. hmv

      Re: PH

      The first ordinance survey mappers did a fair bit of hiking themselves, so it was inevitable that pubs were marked.

  7. not.known@this.address Silver badge


    I didn't see any Eagles - or SHADO Interceptors either. I feel cheated!

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Eagle-eyed?

      Of course you couldn't see any Eagles on the moon. The moon left the solar system twenty years ago.

      1. Voidstorm

        Re: Eagle-eyed?

        "Read all about it! Moon replaced by giant inflatable for the last twenty years! Film at Eleven!"

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Eagle-eyed?

        (Of course I should have added a reference to the incomparable theme music. Saturday mornings have been empty since.)

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Eagle-eyed?

      The Eagle descent stage is there, it's just you can't yet see it.

  8. Rudolph Hucker the Third

    There's something wrong with that map.

    No trig points for the OS surveyors' theodolites.

    Did the OS sub-contract the job to The Clangers?

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    The only lunar mystery worth investigating...

    The only lunar mystery worth investigating is to find out where the Soup Dragon lives.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will they have a Lunar crematorium service?

    I'd like my ashes dropped on the moon.

    It's the only way I could ever get there.

  11. jake Silver badge

    For those interested ...

    ... in this kind of thing, National Geographic has a very nice gift for the kid(s) in your life who might be inspired by this kind of thing. I've had a copy for decades, and usually have a couple extra copies in shipping tubes, just in case.

    They also have a Mars map, a star map ("map of the heavens"), and a map of the Milky Way. Recommended.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apollo 50 on twitter

    Have you all seen the twitter account @Apollo_50th ?

    They are doing a live history thing.

    Currently covering the pre-launch stuff for Apollo 10 mission.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Courtesy of the British tax payer

    You're welcome :(

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Courtesy of the British tax payer

      They're a government-owned company and they sell things, very successfully. Maybe the British tax payer should thank them?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Courtesy of the British tax payer


        Where do you think the government gets its funding?

        The tax payer funds the company and then has to pay again for the product of that company.

        You're suggesting we thank them for shafting us?!?

        Just part of the joy of living in rip-off Britain.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Courtesy of the British tax payer


          People who buy their products value what they've bought higher than the cash they've forked out (otherwise they wouldn't have bought them). OS makes a profit, therefore they tax-payer thanks them for those funds that otherwise the tax-payer would have to provide. Doesn't seem like too much of a rip-off to me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Courtesy of the British tax payer

            Maybe we should nationalise everything then?!?

            Win win according to you...

  14. trog-oz

    Apollo 11 Scrap Book

    During the mission, the Adelaide Advertiser produced a scrap book and printed pictures in the newspaper for you to cut out and stick in. I still have mine. Cover Inside The flour and water glue is showing its age!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (Sad) Kinda says it, really.

    The Yanks (with help) build the tech to get there in 1969, and 50 years later the Brits follow up the rear with a paper map.

    Don't get me wrong, the OS deserver massive respect for this - especially if it engages the younger generation to continue the push into space exploration. But it's a bitter-sweet taste. Probably tinged with realisation that at 52 (53 next week) I'm unlikely to see the next big thing.

  16. Someoneelsehasmyname


    Out comes the credit card again...

  17. fpx

    Yes, but how do I know which side is up? A genuine question - do compasses or GPS work on the lunar surface? Wikipedia says that the moon's magnetic field is a couple orders of magnitudes weaker than earth's. You have good line of sight to many GPS satellites, though. They are much farther off, but the signal does not have to go through an atmosphere. But will receivers get confused by the altitude reading?

    1. Bill Gray

      GPS on the Moon

      An interesting question. You'd be about twenty times further from the GNSS satellites (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, JXSS) than those of us on the earth, so you'd have to deal with signals about 400 times fainter. That assumes that the GPS signals are only mildly focussed on the earth; if the antennae are sufficiently directional, it could be you'd lose even more power than that. There is also some "geometric dilution of position", the effect you can get on earth if the only satellites you can see are in a single part of the sky (used to be very common in the 1990s, when there weren't many satellites up there yet, and I think you can still get this problem in "urban canyons"). On the Moon, the entire GNSS constellation would only subtend about six degrees in the sky, so you'd always have a pretty low-grade sort of position fix.

      Come to think of it... the MMS (Multiple Magnetospheric Satellites) use GPS to determine where they are in the magnetosphere, and they go fairly high up. So there must be a good bit of GPS signal that goes right past the earth and could be received on the moon.

      On the plus side, there's no atmospheric effects going on (specifically, ionospheric effects). The GPS satellites transmit on two frequencies so you can compensate for this. But still, not having to worry about it at all would presumably be worth something.

      I'm sure an off-the-shelf GPS unit will be confused by the altitude. (I vaguely recall some "throttling" being done, on at least some units, to make it difficult to repurpose them for ballistic missiles.) But if you're going to the moon, paying for a modified unit capable of latching on to faint signals and figuring out how the position works on the moon ought to be the least of your problems. Presumably, the MMS folks have some prior art here.

    2. the Jim bloke

      In the event you get enough signals, which is a collection of distances from known positions (the satellites), the kit will calculate an XYZ coordinate - yes, rectangular - then translate that onto the spheroid (mathematical model of the earth), then bodge THAT onto the geoid (basically a database of many of the ways the earth ISNT mathematically shaped).

      Plenty of places where error trapping will say the values are out of bounds, and go away until you have some meaningful numbers. You would need a lunar spheroid model, and possibly an equivalent of the geoid, depending on how much separation there is between the model and reality.

      Or you could accept low accuracy, after all, finding your own car in the carpark should be relatively unchallenging for a while yet.

  18. Xpositor

    Nice, but at what point does a labelled photo become a map? Personally, I would have liked to have seen a topographic map with contours. Mind you, a geopolitical map might be quite interesting as well...

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