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Walkers, cyclists and motorists rely today on Ordnance Survey maps. But 220 years ago, the Kent coastline was first mapped to defend against Napoleon - as Helen Mark discovers.

Ordnance Survey, the organisation responsible for mapping every inch of land in England, Scotland and Wales, was set up in 1791 as a military mapping service based in the Tower of London.

It was used to create maps of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars to protect England from the French invasion and the art of map making subsequently played a major role in both World Wars.

Now based in Southampton, the agency has moved from the paper-based hand-drawn maps of its origins, to technologically advanced digital mapping systems in order to cope with the constant changes to the landscape of the country.

Helen Mark visits the Kent coastline to discover how war has shaped the landscape and how important these maps have been in the past and today.

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27 minutes

Last on

Thu 11 Aug 2011 15:00


  • Sat 6 Aug 2011 06:07
  • Thu 11 Aug 2011 15:00

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