Modern Maps and GIS

 HERs, journals & other resources

South West England

 a charity registered in England & Wales, no  1163854.


Yorkshire & NE England







South Central England

South East England

Mapping data across Britain

Historic & Old Maps



Epigraphic Resources

Roman Roads & Transport

Roman Limes

Aerial Photography



Across the Roman Empire




North West England

RESOURCES Mapping RESOURCES Old Mapping RESOURCES Lidar RESOURCES AP RESOURCES Roman Roads RESOURCES Roman Limes RESOURCES Epigraphic Resources RESOURCES Classical Texts Ordnance Survey Maps

The Ordnance Survey’s online version of its well known paper maps. This is unfortunately now a subscription only service. If you would like to use OS maps online for free, the best alternative is Bing, from Microsoft (see below).

Ordnance Survey Open Data

Ordnance Survey offer a range of quality assured, regularly updated products that enable you to analyse your data, build interactive websites and create stunning visuals – and they're all free. Products are available in both raster and vector formats, although you will need a system like QGIS (also free) to use the latter, when, for example, you can utilise products like OS Terrain 50 to create 3D terrain maps.

Bing Maps

Everyone is familiar with Google Maps, however hardly anyone seems to be aware that Microsoft’s alternative has OS mapping (to 1:25000) in the UK for free! In the drop-down box in the top right corner, Ordnance Survey is the fifth one down and easy to miss. Bing maps appear to no longer be available as an XYZ tile URL, although their aerial /satellite view still is (see aerial photographs)


Sabre is the acronym of the Society for All British & Irish Road Enthusiasts. They have a useful mapping page which gives overlays of various 20th century maps including Bartholomew and OS.


The MAGIC website provides authoritative geographic information about the natural environment from across government.  The information covers rural, urban, coastal and marine environments across Great Britain.  It is presented in an interactive map which can be explored using various mapping tools that are included.  Natural England manages the service.

Google Maps

The best known of all online maps, it unfortunately falls some way short in its representation of landscape features. As with a few others, Google maps can be easily imported into a GIS (eg QGIS) as  XYZ tiles - use this URL -{x}&y={y}&z={z} . Google also produce a roads only version, useful as an overlay{x}&y={y}&z={z} and Google Terrain{x}&y={y}&z={z} These XYZ layers are not suitable for printing.

Esri Maps

To use Esri’s mapping, you can utilise the freely available ArcGIS Map Viewer. However, for QGIS users, there are other options using XYZ tiles for example{z}/{y}/{x} (Esri Street Map) or{z}/{y}/{x} (Esri topo). Note, these layers are not really suitable for printing.


Open Street Map has always been, and will remain, free and open source. What’s more, the mapping keeps getting better with new features such as field boundaries now being added, at least in some parts of Britain. In addition to the online version, OSM can also be viewed in a GIS such as QGIS by using XYZ tiles. Try these URLs for OSM Cycle{z}/{x}/{y}.png and for ordinary OpenStreetMap{z}/{x}/{y}.png Unfortunately, OpenStreetMap is only rarely suitable for printing.

The sites listed below provide accurate modern digital mapping, although rarely show Roman roads. The majority are at their most useful when viewed in a Geographic Information System (GIS) such as QGIS and used as base maps.

Here WeGo

HereWeGo is not the best known, but provides both mapping and recent aerial photo coverage. The layers control to access the aerial imagery is in the bottom right corner of the screen