Popular Edition Maps

Britain’s first full-colour maps showing the dawn of the motoring age, created from Ordnance Survey first published between 1919 and 1926. These Popular Edition maps show England and Wales on the threshold of great change, capturing the point at which the motor car began to define not only the landscape but also the way in which map-makers represented it.

There are 124 Popular Edition Maps of England, Wales and the Isle of Man.

Price £14.99
Popular Edition Maps
Popular Edition Maps
Sheet Map Example
Popular Edition Maps
Re-scaled and re-projected to match Ordnance Survey Landranger®

Available Maps

About our Popular Edition Maps

The original Ordnance Survey Popular Edition series was conceived before, but published just after, the First World War. This was the first of Ordnance Survey’s series to be conceived from the outset as a mass-market product, and the first to be produced in full colour. The new technology was put to the test in catering for a wholly new market. If the railways were the transport revolution of the 19th century, the motor car was certainly that of the 20th. The new mapping series had to reflect this. For the first time the gradations of the road network were described, with each route being coloured according to its suitability or otherwise for motor traffic. Twenty times more vehicles were registered in the UK in 1929 compared to 20 years earlier, and many of those who could not afford (or did not dare) to use a car cycled instead. Increased leisure time and rising prosperity fuelled a demand for travel. As a result, accurate, relevant and up to date maps were needed. The Popular Edition provided them. These Popular Edition maps show England and Wales on the threshold of great change. The roads were threatening the railways, the suburbs were drawing people from the inner cities. Beyond the built-up areas, villages were turning into small towns, often with nearby parks and woods for recreation, while golf courses were in some areas starting to outnumber farms. Although there was still much open countryside containing many reminders of its past, England and Wales were increasingly dominated by the large urban areas and the roads that connected them. High ground was now represented by contours rather than artistic hachuring; more accurate, less intrusive and more relevant to a society that was now less reliant on travel by horse and cart or on foot. This fascinating map captures the point at which the motor car began to define not only the landscape but also the way in which map-makers represented it.