Tracing OS maps in Scotland

Way back in July – goodness, that seems a long time ago! – I went on holiday near Kircudbright in Dumries and Galloway, which is in south west Scotland (I had no idea either). The landscape is actually quite beautiful. Not breathtaking like the higher Scottish peaks, but almost deserted beaches with warm seas for swimming and really gentle hills for walks.

We went for a hike up one and I put some basic details into OpenStreetMap when I got back. But now somebody has scanned in a set of OS 7th series one inch maps from the 1950s and the results are very clear. Maps go out of copyright after 50 years so it’s fair game. I’ve spent a few evenings winding down from work by tracing streams, forest, woods, salt marshes and correcting the coastline. Given that the “no names” map style is currently very out of date, you can see what a difference it makes between this and this.

Now over to others to, you know, map every last burn and loch in Scotland!


  1. Caroline Scott said:

    I once digitised (traced with fine cross-hairs on a giant electronic drawing board-type thing) Norway in my work. I felt as though I was Slartibartfast and loved every second of it!

    10th October 2009
  2. Hi

    I’m partly to blame for the OS7 tracing around Bladnoch. I live in Denmark but know the distillery owner Raymond Armstrong and have visited the Galloway area often. Since discovering OS7 I have spent some time tracing roads, rivers and adding peaks since oct 2009. But I have no possibility for checking road names or out of date information so if you know of a OpenStreetmap community around this area please let me know about it.


    21st January 2010
    • Tom Chance said:

      I was just a tourist on holiday, I’m afraid, so you probably know the area better than me! It was a nice distillery though, a very easy drink.

      Something I keep meaning to do is go back and finish off that stretch of coastline, I left a great bit pointy bit sticking into the sea where I was trying to pull it back into the actual coastline rather than the edge of the marshy bit.

      21st January 2010

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