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Maps: Home

A quick guide to introduce you to using map resources.
Topographic maps

show “what there is” i.e. natural features such as rivers, lakes, woods and cultural features such as roads, railways and buildings.

Thematic maps

show the geographical distribution of a particular theme i.e. soil type, vegetation and land use.

Interpreting OS map data

Ordnance Survey have produced a map reading resources to get you started.

Map resources


Exeter subscribes to a wide range of online specialist map resources. These include contemporary, historical, topographic, thematic maps and more. Some content is available in dedicated map collections, whilst some appears within wider archival collections. Filter the database type field to Maps in the A-Z database list to see the full list.

These collections provides extensive online access to contemporary, historical, topographic, thematic maps and more.

Explore the collections to find the material required: 

  • Ordnance Survey - comprehensive maps and geospatial data service.
  • Historic - historical Ordnance Survey mapping data products from 1843 to 1996.
  • Geology - maps and data from the British Geological Survey.
  • Marine - spatial data and marine charts for the waters around Great Britain.
  • Environment - range of Land Cover Map data products.
  • Ariel - maps containing Aerial Imagery data.
  • Lidar - Lidar data from UK government agencies.
  • Global - global datasets in cartographic styles. Find out more here.
  • Society - provides census and socio-economic data for Great Britain in a visualized format.
  • Geomni - provides access to three data sets: UKMap, UKBuildings and UKLand. 
  • AgCensus - provides access to the data derived from the annual Agricultural Censuses of England, Scotland and Wales.

This resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of global commodities in world history. It provides access to a range of historical world maps and interactive maps on world trade routes.

Take the Maps quiz!

Using Digimap

Our subscription to Digimap provides online access to a range of map services including Ordnance Survey data. There are a number of different collections covering historic, marine, geology, environment and Ariel maps. 


How to register:


Registration is required under the terms of the licence for the data that is available through Digimap. It is an automated two-step process:

  1. Register your details with Digimap.
  2. Accept the licence agreements associated with each Collection.

More help is available here.

Digimap allows you to annotate maps, and also provides raw data download facilities for use in CAD, GIS or other systems to create visual representations of your research or illustrate plans.

Find out more at the EDINA Digimap Resource Centre (available after log in) and on their YouTube channel.

If you download data and need help with the wording for the copyright statement look here.

Digimap has a resource center that covers all the collections and how to use them. Access the resource center from the Digimap site or directly here.
The help available includes quick guides, resources for using GIS / CAD, Webinars, map citation tools and more!
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