Mapping in Schools

Mapping in Schools

In order to deliver an orienteering programme that will enable progression within your school and beyond, we would recommend that you commission the production of an orienteering map.

Orienteering maps are produced to a specification and this section will give you advice on how to get a map produced.

In order to get your school mapped the best way forward is to contact your local club.                                                                                               

There are two ways to go about getting a map of your school drawn:

  • You may do your own surveying and cartography. Although this may appear to be cheaper, it is likely to take up a significant amount of your time – and you may not have the equipment to do the job.
  • You may choose to employ a specialist school orienteering mapper.  Using a mapper can be an expense, but it will result in the production of a computer-generated accurate and professional looking map. You can find a list of professional mappers here.

You may wish to consider the following:

Decide on the area to be mapped.  In most cases, this will be your school site.

  • If the site is larger than the area that you will use for orienteering, do you need to have a map of the whole site or just part of it?  Or more than one map, it is fairly straightforward for the Mapper to produce individual, differing scales of a section of the map once the main map has been produced.
  • Normal maps are produced in colour – if you wish to reproduce in black & white then please discuss this with the Mapper.
  • We recommend that you make sure you agree before you commission a mapper what you are getting for your money.

Employing a Mapper

  • You can always ask to see a portfolio of the Mappers work.
  • Always agree on a price.  Most school maps will take at least 1 day for surveying and 1 day for the cartography.  However, the price will depend on the complexity and size of your site and the travel costs of the Mapper.
  • Please note that British Orienteering does not endorse any mapping work completed by any practitioners and any agreement is between the school and mapper

Additional Advice

Features of a good school map

  • The whole map should fit onto an A4 size piece of paper, without being crammed.
  • The map should have a legend clearly laid out on the front with a child-friendly font, at the correct size for the age of the children.
  • Check that the language used particularly in the legend is correct for your children.
  • Magnetic North lines should be on the map and aligned to the top of the map.
  • The map should have a scale, both written as a ratio and also a scale bar showing 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 metres.

Map Scales

  • Most school maps are drawn at 1:1250 or 1:2500.
  • For younger children or for children with learning difficulties, larger scales can be used, i.e. 1:500, 1:750 or 1:1000.
  • Modern computer cartography easily allows the production of these larger scales.

Getting a base map

  • A base map is the skeleton map that is used to produce an orienteering map.The mapper may use a variety of base map options. These include using an Ordnance survey base, aerial/satellite photos or GPS. Most schools will use the Ordnance Survey option.
  • State schools will be able to get a photocopy of the Ordnance Survey plan from their LEA architects department.
  • Independent schools would normally have to obtain a plan from the Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey - Crown Copyright  - LEA Schools

  • LEA schools are regarded by the OS as departments of the Local Authority, and, as such, are covered by the copyright licence held by the LA.
  • This means that LEA schools can copy any mapping acquired from any Local Authority, provided that it is for internal requirements.
  • A maximum size of A4 applies to the colour copying of maps.
  • Maps over 51 years old can be copied without restriction.

Ordnance Survey - Crown Copyright - Independent Schools

  • Copyright rules for reproducing Ordnance Survey mapping depend on your type of school
  • Your school will need to obtain an educational licence from the OS.
  • With an educational licence, you can copy mapping for educational, teaching & research purposes.
  • Ordnance Survey maps over 51 years old can be copied without restriction.
  • Contact the OS for more information on copyright for schools.

Other Services from a Mapper

  • The mapper may be able to produce maps at different scales for the use of children of different ages or abilities.
  • The mapper may be able to produce lessons and resources for teaching orienteering in your school.
  • The mapper should be able to advise you on Teacher/Leader courses for helping you to use your new map effectively.
  •  These services would have an additional cost but would enhance the use of your school map.

Making a contract

  • Ask the mapper to send you a letter to include the following information:
  • The price for surveying & cartography.
  • The scale(s) of the map(s) to be drawn.
  • How the map will be supplied, paper copy, JPEG, PDF, Original computer OCAD file. 
  • Whether updating is to be included in the price.
  • If assistance is to be given with planning courses (ask for this to be itemised separately).
  • The expected delivery date.
  • The map title and any other information to be included on the map.

Agreeing to a contract

  • Check the information in the mapper’s letter carefully.
  • If you are in agreement, send either a letter of acceptance or better still a school purchase order form.
  • If you do not agree to any part of the mapper’s letter, reply to the letter and ask for a corrected letter BEFORE sending an acceptance or purchase order.
  • Keep in contact regarding the progress of the work.

On completion of the map

  • Ask for a proof copy to be sent to you.
  • Check the whole map carefully by walking around the site.
  • Mark on any mistakes or where you think the map could be improved. Make a photocopy of this and send the original back to the mapper.
  • When you are satisfied with the map, the mapper should send you the agreed number of originals.
  • Once you are satisfied with the work, you can authorise payment.

Back to top