Old Hampshire Mapped


To the User

Legacy This project was started in 1998. The website was designed with a slow internet connection in mind, but was not constrained by this. In particular, we believed that the single sheet maps shown here should be legible and presented in their entirety; this produces large files and they carry a warning. We also decided not to use any 3rd party software which could (and did) soon become obsolete, and whose smarter front-end access would actually make the maps less accessible for research purposes.
Navigation Our navigation is designed to be obvious
we know,
it never is!
We have used FRAMESETS because they provide the best way for you to keep your place whilst navigating around this complex interlinked website. In general the upper left button will take you back up the structure, but as the structure is not linear and the back button is sometimes more useful.


The Old Hampshire Mapped project is a private research project of Jean and Martin Norgate, begun out of an interest in old maps and a wish to relate them to our environment today. The object of the exercise is, in the jargon of museums and environmental education, interpretation. But fundamentally we wish to make items in the Map Collection of Hampshire County Council Museums Service (HMCMS) more accessible to people interested in their environment.

This Map Collection is the best public collection of early printed maps in the county.

Displaying Maps

The original concept was to support a gallery display of maps. The maps would be framed and visible, but however carefully their height is chosen they would be up on a wall, not the best position for study, and they would not be well lit. Lighting has to be kept at a low level for long term display else it will fade the colours and weaken the paper.
In any gallery wall space is limited, it is impossible to have more than so many maps on display.The researcher may wish to make an appointment to see other items and museum curators believe in the real thing. However for many purposes the researcher may find that the images presented here are better than looking at the real thing. And with less handling the original map, which is the guarantorxxx of the digital copy, is better preserved.
Moreover this project will allow the general public to have access to more than will fit in a gallery and have that access whenever and from wherever they choose. And publishing material in a digital format rather than in hard copy allows the use of many large clear images with which affordable books cannot cope.

Project Aims

Firstly: The computer display aims to have the maps visible at a convenient position, bright and clear, magnified as if seen with a low power lens, say 2 or 3 times, to help with reading the words and seeing the symbols. Once in the map the user can move around at will, either moving north/east/south/west square at a time, or just scrolling across an enlarged image of the map.

Secondly: the computer displays aim to make it easier to find a place on the map. For each map in the project there is a gazetteer of old and modern place names which jumps the user into the map at the right 'square'. There may be supplementary lists of places, which might not have been labelled on the original, which similarly jump the viewer into the right part of the map. This is generally done for rivers, bridges, hills, forests, parks and some other features.

Thirdly: we have tried to help the user understand what is on the map. By manipulating the image, a particular feature, the hills for example, can be highlighted and labelled on a feature map and supported by a short essay. This has been done regularly for rivers, hills, trees in woods or forests, parks, beacons, coastal defence, coast line, market and other towns, hundreds, roads, ancient monuments, etc.

Fourthly: the cartography of the map is explored, its compass rose, scale line, title cartouche, settlement and other symbols, etc. These features are described for the map and this supported by more general notes.

Lastly: the analysis of each map and the design of the images used on the computer screen have been made to common patterns. As well as moving around the map square by square, using the modern national grid as an underlying framework, the viewer can jump from map to map - flying through time. This is done for the feature maps as well as the map squares so that the mapping of features can be compared map to map.

In all cases the presentation of the whole map, without restrictions from curator/editors, is a primary aim. We have not selected what is and is not shown; excepting that we have had to select topics for special treatment. The interpretation is as objective as possible and is minimal. The user is encouraged to take any topic further; we hope to stimulate not to control.

We have made no concessions to the user. The project is not specifically aimed at the cartographic specialist; it is well illustrated and tries to keep language plain, but it does not shy away from technical concepts where necessary.


Maps have usually been scanned at 300dpi on a flat bed scanner. A4 and A3 scanners have been used. We are very grateful for encouragement and practical help with an A3 scanner from Dominic Fontana at the Geography Department of Portsmouth University.

The master scan images are tidied up some; sorting out alignment and size, stitching where necessary for very large sheets, dealing with paper colour, checking for computer artefacts in the scan, etc. (This can be very time consuming, and JandMN reserve their copyright in the scanned image which 'contains' this hard work, all done without payment by the JMN part of the team.) This image is stored as uncompressed .tif file. 3 copies are made of the file on CD, writing in CD Mode 1, ISO9660 format. 1 backup copy is lodged with HMCMS, 1 with Dominic Fontana (which he may use for teaching, though not for publication less by prior arrangement), and 1 with the authors.

Images for use are generally reduced to about 150dpi, saved as .jpg at fairly high compression. ...


Please note that we have had no financial support for this project.

Please enjoy it all.

General index

Old Hampshire Mapped