British Geography

Ordnance Survey



Client: Ordnance Survey
Date: 21st September 2016

Project overview

New research shows British adults have no idea where Manchester, Birmingham – and even London feature on a map.

A poll of 2,000 people found more than four in ten struggle to pinpoint the nation’s capital on a map of the UK, while another 86 per cent have no idea where Edinburgh should be.

And almost one in ten put the Isles of Scilly, found off the coast of Cornwall, in place of the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, while another one in twenty believe they sit off the western coast of Scotland.

The locations of Newcastle, Cardiff and Oxford also left many scratching their heads.

It also emerged just four in ten can confidently read a map with another 44 per cent admitting they have no idea what traditional map symbols mean.

A spokesman for Ordnance Survey, which commissioned the research as part of National Map Reading Week, taking place in October, said: “Great Britain is relatively small, yet it seems many of us struggle to pinpoint the positions of cities and locations which may not even be that far from where we live.


Ordnance Survey also asked us to create a quiz for their National Map Reading campaign which tests just how good the public is with map reading and British geography.

The quiz, designed and created by our in-house design studio was hosted on the campaign microsite created by Ordnance Survey and achieved impressive engagement within the first week.

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