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Ordnance Survey and 3D

An updated version of this post is available here

I’ve been playing with BING maps to see how to use the fact that the Ordnance Survey maps are directly available from the BING display.

I find the combination of these features to be totally engrossing – but there are a few interesting asides.

A famous – and favourite – landmark is the Ribblehead Viaduct. If you’ve ever walked the Yorkshire 3 peaks, then this is that huge bridge near the mobile cafe/ ice cream van – and comes between Pen y Ghent and Whernside on the walk. There is a rumour that the viaduct has been around longer than the ice cream van, but I don’t have any hard evidence on that.

What does BING make of it then?

The straightforward road map doesn’t think much of it ..

Ribblehead Viaduct on a road map

Ribblehead Viaduct on a road map

So – on the ‘road’ menu – select  Ordnance Survey Maps. Note if Ordnance Survey doesn’t show, then change the zoom setting until Ordnance Survey becomes an option – once you have OS on display you can zoom in and out, but the link appears to only be available at certain zoom settings.

Ribblehead Viaduct on OS Map - from BING

That’s more like it.

Now on the Aerial tab, select satellite photo view .. and, here we can see a wonderful picture taken of the viaduct – looking at the lengths of shadow and the lay of the shadow it’s probably on a late summer afternoon.

Stunning Sharp Shadows from the Viaduct

Now – select the 3D option, and a new set of tools appear ..

BING 3D Tools

The various tools are explained when you leave your mouse hovering over them ..

By holding the control key when you move your mouse you can ‘spin on the spot’ – so with a bit of trial and error you can locate yourself in the shadows of the viaduct, and you’ll see this .. according to BING!

Ribblehead Viaduct has been bing'ed

Ribblehead Viaduct - also available the right way up

But wait – does that picture suggests that the Viaduct goes UNDER the River Ribble? Let’s take another look ..

It's official - the viaduct is really .. A TUNNEL

Joking aside – BING 3D and OS do make a stunning free resource – it takes a bit of getting used to – but here’s Pen y Ghent

BING 3D Re-creates Pen y Ghent