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Digitising the Inter-War Land Use Survey of Great Britain: scanning and geo-referencing project

University of Portsmouth
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  • Geography


During the 1930s, the Land-Utilisation Survey (LUS) of Great Britain, directed by Professor L. Dudley Stamp, created a detailed record of the major land uses in England, Wales and southern Scotland. They published this information on a set of 169 map sheets, 135 of which cover England and Wales, using Ordnance Survey 1” maps as a base, and displaying land uses via a colour overlay. This report describes a project to source, scan, geo-reference and disseminate a full set of the (170) published LUS maps of Great Britain. Scanning and geo-referencing of the maps has been successful, despite the lack of a printed grid and coordinate system on the maps. The lack of printed coordinates has been overcome by using an existing, out of copyright, geo-referenced series of scanned maps to geo-reference LUS maps. The original scanned material and geo-referenced scans have been written to DVD and deposited with both the Environment Agency and DEFRA. The maps have also been made freely available to anyone via a Web Map Server at

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