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This article is designed as a guide to using grid references. It teaches the basic principles of grid referencing, and allows you to try out your skills as you learn them.

This article has recently been redesigned with animated diagrams. These should load quickly as they are small gif format, but on really slow connections they may take a few seconds. The cycles last between about 5 and 20 seconds - please be patient and watch them from the beginning - they constantly repeat themselves if you miss them the first time.

Further work is required to complete this article. So far you can learn about four and six figure references, and practise using them. Over the next few days the article will be expanded with more practise sections and explanation of the national grid.

In the UK, all ordnance survey maps follow the National Grid. This divides the country into 91 squares (13x7) each of which is 100km by 100km. These can be further divided down. We will look at the "real" grid in more detail later, but first let us look at how to take standard 4 figure grid references.

The first point to remember when taking a grid reference, is to always take the eastings, then the northings. Put more simply "Along the corridor and up the stairs".



This article is  D. Spencer 2004 including animated diagrams and maps. No map, image or animation may be copied from this article without permission of the webmaster, except for non-profit making, educational purposes. Please do not copy this article onto other websites.