Puts the Ordinance Survey right on the map :). Something we walkers and scramblers have always loved, maps carried next to our hearts across the hills and through the rain, sleet and (rarely) burning sun. Winter nights on the kitchen table plotting routes. And 20 years ago wished for abroad in countries where whole hillsides seemed to be missing from the local maps! A moment in time just as the world changes - GPS, SATNAV, satellite pictures. The author places the start of the Ordinance Survey firmly in the military world, beginning with the Highland clearances and wars with France, continuing with Ireland and the the mapping for taxation, the massive social implications of fixing place names and not forgetting the struggle of the 20th century for access to land. The military, economic and political setting gives the book a real bite without detracting from the heroics of the multitude of people who walked the land actually doing the mapping.