Maps, charts & globes

Where would we be in the world without a map to guide us? Discover why there was a need to map the globe and find out how you can explore the National Maritime Museum's collection of around 100,000 historical sea charts and maps. Start plotting your journey now... 


John Dee (1527–1608/9) was a brilliant mathematician, antiquary and astrologer, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

The British Empire was at its largest in 1919. At this point, there was truth in the saying that the Sun never set on the British Empire. 


Find out what longitude is and what makes it so hard to measure.


The ‘standard’ nautical mile is taken as 6080 feet (1.151 statute miles or 1853 metres) and is the unit of length used in sea and air navigation.