Where to find maps of the Isle of Man

When I first started adding road network data for the Isle of Man into the OpenStreetMap project, there were only a few map sites online that had maps of the Island, and none as easy to use as the Google Maps service (which at the time did not include maps of the Island, and still doesn't to this day) which rocked the world of web mapping when it launched.

As I recall, the sites with maps of the Island at that time were limited to MultiMap and the Ordnance Survey Get a map service.

Things have come a long way since then though. The OpenStreetMap maps of the Isle of Man are not too far away from being complete (with a little help), but aren't yet ready for end users looking for detailed maps. Many of the other map providers do, however, have great coverage of the Island in their maps. Here's a bit of an overview detailing the merits of each of them:

Site Overview Description

192.com

192.com map of the Isle of Man

Map of roads, railways and railways stations (marked incorrectly with British Rail logos), rivers, plantations, reservoirs and long distance footpaths. Does not allow zooming in to towns for detailed street maps.

Ask.com

Ask.com map of the Isle of Man

Map of roads, rivers, some plantations and reservoirs. Includes detailed street map information.

Google Maps

Google Maps map of the Isle of Man

Map of Island outline.

Microsoft Live Search

Microsoft Live Search map of the Isle of Man

Map of terrain, roads, railways and railways stations, rivers, plantations and reservoirs. Includes detailed street map information. Island incorrectly attributed to the UK.

Multimap

Multimap map of the Isle of Man

Map of roads. Does not include detailed street map information (streets disappear from map beyond a certain zoom level) but does include the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map of the Island if you hover your mouse over the 'map' toggle to the left of the map.

OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap map of the Isle of Man

Map of roads, railways and railways stations, rivers, plantations, reservoirs and some long distance footpaths. The town street maps are not very detailed yet.

People's Map

People's Map map of the Isle of Man

Map of main roads and some rivers. The map disappears past a certain zoom level, but they do have excellent aerial imagery for the whole of the Island.

Yahoo! Maps

Yahoo! Maps map of the Isle of Man

Map of terrain, roads, railways and railways stations (marked incorrectly with British Rail logos), rivers, some plantations and reservoirs. Includes detailed street map information.

I've included all the draggable ("slippy") map providers - or at least the ones I can think of right now - to give a bit of an overview of how their coverage differs, and also give a bit of a glimpse into the differences between their cartography and general feel of the maps. Also worth a mention here are the street maps that the Government provide for most towns across the Island.

With all these mapping services providing maps of the Island for free, is it really still worth continuing to build up the map data in the OpenStreetMap project? Of course it is! These maps are nothing but that: static maps, and some of them really great ones at that. They are great if all you want is a static map, somewhere to share a single location with someone else, or even the ability to overlay your own information on top of the map using that provider's API.

The whole point behind the OpenStreetMap project though (and to a certain extent, the People's Map project) is that the underlying map geodata is available and re-usable under a free license for you to be creative and do what you like with that data.

Maybe you're working in conservation and want to create a map showing all the rivers and different habitats on the Island, but not include roads. Maybe you are a walker and want to create a map that shows just the footpaths on the Island. Maybe you run a local listings site and you want to create a map that shows only the locations you want it to show and hide things that may not be of interest to your visitors. There are many possibilities, and the great thing is that if you have an idea, you can go off and use the data we're building up, allowing you to fulfil your idea without having to use the prescribed maps that are provided by the big providers.

Note: all the maps included above are copyrighted by their respective owners, and are included here under fair dealing clause for comparison of their individual benefits.