Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mapping the TARDIS

To celebrate 50 years of Dr Who the UK's Ordnance Survey has mapped the locations of all 73 police boxes that are still in their original locations. Fans of Dr Who will know that the TARDIS is permanently stuck in the shape of a police box because its chameleon circuit is broken and it can no longer change its appearance to match its surroundings.

Police boxes were installed throughout the UK in the early 20th century. They were introduced so that the police, or members of the public, could contact police headquarters. In addition to a telephone, they contained other police equipment such as an incident book and a first aid kit.

The Ordnance Survey Police Call Boxes map shows that there are still a few police boxes left in England, Scotland and Wales. For some reason Glasgow and Edinburgh seem to be home to a large percentage of the remaining boxes.

The Earl's Court police box that appears on Google Maps Street View (and which you can explore inside) does not feature on the Ordnance Survey map. The Ordnance Survey claim that this is because it was not a functioning police call box. However they are wrong on that count. Although the box was built in 1996 it was installed as a functioning police box and (as a sign of the times) as a CCTV camera.

If the Ordnance Survey map has piqued your interest in Dr Who related locations then check out this Google Sightseeing post looking at locations that have appeared in Dr Who over the last 50 years.

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