About Geograph

Published: 3 June 2011
About Geograph® The Geograph® TeamExternal link ContributorsExternal link CreditsExternal link DownloadsExternal link Contact UsExternal link

Aim of the Geograph® project

We aim to collect, publish, organise and preserve representative images and associated information for every square kilometre of Great Britain, Ireland, and the Isle of Man.

Through the Geograph® website the geographical database is freely available to the public. There is a dedicated version of the site for schools.

All photographic submissions and accompanying metadata are licensed by the original submitter under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike licence granting anyone the right to use the image for any purpose (including commercial uses), as long as credit is given to the copyright holder and that derivative works use the same licence.
Such commercial use can include the photograph being printed and sold.
Metadata is all the descriptive data entered during this submission process, including location references, title/description, tags, and date taken. This includes which (if any) shared descriptions are attached to this image.
On submission, contributors licence their images at one or more specific sizes. Once a licence is granted it is irrevocable, as that image and licence may legally have been downloaded and used elsewhere.


Geograph for schools siteExternal link
Creative Commons licenceExternal link

SO8001 : Woodchester Mansion by Helena Downton
The first published photograph, submitted 6 March 2005 by Helena Downton


Geograph Project Limited was formed in December 2010 to sustain and grow the Geograph project. It is a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, whose objects are educational in the broadest sense. The company is registered in England and Wales, number 7473967 with its registered office at Dept 1706, 43 Owston Road, Carcroft, Doncaster, South Yorkshire. DN6 8DA. Geograph Project Limited is a charity registered in England and Wales, number 1145621.

The young company had twelve members of whom five had volunteered to be directors to enable the company to be formed. At the first Annual General Meeting, 4th April 2012 in Sheffield, the members elected six directors. It was intended to widen company membership in time for the 2013 AGM. From September 2012 anyone who has contributed 100 or more photographs may apply to become a company member. There were 261 in January 2022. Anyone who has made a significant contribution to the project in other ways may join the company at the discretion of the directors.

Registered users are able to participate in every aspect of the project and its development. The code for the website is open source and licensed under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). The name Geograph is a trade mark registered in the UK, number 2596590.


Mark Anderson (Company Secretary), Sebastian Ballard, Stephen Craven, Bill HarrisonExternal link, Barry HunterExternal link, Richard Rogerson (Treasurer),
Christine JohnstoneExternal link, David MartinExternal link, Ruth Sharville, Chair: David MartinExternal link.

Organisation links

To contact the Company Secretary, please use the Contact UsExternal link page.
Articles of AssociationExternal link
Charity registrationExternal link
Trade mark registrationExternal link
The Geograph TeamExternal link
CreditsExternal link
Get InvolvedExternal link

NN7421 : Minor road near Aberuchill by Dr Richard Murray
This photo completed Geograph's first million live images, submitted on 15th October 2008 by Dr Richard Murray.


The Geograph website went live on 6th March 2005. It was conceived by Gary Rogers, who had launched the project on the geocaching.com website a few weeks earlier. Gary’s original concept – to collect and publish online at least one representative photograph (geograph) per gridsquare – met with such an enthusiastic response that geographs quickly needed their own website.

After appealing for help to create it, Gary teamed up with Paul Dixon and Barry Hunter. Barry recalls that they ‘met’ online and "quickly got together to form Geograph in February-March 2005. The concept for geograph.co.uk – pretty much the site you see today – was drafted over MSN by Paul and Gary. By the time I got involved Paul had pretty much built the first version of the site and was very near launch". Learning the programming language at the same time "My early contribution was adding the Map, Search and Stats links". Geograph took off: before the end of March 1,000 images had been submitted by, amongst others, Paul Allison, Pam Brophy, Brendan & Ruth McCartney, Alan Simkins and Andy Stephenson – who is still contributing.

Around the same time the education department of Ordnance Survey (OS) – the national mapping agency of Great Britain – was seeking to develop an online gallery of images where teachers could exchange photographs and see them plotted on a map. In the course of their research OS stumbled on Geograph (as many of us subsequently have) and realised that this was what they were looking for. Rather than replicate the site they decided to adopt it. Barry recalls that he, Paul and Gary "didn’t meet in person until November, for a meeting at OS headquarters in Southampton to discuss possible sponsorship. The OS thought it incredibly amusing that we had only met the night before in the hotel bar".

Since then the number of contributors and submissions has continued to grow. One million images had been published by October 2008, two million by August 2010, three million by June 2012, four million by June 2014, five million by July 2016, six million by January 2019 and seven million by November 2021.

Although Paul and Gary are no longer closely associated with the site, their role in its creation will not be forgotten. Many thanks to Gary Rogers and Barry Hunter for archaeology, signposts and recollections.

History links

Gary’s launch announcement, 2nd February 2005: LinkExternal link
Gary’s appeal for help: LinkExternal link
The first Geograph site: Archive LinkExternal link
Paul’s manifesto: LinkExternal link
Early contributors, and some later ones, recall how they found the site: LinkExternal link
One million images: LinkExternal link
Two million images: LinkExternal link
Three million images: LinkExternal link
Four million images: LinkExternal link
Five millionth images: LinkExternal link
Six millionth images: LinkExternal link
Seven millionth images: Link
Some numbers since 2005: LinkExternal link

TG1301 : Fields south of Ketteringham Road by Evelyn Simak
Geograph's two-millionth live image was contributed by Evelyn Simak on 14th August 2010.

SU1872 : St Andrew's church, Ogbourne St Andrew by David Purchase
Geograph's three-millionth live image was contributed by David Purchase on 29th June 2012.

NS5036 : Portland Arms Hotel, Galston by Leslie Barrie
Geograph's four-millionth live image was contributed by Leslie Barrie on 8th June 2014.

R6440 : Megalithic wedge tomb by Antony Dixon
Geograph's five-millionth live image was contributed by Antony Dixon on 5th July 2016.

SK9771 : Lincoln Cathedral east end by Julian P Guffogg
Geograph's six-millionth live image was contributed by Julian Guffogg on 17th January 2019.

TQ3898 : Godwin Close, Sewardstone by David Howard
Geograph's seven-millionth live image was contributed by David Howard on 28th November 2021.

Latest updates: 21 August 2017, 14 September 2018 and 18 June 2020 by RS; 9 October 2020 and 27th January 2022 by MD:
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright June 2011, Robin Stott; licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.
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