Map Search Instructions

The Watercolour World map lets you browse images according to the places they depict.

Understanding the map markers

If the place depicted in a painting is known, we mark it with a ‘pin’. Click on pins to preview the image. Click on the image to view more information on its painting page.

There are many thousands of pins on the map – too many to show clearly. Pins that are close together are grouped into ‘clusters’, signified as larger orange circles . The larger the cluster, the more paintings it contains. When you click on a cluster the map zooms in to that area, and where possible, the cluster breaks up into smaller clusters or pins.

When a cluster can not be broken up any further (because all of its paintings are pinned to the exact same location), clicking on it will show previews of its entire set of images along a carousel

Moving around the map

Use the + and – symbols on the top right to zoom in and out. Click and drag your cursor to move around.

Or, use the location search box in the top left corner.

Type a place name or postcode, then choose from the list of suggestions. The map will zoom in on the location you select. Note, that you will be taken to the selected location regardless of whether there are any paintings pinned there!

The layer selector

The layer selector on the top left of the page allows the style of the mapping surface to be toggled between ‘Basic’, ‘Satellite’ and ‘Physical’. This allows for paintings to be viewed in their context according to cities and streets, an aerial or topographic view. This is a new feature so have a play and tell us what you think!

Restricting the number of pins

Rather than viewing all paintings on the map at once, it is now possible to restrict your view to a given set of search terms (via the ‘see results on a map’ button on the keyword search page).

When a restricted view of the map is being displayed, the active search is displayed along the top of the map.

If you would like to then modify the active search, or remove it entirely, you must do so on the keyword search page (via the ‘to map search’ button)

Unknown locations

We have been unable to find specific locations for some images and for these you may see pins placed generically. Others (such as botanical pictures) do not depict an exact place and are pinned to the geographic center of the representative area.


The location search works best if you use modern place names. If you only know the historical name of a place you might want to use our search feature instead.

Some monuments and buildings have moved over the years. For example, Cleopatra’s Needle was brought to London from Alexandria in 1877. We try to assign locations according to where the artist made the work. So, pictures of Cleopatra’s Needle from before 1877 will be located to Alexandria, but later images will be located to London.

If you’re struggling to find images of the place you’re interested in, try using our keyword search page instead. You may find relevant images that we have not been able to locate yet. If you do, please let us know!