New pages

New and improved pages on the
European Petrol Road Map Web Site

The webmaster's blog...

Coming Next..

For the reasons below, updates to this site will be more intermittent in future; I do still have a backlog of interesting maps and images to add, and the gradual introduction of larger images has reached a running total of over 300.

I am still working on the Road Map Collectors Association Petroleum Map Catalog for maps from North America, adding updates as they become available. It contains all known US issuers, arranged by brand then age, showing sections produced and the cartographer.

I have also started on academic research into the design of road maps, including showing how (and when) service stations are depicted on road maps. This will reduce time available for the non-academic map pages, I fear, but should ultimately feed through into more, or better, information on this site too. However it does mean that the possible pages on Australian maps are likely to be delayed further - paper copies of the articles are available in the quarterly magazine of the Automobilia Collectors Club of Australia (ACCA). Due to lower numbers of maps, I may yet be able to add sub-Saharan African pages, which would probably group countries, rather than taking a brand-led approach, but there's a big uncertainty about the prevalence of maps from the last 30 years or so - have the new entrants to the main markets (which have often displaced Shell, BP, Mobil, Caltex/Texaco or Total) issued maps at all? It's known that more than one company produced street atlases for Zimbabwean cities. If you can help me by providing scans (or actual maps!) from names such as AP, Goil, Kenol/Kobil, NNPC, OandO, Oilibya, Oryx and Puma, as well as Engen outside of its home base of South Africa, then please send me an e-mail.

Now on line:

36 Portuguese maps in a set from Auto-Gazo dated 1918
Very few oil companies issued maps before 1920, but the Portuguese subsidiary of the Vacuum Oil Co., Auto-Gazo, was a notable exception. A 1915 map has been shown on the site for many years, but a set of 36 sheet maps in a leatherette folder dated 1918 has now been discovered.
As with most recent updates enlarged images of a number of other maps have been added to the page. (Updated 21 November 2020)

A camping map of Norway sponsored by Shell
Shell and Esso both worked with the Norwegian tourist authorities by providing or sponsoring maps for general distribution. A 1970 camping map, sponsored by Shell, has now been added to the site. (Updated 23 October 2020)

The Cork City Holiday Information Folder
This leaflet, with two basic maps printed in an olive green colour, was sponsored by BP in the late 1960s. It is not known if BP sponsored any other "holiday information folders" in the Republic of Ireland. (Updated 20 September 2020)

A 1930 Aéro map of Reims
Aéro was a French regional marketer based at Reims in the Champagne region, that was absorbed into Total around 1960. Unusually, it produced branded maps both before and after the war - a third example has now been found, dated March 1930 and covering Reims (Sud) at a scale of 1:200,000. (Updated 2 September 2020)

A sectional map of Yugoslavia from INA
Until now, all known maps of Yugoslavia from the socialist era covered the entire country, irrespective of which of the national oil companies issued the map. A sectional map has now been discovered from INA, the Croatian national company, that mainly covers Slovenia with just a little of Croatia as well. (Updated 13 June 2020)

The 1980 Esso German map series
Around 1980, Esso revamped its sectional maps of Germany, placing them into card covers and increasing the scale slightly, while leaving them essentially unchanged cartographically. The 1980-1 example of Sourtthern Germany is now showin, including a large extract from the map its self and the town plan of Bamberg. (Updated 7 June 2020)

A map sponsored by Total for the vicinity of the 1968 Winter Olympics
For may years this map has shown an Esso and a Total map produced for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. However a second map was also sponsored by Total, showing the area around the city as far North as Geneva. This has now been added to the site. (Updated 6 June 2020)

Esso maps of Berlin
Esso occasionally issued maps of Berlin, for distribution within the Western sector. Three examples are newly shown, dating from around 1952, 1957 and 1962 (only one has a copyright date), as well as a leaflet on Motoring to Berlin that was produced by the Esso Touring Service in Paris for visitors wish to cross the Soviet controlled Eastern Germany. (Updated 6 June 2020)

Updates to the Gasolin page
One problem with maintaining a large site as an amateur is that some pages gradually get out of date. There was nothing really wrong with the Gasolin page which was essentially unchanged since 2007; it showed most of the maps I wanted it to, and even if they lacked labels when you hover over, it was OK. So I have made some minor updates, added a couple more maps including the 1956 Hannover, a few enlargeable images and - for only the fourth time on this site - a fully zoomable and pannable image of a complete map: the 1956 Gasolin Panorama map 1. (Updated 19 April 2020)

Oliekompagniet Rhenania A/S (ORA)
ORA was an independent Danish petrol company that was acquired in 1960 by the German firm DEA, but the name was retained until the latter's acquisition by Texaco in 1966. A 1960s ORA map has now been discovered. While adding this to the site, I have also tidied up the DEA page, including adding 4 more images of Rheinpreussen maps. (Updated 13 April 2020)

Three Soviet era maps
Although the Soviet era downstream oil industry was split between local monopolies and leisure motoring was restricted, some road maps were issued that, inter alia, showed petrol stations. Three have now been added: a petrol station locator map of Moscow from 1976, a 1983 strip map showing routes from Moscow to Leningrad, and a 1974 strip map for a circular tour of Crimea's main tourist areas. (Updated 10 April 2020)

A Shopper's Guide to ASDA Stores & Petrol Stations
I have long thought that of the Big 4 UK supermarket chains - which together control over one-third of road fuel sales - ASDA was alone in never having issued a map of its petrol stations. Well, I was wrong, as an example from 1997 has now been found and added to this site. (Updated 4 April 2020)

Covers that don't match contents
When we buy a road map or atlas, we would normally expect the content to match what's shown on the cover. Unfortunately, a c2001 road atlas of Europe issued for the Czech subsidiary of Aral didn't. (Updated 28 March 2020)

A Shell sectional map from Denmark
Shell issued a surprising number of sectional maps of Denmark, but they are generally hard to find - an example from a series of three sections dating from around 1969 has now been added. (Updated 20 February 2020)

Shell street atlases (Stratenboeken) from the Netherlands
In 1983, when many companies were phasing out map programmes, Shell's Dutch operation was approached by an entrepreneur with a concept for a comprehensive street atlas of the country. Over the next 27 years this passed through over 50 editions, before finally being abandoned, unable to compete with GPS services. This new page looks at 5 of the various editions, including as an example the map of Leek from each, as well as a late rival atlas from BP. (Updated 19 February 2020)

A zoomable CIP map of NE France
As part of the academic research into petrol maps, I have been working with the Technical University of Delft () and we have scanned a number of maps, principally from the areas around the North Sea. For copyright reasons, maps since 1950 cannot be included on this website, but a small number of earlier maps will be added to this site over time. The first such map is a 1934 CIP map of Northeastern France; the entire map is included and can be zoomed down to a level equivalent to 300dpi. (Updated 19 February 2020)

Taking the car?
This slightly enigmatic title was used on Shell Touring Service maps of Europe produced for the UK market (specifically for Shellmex & BP Ltd, although they would only have been available at Shell-branded locations). Four slight variants of this map have now been found, although all are thought to date from 1959-60, so a scan of one has been added to the site. (Updated 10 February 2020)

A more recent Leclerc map
The latest map to be found from the E.Leclerc chain of hypermarkets and petrol stations in France is dated 1996. Like several earlier maps from the company, neither cover indicates that there is a map inside; instead both are given over to encourage reusing plastic carrier bags - a topic that has become fashionable again over 20 years later! (Updated 2 January 2020)

An earlier Pistoneeze map
John W Miller & Son marketed motor oils under the Pistoneeze brand, and occasionally gave away maps to customers. Although undated, by reference to its two-digit telephone number, the latest map added to the site is known to be the earliest, dating from either just before or just after the Second World War. (Updated 31 December 2019)

Cleveland cover variations
Esso's secondary brand, Cleveland, only started issuing sectional maps of Britain in 1967, just six years before the brand was abandoned. Checking for an apparent duplicate, I discovered that they issued two quite different maps of London dated 1967, and that the later design appears to have had a unique cover style not used on other sections. (Updated 31 December 2019)

A Mobil/Servicecard handy map of North England
Last year I discovered a 1986 Texaco Handy map of South (sic) England, produced in conjunction with NatWest Bank to promote the handful of Texaco service stations where NatWest's Servicecard could be used. This year a companion map of North England has emerged, but in collaboration with Mobil, not Texaco, and marking only the 14 Mobil stations in Sheffield. At least the new map is better folded!
(Updated 31 August 2019)

1986 Mobil/Servicecard map of North England

1986 Texaco/Servicecard map of South England

The Zoomable maps are back!
Maintaining an amateur website that started off in basic HTML code 20 years ago is not easy. In 2012 I added a couple of zoomable maps, using a service called, that soon afterwards was sold to Microsoft...and a couple of years later closed down. All the image files were supposedly passed to a open source collaborative group called Zoomhub, but the new system never actually converted my files. Well, finally, I have moved to a locally hosted solution called Zoomify. This isn't perfect and may not work with all browsers (it needs Flash) but the Luftbildkarte and Shell Bon Voyage gastronomic map can once again be seen at detail. Owing to no longer having an image stitching software, it's unlikely I'll add many more, especially while I still have a backlog of "new" maps to add. I have also added 15 larger images to the 1930s Standard/Esso Germany page while updating it. (Updated 31 August 2019)

A later Petrol Caltex atlas
Uniquely, the Chevron-Texaco joint venture used the "Petrol Caltex" branding in Italy. In the 1950s, it issued spiral bound atlases of the country at 1:650,000, and a later example, dating from around 1956, is now shown. This included 68 small town plans and was given away free in association with the launch of new Caltex motor oils. (Updated 20 February 2019)

More errors on maps
To start the new year, I have found a couple more South Coast errors. One is on an Esso atlas of Europe, produced by George Philip & Son that omits the built-up area of Poole in Dorset. The other is from a 1984 Mobil Deutschland und Europa atlas that show the town of Hythe as the main channel ferry port. (Updated 27 January 2019)

Esso Road Atlases from the United Kingdom
As the price of its sheet maps rose sharply after the 1973 oil crisis, Esso sold a number of hardback road atlases, with full colour printed board covers. Published regularly until a seventh edition in 1983, Esso then produced two further atlases, with different cartography in the early 1990s. A new page has been created charting these road atlases, including extracts of the maps themselves (of the area around thee Forth Road Bridge). (Updated 15 December 2018)

A joint Purfina, Goodyear and VAB map
Purfina did not issue its own maps in Belgium in the early 1950s, but instead collaborated with the Flemish Automobile Club, VAB and, on its 1954 issue, Goodyear tyres. (Updated 6 October 2018)

A Shell postcard map from Hungary
In the late 1960s, Hungary's New Economic model allowed limited joint ventures to be set up with selected European oil companies to operate service stations. Shell, with local partner Interag, produced a postcard showing its 10 locations in 1971. (Updated 23 August 2018)

An Oslo Tourist Board map with Mobil advert
Many Norwegian maps have carried adverts for a petrol or oil company, rather than being directly sponsored by the company. Mobil, in particular, has been a frequent advertiser, dating back to the 1930s when it only sold lubricants in the country. More recently, adverts have been found on the Oslo Tourist Board maps (in English), but it is only now that an Oslo map with Mobil advertising, dating from 1986 or 7, has been found. The advert included an oblique aerial view of the city, indicating the locations of most Mobil service stations.
As several larger images from adverts were also uploaded, this brings the number of larger ones to exactly 250. (Updated 10 August 2018)

French supermarkets with petrol
The scope of this website includes supermarkets or hypermarkets that sell fuel, usually under their own brand. this has been most common in France, with many chains selling petrol, and several very occasionally issuing maps. Three more examples have been added: a summer 1991 Leclerc map promoting tourist sites; a 1995 from Casino's hypermarket chain of Géant, showing places to cool down in hot weather, and a vanilla (but good quality) map dating from 1995 from Radar. (Updated 8 May 2018)

An older map of Luxembourg
Although a pre-war Standard map of Luxembourg is believed to exist, until now the earliest example shown dated from around 1960. A late 1940s Esso map of the country has now been added, featuring an unusual reversed logo. (Updated 8 May 2018)

Another example of errors on maps
It's hard for non-local cartographers to get unfamiliar place names correct, though when they start making multiple mistakes it does look like carelessness. Foldex managed at least 4 mistakes on the English side of the Channel on the 1967 map of NW France for Elf, including two on the Isle of Purbeck. (Updated 28 March 2018)

Four regional atlases of Germany by Aral
Aral have discontinued many of their sheet maps, presumably in response to falling sales of maps in general. however in 2014 they did repackage their regional maps at 1:200,000 into four regional atlases, and these are still on sale through service stations. The East German regional atlas is now shown ion this site; I have also added a further 10 large map images to this page. (Updated 22 March 2018)

Esso scenic maps of Belgium, Holland and Switzerland
I have made a major upgrade to this page, increasing the number of images from 13 to 22, and adding enlarged images for each map. This has completed the known scenic cover maps from 1950 to 1961 for the three countries, which meant adding a 1950 map of Switzerland, 1952 map of Belgium and 1955 and 1959 maps of the Netherlands. All the rear cover designs are shown for the Netherlands as well. (Updated 22 March 2018)

The final Purfina map?
Petrofina changed its brand name from Purfina to Fina at the end of the 1950s in those countries still using the older brand. this included its home market of Belgium, where the joint venture between the company and the USA's pure oil had started in the 1920s. A 1958 Purfina map of Belgium & Luxembourg has now been added to the site. (Updated 13 February 2018)

A Texaco handy map of South England
I have been collecting these maps for 25 years, but occasionally still find surprises. The latest is a 1986 Texaco Handy map of South (sic) England, produced in conjunction with NatWest Bank to promote the handful of Texaco service stations where NatWest's Servicecard could be used. (Updated 3 January 2018)

An unlikely location error - Trowbridge on the A5
Maps often contain small errors, and there's a page on this site devoted to them. One unlikely error has been added - a 1993 Mobil International Driver Directory located the Wiltshire town of Trowbridge on the A5 in Bedfordshire, where Hockliffe should be. (Updated 31 December 2017)

A generic 1930s Uniti map
Grey covered maps issued by members of the Uniti trade association are sometimes seen dating from the late 1930s. A plain covered map has now been found, presumably for use by very small members unable or unwilling to pay for customisation of the covers. (Updated 17 December 2017)

Klaus Salm
Klaus Salm was an independent German operator of filling stations that was acquired by Conoco (Jet) in 1971. A map from around 10 years before has been discovered, by Klaus Salm had just 11 filling stations. (Updated 17 December 2017)

BP stations in the Saar
Looking at a BP map of France dating from around 1960, I realised that it still marked all BP locations in the Saar, a leftover from the postwar period when the Saar was under French control. I have added this map and extract to the Saar page. (Updated 31 August 2017)

A 1933 Agip map of Italy
Until now, the only pre-war map from Agip came from North Africa, with the compnay preferring to advertise on other publishers' maps of Italy. however a dedicated 1933 map has now been found, carrying a very graphic rear cover. (Updated 23 April 2017)

Adverts for branded map racks
Petrol companies encouraged their dealers to sell maps as a service to their customers, but had to advertise the benefits of doing so using special branded maps racks. Two examples of adverts aimed at dealers have been added: from Esso in the 1960s and Mobil in 1982. (Updated 20 December 2016)

Overprinted BP maps - Kemwel
Kemwel specialises in arranging automobile rental for US visitors to Europe with local car hire firms. It overprinted a 1968 BP map of Europe for its customers. this has been put onto the top level BP page, alongside a slightly later BP map of Europe overprinted for Trafalgar Tours. (Updated 29 October 2016)

An Esso map of the Isle of Wight
Dealer sponsored maps are rare in Europe, and even rarer in the UK. However a late 1960s Esso map of the Isle of Wight, placing a local map from G Dean & Co into custom card covers has now been found. (Updated 21 October 2016)

A sectional map of the Commonwealth of Independent States
Continuing the Ukrainian theme, I have now added a 1994 Shell/Mairs (Marco Polo) sectional map of the Commonwealth of Independent States. This section, titled "GUS" (German for CIS), covers North and Central Ukraine, as well as most of Belarus and part of Western Russia. (Updated 19 October 2016)

Although I created a Crimea page after Russia's annexation, I had not updated the Ukraine page for several years. However the recent discovery by a friend of a 1969 Soviet era map from the state oil monopoly has prompted me to update the main Ukraine page, including adding several more images from OKKO maps issues in the 2005-7 period. As I lack a regular correspondent in the country, I have to admit to being unsure whether any oil company maps have been issued recently. (Updated 10 October 2016)

An A5 atlas from Maxol
Last year, the Irish company Maxol gave away an A5 atlas of Ireland, co-produced with the Irish Daily Mail, to customers who paid for a car wash. Despite being free, it was actually a high quality product with maps at 1:700,000 (about 11 miles to the inch). (Updated 8 October 2016)

Small atlases from Fleet Sales
In the 1950s, Fleet Sales Service Ltd marketed atlases of England & Wales and Great Britain with basic maps from Geographia Ltd. Among the companies that used their maps were the Leeds office of Shell-mex and BP Ltd, and United oil Co. (Stoke-on-Trent) Ltd. (Updated 4 September 2016)

Two more Italian Agip maps
Agip issued a variety of maps in its home country of Italy, often switching between cartographers and formats. I have added a 1966 small format "Vademecum" atlas by Corbellini, and a 1995 single sheet map of the country by A.C.I., the last known regular map issue. (Updated 1 September 2016)

1976 Texaco of the Netherlands
An earlier Texaco map of the Netherlands by Falkplan has been added; it uses a variation on the large Texaco sign above a country outline on green cover. I have taken advantage of this update to add a further 14 larger cover images for Texaco. (Updated 31 August 2016)

BP Bundesliga Service 78/79
In summer 1978 BP gave its customers in West Germany a free 52 page booklet called "Bundesliga Service 78/79" that included 18 pages of maps showing the location of the leading teams' football grounds. (Updated 21 July 2016)

Another Fina atlas of Great Britain
Although Fina sheet maps are quite uncommon, their atlases appear from time to time, and a fourth design from the period after the ending of the Pool has now been discovered. This is another hardback atlas with a cover price of 12/6d, making it unlikely that very many were ever sold. (Updated 17 July 2016)

A Chevron map of London & SE England
It had been assumed that Chevron never sold sectional or regional maps of the UK, instead selling single maps covering the whole country (or England and Wales). However a 1969 map of London and South East England has now been discovered. (Updated 7 June 2016)

An Agil map of Tunisia
The Italian company Agip sold fuel in Tunisia for a number of years, but in 1975 sold out to the Tunisian Government, and the name was replaced by Agil a couple of years later. Although it has long been assumed that Agil might have had maps, only now has one been rediscovered. (Updated 6 April 2016)

A 1990 German Shell map of Egypt
Shell co-branded road maps with its regular publisher, Mairs Geographischer Verlag of Stuttgart for many years; sometimes they carried also other Mairs group branding such as euro cart. These maps were widely sold through Shell filling stations in Germany, but also overseas through bookshops and occasionally in Shell's local service stations. I bought a German Shell/Mairs map of Romania in a filling station in Bucharest. I have recently found a German Shell/Mairs (euro cart) map of Egypt carrying an Egyptian price sticker; this may - or may not - have been sold in an Egyptian service station as it was published about the time that Shell re-entered the Egyptian market. (Updated 18 January 2016)

Top of Page

Latest Updates

Updates from 2015

Updates from 2014

Updates from 2013

Updates from 2012

Updates from 2011

Updates from 2010

Updates from 2009

Updates from 2008

Updates from 2007

Updates from 2006

Updates from 2005

Updates from 2004

Updates from 2003

Updates from 2002

Updates from 2001

Updates from 2000

Updates from 1999

Text, "new" icon and layout © Ian Byrne, 2004, 2016-20

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.