OS will offer a digital download for smartphones and other electronic devices

OS will offer a digital download for smartphones and other electronic devices

Britain’s official mapping agency is to offer digital downloads with its paper maps.

Although sales of Ordnance Survey paper maps rose for the first time in a decade last year, the Government-owned company says it will offer electronic versions to customers who buy its popular leisure products.

The download will be included in the price of the paper map and will cover the same area. The digital version will be compatible with iOS and Android operating systems.

OS said it will also be able to plan and plot routes on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and data will be stored on the gadgets, for use whether there is a mobile data signal or not.

Nick Giles, managing director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says: “Maps are the guide to the outdoors, the ideal tool for adventure and discovery.

“Feedback from customers showed that more and more people are using maps on their tablets and smartphones to navigate, despite some of these digital maps being less than ideal for finding paths and tracks in the countryside.

“OS maps give an unparalleled level of detail and are the definitive guide for any budding or seasoned explorer. For safety reasons we always recommend anyone exploring the outdoors carries a paper map, so it made absolute sense for us to combine both paper and digital formats, to give people what they want with the security of having paper, and the added functions our digital map offers should open up greater possibilities for further adventure.”

All 607 OS maps will be redesigned over the coming 12 months, with the Outdoor Leisure series available from 10 June, along with digital downloads.

grough, which is a commercial partner of OS, will continue to offer its own feature-packed mapping and route planning system, which has been designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts.

It is planning a major upgrade of the system, with extra features and new mapping and imagery, the first redesign for a number of years.

grough route has been designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind

grough route has been designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind

grough route, which is available for a year’s subscription or for shorter periods, currently offers OS mapping at 1:25,000, 1:50,000 and 1:250,000, along with OS StreetView and OS VectorMap District.

The system allows walkers and cyclists to create routes in the comfort of their homes, print them out on OS mapping and take them on their trips into the great outdoors.

grough route can also be used to create route cards and can be customised to accommodate different walking speeds over various terrain types, Naismith’s rule variations and can also import and export GPS tracklogs.

Subscribers can choose whether they share their routes with others or keep them private. grough route users have access to thousands of routes created and made public by other users.

Subscriptions to the system start at just £5 for 30 days; a year’s subscription costs £19.50, equivalent to just over 5p a day. A free five-day trial is also available.

Details are on the grough route page.

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