Free and inexpensive sources
Seasons greetings to you as well.
I believe the Duke of Edinburgh's Award are about to (if they havent already) launch an on-line mapping/route plotting system - OK, it is for participants, supervisors and assesors and not the general public, but might be worth mentioning as so many of us are associated with DoE as well.
Memory Map & Anquet are avaliable offline - the online services seem to be just that?
Personnally I use Mapyx Quo as it's possible to buy just the small chunks you need & their bundles are also reasonably priced.
OS Getamap is fine to use current maps all the time but i find it very clanky and frankly total pants compared to a free-standing package like anquet (and i prefer tracklogs by far over anquet).
Quo maps are cheap until you start to get a lot of mapping. For large sections there is not much in it between Quo and other offerings. e.g. the south east in 25k below the m25 is pretty much the same whatever you choose and differences will come down to what software you prefer to use. 40x40km on quo is £36 and £50 on tracklogs. 80x80 on quo is £145 and £146 on tracklogs.
given that a paper map is generally 20x20 the digital costs aren't that too far away.
This isn't quite what you're asking for Hugh, but may be new to you and of interest.
Geology of Britain viewer
Rosswm wrote (see)
Used Quo for a good few years, printing the maps to PDF & printing out on A3 Laser.
I wasn't aware of the online services mentioned until very recently. I still prefer Quo as its not internet dependent for route planning & it's great for planning full screen on a big monitor. Plus I just got an Endurance GPS unit that runs Quo & shares the maps with the PC.
As far as I can see with the online services I can transfer the route to my GPS but not the maps.
Supports been good for me - phone & email although the responses via their forum aren't that fast.
I've seen critism of the software not being intuitive but I never had any intuition with regard to mapping software anyway & had only dabbled with Memory Map as a trial so had no real preconceptions how it should be used. If I can't figure out what I need to do pretty quickly, google or the help files have always provided the answer.
The only time I find it slow is if I use the option to zoom out while keeeping the 1:50K or 1:25K maps on view instead of the program switching to the background 'roadmaps' - but they warn you about that being demanding resource wise (not an option on hand-held)
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