Digital mapping

Free and inexpensive sources

13 messages
20/12/2011 at 12:50
I'm trying to compile a list of free and inexpensive sources of Ordnance Survey-based digital mapping as an alternative to the expensive products marketed by companies such as MemoryMap, Anquet etc.

I'm aware of two subscription services:
Ordnance Survey Getamap

Route Grough

and one free service (donations accepted):

Are there any others?

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year


20/12/2011 at 13:03
20/12/2011 at 13:35
I think it would be worth mentioning Viewranger also, ok its not free, but if you already have a compatible phone it is relatively inexpensive, and you can just buy the areas you need as and when you need them.  Now they have a pretty good online route planning set up too, which is very good.
20/12/2011 at 16:54

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.

20/12/2011 at 18:23
You can get good OS based 1:50000 and 1:25000 from Streetmap by going through this link. If you're running e.g. Quo at 1:50000 you can type in the grid ref in the link and get the same area in 1:25000. The map appears in a new window. It's printable.
20/12/2011 at 23:52

Though you need to register for 1:25k maps and their 1:50k map is a composite of OS (vector map district I think?) and Open street map footpaths.

Also I'm not sure the subscription services are that much cheaper than the offline products if you only need 1:50k maps or only need maps for a limited area. (eg OS Getamap £30 a year vs Anquet are currently selling 1:50k maps of the UK for £62) I think Grough route may have conditions on how many pages you can print etc
21/12/2011 at 07:18
+1 on Walk Highlands for 1:25,000.
21/12/2011 at 12:29
Thanks for the information, chaps!

I should have specified that I was only interested in country-wide digital mapping. Indeed, I was not aware that there are websites that just cover specific regions.

Has anyone experience of using Quo? The software is free but then you have to buy the maps which appear to be cheap. I'm not sure how this would work out if, like me, you are likely to want maps anywhere from Cornwall to Caithness.

My annual subscription to Grough costs approximately £20.00 for which I get a service that covers virtually all my requirements. I've never yet exceeded my print-out allowance and, in any case, I can buy additional credits for a very modest price.

I also use Wheresthepath? for the Google Earth aerial imagery linked to the OS map. This can be helpful, for example, when I need to establish that there still is a bridge over a particular stream. Also, as I'm interested in landscape history, I like comparing the modern map against the pre-war OS maps available on the site. I send a donation from time to time to express my appreciation. Which reminds me...

21/12/2011 at 13:35

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.

21/12/2011 at 13:49

This isn't quite what you're asking for Hugh, but may be new to you and of interest.

Geology of Britain viewer

21/12/2011 at 14:14
Rosswm wrote (see)

Personnally I use Mapyx Quo as it's possible to buy just the small chunks you need & their bundles are also reasonably priced.

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.

21/12/2011 at 14:15
I have Quo. I bought some mapping, but overall I wasn't impressed. I found it slow and clunky, with very poor support. That was some time back and may have changed.
21/12/2011 at 14:30

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)

Edited: 21/12/2011 at 14:31
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