Two-tier online planner gives free 1:50,000 OS mapping plus access to international maps too at a price.
Satmap, makers of the impressive Active 10 outdoors-specific GPS unit, has launched a two-tiered, online route-planning, mapping and sharing site complete with worldwide mapping, aerial photography, detailed international topographical maps alongside Ordnance Survey mapping.
Satmap says that the site offers quick and easy to use route planning and sharing options. It is, the company says, one of the the most highly featured online planners out there and can be used 'on almost any computer with internet access.'
It's a logical development for the brand - which previously offered a paid-for online route planning service to Satmap owners - given that more and more free route-planning sites are emerging.
Key features include a split screen route planning option allowing side-by-side views of the same area in different format and zoom levels, so you could, for example, use one view for map-based planning, while running an aerial photographic screen in the other. Additionally the 'full screen' mode uses the entire monitor. And there's a 'snap to road' option for effective road route planning. Both those, however, are only available as part of the paid-for £30 per year premium service - the OS planning site has a similar two-tier system.
Once created, route files can be saved and stored online and downloaded in GPX format for use with GPS units and other mapping software. You can also upload GPX files from other sources and modify them. In addition, premium users can add points of interest - POIs - and mark lines or areas to delineate property boundaries, obstacles or danger zones.
There's also a search function which is compatible with post codes, places or even particular shops, it says here. And you can print off route cards, elevation charts and so on.
Free and Premium Versions
In addition to the free version of Xpedition, there's also a paid-for Xpedition Premium, which, it says here 'offers full functionality and access to the international topographical mapping'. Anyone who's a subscriber to Satmap's existing Online Route Planner will get a free one-year subscription to the premium service and new purchasers of Active 10 units, a three-month free trial. Otherwise the cost is £30 per year.
The premium service gives access to 1:25,000 OS mapping - only the 1:50,000 scale is free - along with internationl maps and the more interesting advanced features of the site plus the full screen view.
Interesting stuff. Xpedition is based on Microsoft's Bing Map platform, which comprises road and aerial mapping, with additional OS 1:50,000 Landranger and 1:25,000 Explorer layers for the whole of Great Britain. In addition, there's a growing range of high quality international maps including coverage of the Alps.
You can find the Satmap Xpedition web site at www.satmap-xpedition.com. For more details about the system and what's included and not in the free and premium versions see www.satmap-xpedition.com/Home/About.
We'd love to have a proper play with the system right now, but we don't have time.