Which map is right for me?

Have you ever stood there in front of the display of Ordnance Survey maps and wondered which one was right for you – do I want the OS Explorer Map (aka the “orange” one) or do I want the OS Landranger Map (aka the “pink” one)? Which one is right for me? Today on the Ordnance Survey blog we aim to answer that question for you.

We’ve been working with Simon King to produce a number of map reading films – here’s what Simon has to say about choosing the right map for your chosen leisure activity.

So then – to recap on what Simon has said …

The main difference between the two map is scale – but what is scale? Scale is the number of times that you would need to magnify the map for it to be the same size as the real world 0r the number of times that the real world has been reduced in size to become the map. So when we’re looking at the OS Explorer Map (1: 25 000 scale) it means that 1cm on the map is 25 000cm (or 250m) in the real world.

The OS Explorer Map (the orange one) – is at 1: 25 000 scale (so 4cm on the map equals 1km in the real world). It shows great detail of the area the map is covering including footpaths, rights of way, open access land and the vegetation on the land (such as the bracken that Simon was sitting in!). This is the map that you’d use for your outdoor activities such as walking, horse riding and off-road cycling.

The OS Landranger Map (the pink one) – is at 1: 50 000 scale (so 2cm on the map equals 1km in the real world). The map will cover a larger area that the OS Explorer Map but not in as much detail. You’ll still find footpaths, rights of way and some tourist information features on the map. Whilst you do loose some of the detail such as open access land on this map – it is still possible to use it when out walking for navigation with your compass. This is the map they you’d use for days out or short breaks and even road cycling as a larger area is covered.

In addition to the standard paper maps – you can also do weatherproof versions – look out for OS Explorer Map – Active and OS Landranger Map – Active. They offer the same detail as their paper map cousins – but are encapsulated meaning that they are durable in wet weather. You can also mark your route on the map and wipe it clean afterwards.

Do you have a preference to which type of Ordnance Survey map you use? Which one do you use for your chosen outdoor leisure activity and why?

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