2016 will be the first ever National Map Reading Week run by Ordnance Survey (OS). The week has been launched to encourage people to understand the importance of map reading to help them stay safe when exploring Great Britain.
Latest research shows that map reading is becoming a skill which many people no longer hold. Results from the recent survey showed that nearly 40% of people struggled to pinpoint London and only 14% could accurately plot Edinburgh’s location. However, on a more positive note the survey found that 86% of people felt they had a fairly good sense of direction, and more than half claimed their knowledge of geographical locations of Britain is ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, said: “Map reading, whether on paper or digital, is an important skill which we should all have. At OS we are passionate about making the outdoors enjoyable, accessible and above all safe. We want to make sure that people are using maps to their full potential and using them to find new exciting adventures. It is also key that people know how to use a map when they get into difficulty.”
Over the last year, Mountain Rescue teams across Great Britain have been reporting a rise in people getting into difficulty. It is believed that poor preparation is a key contributory factor to the rise in incidents.
Nick added: “It is great that as a nation we are getting outside more but we must remember that there are parts of Great Britain which require preparation and experience. It is vital that we all take time to plan our adventures, from checking weather conditions to selecting the correct footwear, and choosing the right map to informing friends and family where you are going.
“We hope that the new National Map Reading Week will raise the profile of this important life skill and encourage people to polish up their map reading skills. Learning how to read a map can be fun and will open up a world of adventures! Through basic map reading people can plot new routes and experience the best Great Britain has to offer.
“One simple tip would be to get to grips with your OS map symbols as these could be valuable points to visit on any adventure!”
For more information on National Map Reading Week visit os.uk/nmrw. The website includes resources for all ages such as tips and advice for map reading and a series of map reading videos from adventurer and TV presenter Steve Backshall.
The website also includes a new online map reading quiz to help sort the nation's ‘Map Legends’ from those who are ‘Completely Lost’. To see where you rank on the map reading scale visit os.uk/nmrw.
Notes to Editors
About Ordnance Survey
Britain’s mapping agency, Ordnance Survey makes the most up-to-date and accurate digital and paper maps of the country. Each day OS makes over 10,000 changes to its database of more than 500 million geographic features. Since 1791 OS content has been used to help governments, companies and individuals work more effectively both here and around the world. The information OS gathers helps keep the nation, economy and infrastructure moving. www.os.uk/about/