Confirmation on changes to latitude and longitude shown on our paper maps

Back in September we asked you to tell us your thoughts on proposed changes to the way we show latitude and longitude on our paper maps (currently as shown below). .. and the results are in!


Thank you to the 710 of you who completed the short survey (plus those of you commenting here on the blog) for taking the time to consider the question and let us know your thoughts. An overwhelming majority of respondents supported the proposed change (combining the answers saying it would improve or make no difference to their use of OS paper maps).

Based on our own investigations and your views, we now intend to make this change to our paper maps over the next 12 months. Any new maps using the new overlay for latitude and longitude will clearly state this.

For the vast majority of paper map users (88% in the survey) who use  grid references to determine your location, you will notice no difference, as there will be no change to the National Grid  system. The 23% of you who reference your location using GPS coordinates should see an improvement as we align to the most common datum basis for satellite navigation devices.  20% of you said you used latitude and longitude to identify your position and you will be using the new overlay. Analysis of the comments made by those respondents believing it would make their map experience worse identified a small percentage who had concerns specifically relating to the graticule overlay change, amounting to less than 1% of the total respondents. We do acknowledge those concerns, but feel the wider benefits it brings, make the change worthwhile.

As we update our maps, we will make sure that the change to the overlay is clearly signposted, so that you know which version you are using. And again – National Grid will remain constant throughout the change process and most users, navigating by grid reference and compass, will not notice a change to the maps they are using.

Thank you again for helping us develop and improve our maps for the future.

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3 Responses

  1. Brian.

    I have difficulty entering a grid reference on a point on a OS explorer map on to my Garmin GPS 64 I can find the grid GPS coordinates of where I am but I am having trouble inserting coordinates of where I am going to
    For example a place on my map says Temple hill I can find the os grid reference for it on the map but can’t find GPS coordinates I for it have the settings on my GPS unit set to ordnance survey and datum British grid But the unit is asking for five figures I do not know how to convert os grid reference to
    Gps coordinates as they have either got a four figure or six figure grid reference
    I am very new to GPS and map reading although I am out walking in the hills all the time but in my own area so I have never really needed a map or GPS when out but would like to travel further a field
    Hope you can help with this
    Thanks Brian h

    1. Jocelyn

      Brian, thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately the 64 is over six years old now so it may be quite limited on how you can enter the coordinates.
      The following link has info about altering position format: https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=Ene3bU4hvd4wAFwrFlfUb8
      This page will provide information on how to manually enter a waypoint co-ordinate on a GPS: https://www.lowergear.com/how_to_use_gps-enter_coordinate
      If these pages don’t help, we’d recommend contacting Garmin support directly for advice on using the device: https://support.garmin.com/en-GB/
      Hope this helps, Jocelyn

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