Do you have what it takes to become a #GetOutside champion? Along with our ambassadors, endurance adventurer Sean Conway and Everest climber Bonita Norris, can you inspire others to get outside and get active?
We recruited a fantastic bunch of champions for 2016 and they’ve been busy inspiring more of us to explore Britain (and beyond) and championing their #GetOutside adventures. From running the length of Great Britain, to paddleboarding the length of England’s waterways, they’ve taken on some amazing challenges. But it’s not all about extreme adventures. It can be championing a family adventure and getting kids active, or taking your dog along on your next archaeology trail walk. Have a slow adventure and cycle along the South West Coast Path. Take someone new to bag a trig pillar and enjoy your favourite route. However you #GetOutside, we want your enthusiasm to shine through.
You may have heard that we teamed up with publishers Laurence King to release a new book, The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain. And it’s out today!
One year on from our release of a series of downloadable colouring-in maps created using OS OpenData, comes a full book of OS maps to colour. The book will take you on an immersive colouring-in journey around Great Britain, from the coasts and forests to the towns and countryside. Expect to see iconic cities, recognisable tourist spots and historical locations across England, Scotland and Wales via the 55 illustrations. It also includes a stunning gatefold of London.
We recently collaborated with YHA to create a stunning new display for their Youth Hostel in Castleton. The display offers visitors a variety of routes to help them #GetOutside and explore the stunning countryside that surrounds the hostel.
At the centre of the display is a large 3D contour map of the area which contains some topographic detail and local points of interest. There are six routes shown on the map using coloured pins and string which makes for a really striking, tactile display.
Hands up if you’d like a chance to top up your navigation skills! For the first time we’re holding a National Map Reading Week to help you stay safe when you #GetOutside. From 17-23 October, there will be map reading workshops and a host of fantastic resources, from videos to handy guides, readily available on our site.
Why are we holding a National Map Reading Week?
We always want you to stay safe when you’re out and about exploring Britain, but news stories over the summer talking about an increase in Mountain Rescue callouts started us thinking. While we still sell 1.9 million paper maps each year, we know more and more people rely on GPS devices and apps to navigate, we even have our own app, OS Maps. But – for safety reasons, we would always recommend carrying a paper map, a compass, and knowing how to navigate. It really could be a life-saver.
We have genuinely loved seeing all of the fantastic trig pillar photos that you’ve been sharing with us as we celebrate the 80th year of the trig. Across Twitter and Instagram you’ve sent in an amazing 1,656 entries of trigs across Britain. We highly recommend going and checking some of the entries out.
Our final winners have been picked and all of our T-shirts have now been given away. Check out the final winners below, and see all of the winners in our blog post.
Hands up if you’re looking for some free family activities over the summer holidays? We thought so…how about a spot of trig bagging to get the family outside? This year we’ve been celebrating the 80th anniversary of the trig pillar, those concrete pillars that are often found at the top of hills and create a handy photo opportunity.
Once a key part of our surveying network, and since superseded by GNSS, they stand tall and mark the summit of many a walk. With around 6,000 still standing around Britain you stand a fair chance of spotting one when you’re out exploring, and you can spot them on your map as the small blue triangle with a dot in the centre.
It’s not every day that we hear from one of our Licensed Partners that they’re about to appear on Dragon’s Den, pitching their map product to the panel. But David Overton of SplashMaps did just that, and we caught up with him last week, ahead of the broadcast. David couldn’t tell us the outcome at the time, but if you watched last night you’ll know that he put in a strong pitch, but sadly didn’t receive any funding. Find out more about SplashMaps and our Partner programme from David…
If you haven’t come across us before, SplashMaps makes wearable, washable, all-weather printed maps that can be customised for any part of Britain, and beyond. We set up in December 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign to fund the idea and used OS OpenData to print the first wearable maps of Britain’s National Parks.
Former Geovation Challenge winners Mission:Explore are launching a new book to coincide with National Parks Week. The new adventure book is packed with challenges for children to try out, perfect to encourage the family to #GetOutside with Mission:Explore and explore Britain’s 15 National Parks.
Mission:Explore National Parks is a collaboration with National Parks UK that challenges children and their families to become extreme explorers, natural navigators and wildlife watchers. Each member of the National Park UK family is a unique place, suited for discovery, curiosity and creativity – ideal to #GetOutside and explore.
There are 49 weird and wonderful missions to tackle, ranging from eating like a local to creating puddle maps or navigating by the stars. We caught up with #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall recently and put him to the challenge, take a look:
We often talk about safety tips to help you #GetOutside in the winter, but there are some equally important things to think about for summer safety in the great outdoors. More of us are inspired to explore in the summer, and particularly with our families over the summer holidays, so follow these summer safety tips from #GetOutside champion Steve Backshall to keep safe when you’re out and about.
Most of us are reliant on a GPS in our day to day life – whether it’s following the reassuring voice directing us around a traffic jam or grabbing our phone for a quick check that we’re walking in the right direction in a new city. Many now rely solely on GPS for navigating in the hills too. But what happens when GPS fails? It’s something that walkers near Benbecula are likely to experience next month…
Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system owned by the US government. GPS was originally intended for military use, but in the 1980s the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS will work in most weather (although space weather can impact – see our previous blog on solar flares), across the world, 24/7. Something that we all benefit from today.
However, the military can (and do) jam GPS signals for their own priorities, such as military exercises. The communications watchdog Ofcom issued a warning recently about GPS jamming due to take place for periods between 1 and 29 July while aircraft crews train over a military range on Benbecula. In these circumstances, would you be able to navigate?