If you’re a regular blog reader, it will be no surprise to hear us talking about safety. We launched National Map Reading Week last year and talk about safety tips every single year. So you can imagine how dismayed we were to read this:
When you also know that Mountain Rescue England & Wales (MREW) attended 1,812 callouts last year, up 170 on 2015, and that 500 of those callouts were avoidable, and reasons include people getting lost…then you can see why we keep talking about safety.
We’ve teamed up with MREW to make the great outdoors more enjoyable, accessible and safe for all, by encouraging everyone to be more mindful and better prepared when heading outside. Why? Because MREW’s 2016 callout figures showed incidents to be up for the fourth year running. And our own survey of 2,000 outdoors enthusiasts revealed 76% of British recreational walkers and hikers do not properly plan their route or what to pack in preparation of their walk/hike.
Our talented Craft Club created the fantastic Great British Craftography Map, and it’s currently up for auction to raise money for Solent Mind, our corporate charity. The crafty individuals recreated the Ordnance Survey National Grid into a 2.2m by 1.2m wall hanging with the 91 tiles showcasing 16 different craft techniques. Each tile represents a notable subject from the area covered – it could be a geographical feature, a well-known landmark, a local food, or even a craft or material associated with the area.
Just for fun, we have a #CraftographyMap quiz to test your knowledge of Britain. We’ve picked ten of the crafty tiles – can you tell us which areas of Britain they represent? Bonus points if you know the corresponding National Grid tile reference too…
Guest blog by our Licensed Partner, A-Z Maps
A-Z Maps has been chosen as the official mapping partner to produce maps for the National Trails of England and Wales. There are 16 long distance paths that are official National Trails, covering some of the most stunning parts of the country. The official National Trail maps will be produced using the iconic OS 1:25,000 mapping data, familiar with those who have used the OS Explorer maps.
A-Z Adventure Series
A-Z has worked closely with OS for many years and the A-Z Adventure Series has been one of the successes of this partnership. The Adventure Series contains the detailed OS mapping, so loved by walkers and outdoor enthusiasts, in a convenient book format with an index to places of interest, towns, villages and features.
We relaunched our iconic road map series last September after a seven-year hiatus. The eight map sheets covering the whole of Great Britain were back by popular demand and it seems some of you are loving the bridge theme on the covers. Jo got in touch with our Customer Services team to ask about the bridge covers, so we thought we’d give you a quick run-down.
Looking ahead to New Year’s Resolutions for 2017? Trying to decide how to work off those Christmas calories? How about walking? Getting outside and walking in Britain is free, easy and accessible to most of us.
We’ve already seen 2016 prove to be a big year for the outdoor enthusiast with the nation either donning their running shoes or walking boots to #GetOutside.
With the year coming to an end we’ve taken a look back at the most popular destinations searched by walkers on our popular OS Maps online service. An amazing 1.4 million destination searches were carried out via our online version of OS Maps in 2016. So, where were people hoping to explore?
With just over two weeks to go until Christmas, we started thinking about our favourite Christmas place names around Great Britain. Take a look and let us know of any others we should add to the list…
From Cold Christmas (Hertfordshire) and Christmas Cross (Shropshire) to Holly Green (Worcestershire) and Ivy Tree (Cumbria), there are places scattered across the country where it feels like Christmas all year round – even if only in name.
It’s December, so we feel safe mentioning the ‘C’ word and sharing our 5 favourite Christmas gifts for the map lover in your life. Grab some inspiration here:
1. The Great British Colouring Map: A Colouring Journey Around Britain
Relax this Christmas and take an immersive colouring trip across the country, from coasts and forests to our iconic cities and landmarks. The latest addition to the colouring-in craze puts the intricate detail our maps on the page, ready for you either restore them to their original colour scheme – or add your own abstract creative touch! Practice some mindfulness and colour in or simply pore over the maps: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/great-british-colouring-book.html
2. OS Custom Made
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then one of our Custom Made maps tells a story. You can put your memories – where you were born, where you met, where you live –at the centre of one of our maps. You can choose a folded map at OS Explorer or OS Landranger map scale, add your own photo and title and centre it wherever you like. Or pick a unique flat map that can be framed and hung on the wall – still with your own title and centred where you choose. For the first time this year, we’re also offering a canvas version for you to hang on your wall. Custom Made map prices start at £16.99, take a look: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/custom-made-maps.html
3. OS clothing collection
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.