If our blog series on map reading skills whetted your appetite, why not sign up for a map reading workshop this summer? We’ve teamed up with Cotswold Outdoor and they’re hosting 15 sessions at stores across Britain.
The workshops are free to attend and are delivered by Ordnance Survey experts, one of our talented field team will present at each session. The workshops are aimed at beginners and we want you to leave with the confidence to enjoy exploring the outdoors with a map and compass.
Psst…did you know you could access OS Maps for free with our seven-day trial? We’re celebrating the full release of our multi-platform map service by giving you the chance to try it out and access maps for the whole of Great Britain.
If you haven’t heard of it before, OS Maps gives casual walkers, ramblers, runners, cyclists, mountaineers and other outdoor adventurers a way to plan and discover Britain. The free app includes our standard and aerial mapping to plot routes on, but with an annual subscription you can unlock a range of extra features – and try them for free for seven days in our trial.
Guest blog by OS Running Club Chairman Baz Newman
The Lordshill 10k has been going for quite a few years now and is put on by the Lordshill Road Runners running club but for the past three years it has been run from OS head office.
The race is a 10,000 metre route from OS, out into Nursling and then onto Lee before coming back on yourself and running through Nursling and coming down Redbridge Lane to the finish at the OS flagpole.
First things first, a massive thank you to everyone who has joined in with our #TrigPillar80 celebrations over the last week or so. We’ve been thrilled that so many of you share our loved and appreciation for the trig pillar, and particularly with the hundreds of people who have shared their favourite trig pillar photos with us on Twitter and Instagram so far.
If you missed it last week, catch up on our celebrations, find out about the inner workings of a trig pillar, read about how we survey today, meet Britain’s top trig-bagger, and try out some trig pillar routes recommended by our #GetOutside champions.
But now it’s time to announce the first four winners of our #TrigPillar80 T-shirts…
Week eighteen #TrigPillar80 T-shirt winners – 22/08/16
Adventure Awaits, and its often cold, wet and windy… ☔🌁 #ascendancyapparel #isleofskye #trigpillar80 #skiesoverskye #canoncamera #wanderfolk #exploremore #hikingandhappiness #isleofskyeofficial #backpacking #travelling #photographerlifestyle #visitbritain #scotland #ig_explorer #hikingadventures #digitaledit #britishproblems
A photo posted by Zak Smith (@zak_t_yak) on
— CornishWalker (@jimpy368) August 21, 2016
— Joanne Davey (@JdaveyDavey) August 19, 2016
— Daron linney (@hillwalker66) August 18, 2016
Week seventeen #TrigPillar80 T-shirt winners – 15/08/16
— Kate Somervail (@bluebunkle) August 8, 2016
— Chris Sweetman (@ChrisAFRIN) August 8, 2016
A photo posted by Raspberry Thief (@raspberrythief) on
Because it’s #trigpointwednesday, right @northbound_driftwood?! Mini diversion from the North Downs Way to visit this one on Sunday. . . . #trigpillar80 #neverstopexploring #neverstoplondon #itrainfor #maxyourdays #trailrunning #squadgoals #totem #marathontraining #northdownsway #ndw #getoutside #gooutside #outdoorwomenuk #outdoorwomen
A photo posted by Jen Slater (@eclecticcake) on
Week sixteen #TrigPillar80 T-shirt winners – 08/08/16
In case you missed it, we’ve been celebrating #TrigPillar80 this week, marking 80 years since the lovely trig pillar was first used to help us map out Britain. Although we no longer need the trig pillar to map the country, now using newer technology, the trig pillar remains as a British icon, guiding the way for explorers of the great outdoors.
#GetOutside and bag a trig pillar
The trig pillar can now be seen in many a photo, showcasing the British countryside and marking the high point of a walk. We asked our #GetOutside champions whether they had a favourite trig pillar to bag when out walking, fell-running and cycling and they came up trumps with some real beauties. From the wonderfully named Doughnot Hill in Scotland, to the Isle of Man to Dartmoor, our champions picked their best spot to bag a trig.
While there are many trig-baggers out there, trig-bagger extraordinaire Rob Woodall completed his 13-year mission to bag all of Britain’s trig pillars last weekend in Fife.
He’s bagged 6,190 trig pillars in that period, a seriously impressive achievement. We joined his final trig-bagging expedition to Benarty Hill and awarded him a mounted flush bracket to mark the moment.
Back in January we advertised our 2016 map trade-in scheme, encouraging you to return your old and out-dated maps to us and in return, our Map Shop sent out vouchers for money off any new map purchases. It was a phenomenal success – and our Customer Service team are still processing returns – but we think we’ll have received around 35,000 maps! That compares to 10,000 returned in a similar scheme in 2014.
We knew that outdoors enthusiasts could build up impressive collections of OS maps (did you see the chap on the Timeshift documentary last year with thousands of maps?), but we have been overwhelmed with the number being returned.
If the onset of Spring, or even the Easter holidays are making you want to #GetOutside more, make sure you brush up on your map reading skills first.
Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast, but can seem really daunting if you haven’t looked at an OS map since your Geography GCSE. To help you to get the most out of your map, and to explore the British countryside, we teamed up with Steve Backshall for a series of videos. They take you through the basics of map reading step by step to help you feel confident with your map.
Watch the full video playlist on map reading skills here:
More map reading advice
When we heard from Steve Morley at the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust last year and he told us about his Kent2 Challenge, we knew we had to be involved in some way. Steve is the Property Asset Manager at the charity and had a fantastic fundraising idea, to run, cycle or walk across, or into, every kilometre grid square within the County of Kent by the end of 2016.
Since launching our OS Mars map a few weeks ago, we’ve had interest from far and wide. We’ve heard from map lovers and space fans in their droves, but we didn’t expect to hear from a world-record holding Olympian. American decathlete Ashton Eaton was inspired to enter the competition to design a map symbol for Mars. Ashton tells us how curiosity and the desire to explore have helped drive his athletic success.
My life has been defined by athletics, so far. However it has been governed by something else; curiosity. Since I can remember I’ve had the involuntary urge to know “what’s over there?” In my younger years the daily foray into the backyard or neighboring woods was enough to satisfy the urge. But as we grow, so do our appetites. I hungered for greater undiscovered things. Around the same time I began to realize that there was so much stuff out in the world; so much to know. Since then I’ve wanted to know everything! “Why?” and “How?” sit in my mind like twin Jabba the Hut’s constantly wanting to be fed and entertained. They are only satiated by the low-error, high-scrutiny, no artificial solutions diet that is science. My natural tendencies led me to fall in love with exploration and science!