Tag

map reading

21
Sep
2016
1

National Map Reading Week coming in October

logo-small-landscapeHands 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. Read More

14
Jun
2016
2

When GPS fails…could you navigate with a paper map and compass?

OS Maps app

OS Maps app

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? Read More

1
Apr
2016
1

Stay safe and brush up on your map reading skills

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

Read More

3
Dec
2015
1

Map reading skills: What is magnetic north?

Mag_diagram_Eng_GMT

Magnetic North is on the move

The final part of our six-week blog series on map reading skills, focuses on magnetic north. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

 

Hear what Steve has to say about magnetic north in this short video: Read More

26
Nov
2015
12

Map reading skills: How to use a compass

SBNav2Week five in our six-week blog series on map reading skills, focuses on the compass. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

So far we’ve covered which OS map you needunderstanding map symbols and making sense of contour lines and how to read a grid reference. Today we’re covering the compass. Next week, our final blog in the series will cover:

  • Understanding magnetic north

Each week we’ll share Steve’s video with you, give a summary in the blog and point you in the right direction of further resources and details. Hear what Steve has to say about knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing in these two short videos: Read More

19
Nov
2015
32

Map reading skills: How to read a grid reference

On week four in our six-week blog series on map reading skills, we’re taking a look at how to read a grid reference. Map reading is an essential skill for any explorer or outdoor enthusiast. We’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall to record a series of videos to remind you of the basics and help you feel confident with your map.

SBNav5

So far we’ve covered which OS map you needunderstanding map symbols and making sense of contour lines. Today we’re covering grid references, both four-figure and six-figure version. Over the next fortnight we’ll also cover:

  • Knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing
  • Understanding magnetic north

Each week we’ll share Steve’s video with you, give a summary in the blog and point you in the right direction of further resources and details. Hear what Steve has to say about grid references in these two short videos: Read More

6
Nov
2015
2

New map reading workshops in 2015

If our blog series on map reading skills has whetted your appetite, why not sign up for a map reading workshop? We’ve teamed up with Cotswold Outdoor for the 2015 series and they are hosting 10 sessions at their stores in December.

SBNav5

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. Read More

29
Oct
2015
3

Map reading skills: Which OS map do I need?

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 #GetOutside to explore the Great British countryside, we’ve teamed up with Steve Backshall and recorded a series of videos. They take you through the basics step by step and we’ll be showcasing Steve’s top tips to help you feel confident with your map.

Which OS map do I need?

Over the next six weeks we’ll cover:

  • Which map is right for you
  • Understanding map symbols
  • Making sense of contour lines
  • How to read a grid reference, both four-figure and six-figure versions
  • Knowing your compass and how to take a compass bearing
  • Understanding magnetic north

Read More

12
Aug
2015
1

Is map reading a forgotten skill?

SBNav5Before we released our new map reading videos with Steve Backshall, we carried out a survey on traditional skills. Out of 2,000 Brits surveyed, we found that map reading is the traditional skill that people think is in most danger of dying out, as people rely on sat-nav to get them from A to B instead. Other outdoors skills that are falling by the wayside include using a compass, building a fire from scratch, tying knots and identifying wildlife.

When we shared the story, covered by the Mail Online, on our Facebook page it sparked quite a debate. Some people still see map reading as a vital skill, while others think that we need to move with the times and accept the increasing reliance on technology. Read More