We’ve recently launched our OS Photofit competition, giving you the chance to see your photos on the latest covers of our paper map ranges.
Today, we are launching a brand new competition for 2015 – OS Photofit – and we can’t wait for budding photographers across Britain to get involved!
To support our recent brand refresh and in light of the revival in sales of our paper maps, we are looking for inspiring photographs of Britain’s stunning rural and urban landscapes to take pride of place on the covers of our paper maps for some of the most popular tourist destinations and biggest cities across Great Britain.
Whether it’s flowing rivers, modern buildings, views of a valley or life in the city, we want to show that Great Britain is a beautiful place to enjoy and explore. What better way to do this than on the front covers of our iconic OS Explorer Outdoor Leisure series maps!
To introduce myself briefly, my name’s Dominic and I’m a member of the team that manages the OS website. Landscape photography is one of my passions outside work and I suspect that it’s one shared by many of you here who enjoy the great outdoors. I took my first blurry shots at about the age of 10 on a second-hand Kodak instamatic camera that took 126 film. My first SLR followed in the late 90’s and I went digital in 2006, whereupon the number of photos I took increased exponentially. In this post, I’d like to share with you three ways in which maps help me as a photographer.
1 Deciding where to shoot
With summer now well upon us, my thoughts are turning to weekends away and longer holidays. There are many parts of Great Britain that I have yet to explore – as you’ll see below – and so I’d turn to a regional map to explore ideas in more detail. I also search sites like 500px.comand flickr.com to browse through shots that other people have posted to identify landmarks I’d be interested in shooting in areas I don’t yet know.
You may have read articles in the media recently which reported that Ordnance Survey is to end its policy of routinely producing maps that cover the whole country. This is simply not true.
We would like to stress that this statement is wholly inaccurate and that we are committed to maintaining a national series of paper maps for both OS Explorer and OS Landranger maps. Paper maps are used by millions of outdoor enthusiasts every year enabling people to explore and enjoy Great Britain. Our paper products remain an important part of Ordnance Survey with nearly 2 million sold over the last year. Users will continue to be able to purchase paper maps covering the whole of Great Britain from many outlets, including our own online Map Shop.
If the idea of unique or bespoke mapping appeals to you then no doubt you’ll already be well aware of our OS Explorer Map – Custom Made and OS Landranger Map – Custom Made range. These new products, launched earlier this year, allow you to site-centre your map on any location in Great Britain. They have proven to be a huge hit, with nearly 12 000 people ordering their own personal mapping of Great Britain.
Our custom-made maps are unique, because you can put your favourite spot (such as your house, your favourite hiking route, the best local pub or your walking group’s meeting place) at the centre. This fact hasn’t been lost on accommodation owners, such as those running bed-and-breakfasts and campsites. They understand that their visitors want to find out what’s on offer in the local area and of course Ordnance Survey maps show every landmark you might want to visit, from walking trails to castles. The interest we’ve had from the accommodation trade shows us that personalised mapping isn’t just a great gift idea.
I’m told by my colleagues in the customer service team that one of the most common questions we’re asked is ‘how often do you update your paper maps?’
It’s a very good question.
But there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer. The frequency depends on a combination of factors, the primary one being the amount of change that needs to be applied to the map since it was previously revised.
The popularity of the sheet is also a factor. A map covering an area popular with vistors such as the Lake District would take priority over a less-popular area, providing of course, that changes have occurred that would be important to the users – new footpaths, roads and a visitor centre for example.
The OS Landranger map is well loved by all outdoor enthusiasts. Its history, as the leisure map to use for planning days out and activities extends back many years and several generations have relied upon on ‘the pink map’ for their active pursuits.