National Map Reading Week

16 - 22 October 2017

Whether you would like to improve your own skills, or are a parent or teacher leading the next generation, during National Map Reading Week we will be providing help and support with all kinds of map reading and navigation.

Being able to read a map is a hugely useful skill. Understanding how a flat piece of paper can show the real world helps improve spatial awareness in children, and is a critical life skill for adults.

As part of National Map Reading Week you can find information, ideas and activities to boost your abilities, whatever your age or knowledge.

National Map Reading Week

Challenge yourself: want to see how good your map reading and geography skills are? Try our quiz and see!

Map reading week events

Discover local map reading events and training courses with our big list and get advice from expert navigators.

Map reading week articles

The #GetOutside map reading section helps you learn map reading skills, from complete beginners to advanced navigation.

Map reading educational resources

For parents and teachers, our Education Resources have project ideas and teaching aids, as well as the fun MapZone games section.

Map reading videos with Steve Backshall

Watch map reading videos with adventurer and TV presenter Steve Backshall, covering everything from choosing the right map to using a compass to navigate.

Map reading leaflet download PDF

Download our free map reading leaflets: Map reading - beginners to advanced for adults or teenagers and Map reading made easy for children. Print or save on your phone as a handy reference!

OS Maps

View maps for all of Britain in a choice of scales, plot a route or discover thousands of pre-planned routes from other users with OS Maps, our web and app based mapping system.

"Being able to read a map is a fundamental life skill and the basis of all outdoor activities. In 2016 we will be supporting National Map Reading Week to encourage everyone to improve their map-reading skills!"

Jonathan Elder, Ordnance Survey

Map reading guides with Steve Backshall

This is a Youtube playlist - use the control in the top right to select a video, or watch all of them.

If you would like to get involved in organising a map reading workshop or would like any other help, please get in touch at


View all #GetOutside Guides