OS MapFinder for Android - FAQs

OS Mapfinder on Google Play Store

Also see the FAQs for OS Mapfinder on iOS (Apple) and Amazon Kindle devices.



The MapFinder app has been replaced by OS Maps - our award-winning app with all of the same features as Mapfinder and much more. Learn more about OS Maps.

You can continue to use The MapFinder, however we’ll no longer be supporting it.

Can I transfer my purchases from The MapFinder to OS Maps?

Contact our team for information about how to migrate from The MapFinder to OS Maps, by phone on 03454 56 04 20 or via email at customerservices@os.uk. We can ensure you receive the equivalent area of mapping purchased in The Mapfinder to OS Maps.

Are you still developing The MapFinder app?

You can still use and download The Mapfinder, however we will no longer be updating it. For the best mapping experience, we recommend using OS Maps because it receives regular updates with new features and stability improvements. Please see OS Maps for more information.


Which devices does the app work on?

OS MapFinder will also work on most smartphone and tablet devices running Android 4.0.3 and higher. Please check compatibility for your specific handset on the Google play store. New devices running Android are released all the time, so if you come across a compatibility issue, please let us know.


Current Known Issues

No known issues at the moment. If you come across a bug, please contact us, or use the built in reporting tools.



Q1: Can I throw out all my paper maps now?

No. We don't recommend that at all. Ordnance Survey recommends that users of this app, and any mapping apps, also carry a paper map with them as a back up when out and about, in case the device runs out of power.


Q2: How can I buy a map tile?

A: To buy a map tile, select 'Buy maps' from the application menu. Once in purchase mode, press the button on the tile that you wish to buy. OS Landranger maps are indicated by the pink text and OS Explorer Maps are indicated by the orange text.


Q3: Where can I view the list of map tiles and map bundles I have purchased?

A: You can view your purchased map tiles and map bundles by selecting 'My maps' from the application menu.


Q3.1: How do I view my purchased mapping?

A: To view the mapping once you have downloaded an area, navigate to the "View map" section from the menu in the top left hand corner and zoom in to the area in question using a pinch out/pinch in gesture. The mapping should fade in once you have zoomed in far enough.


Q4: How can I record a route?

A: To record a route, tap the 'Record trail' option in the main menu and then press the circular red 'record' button. To record a route you must have location services enabled and available. You can enable location services under your general device settings screen. Please note a route cannot be recorded without location services enabled. 

Whilst recording is active a red dot shows against that option in the Menu list.  

At the end of route recording, go back to “Record trail” on the Menu and select 'Save'. The save icon is top right of screen – look for a floppy disk symbol. You then get the option to add a photo. If you don’t wish to do so, hit save again to bypass the photo option and enter the route name, then tap once more to save it. Save as a new name (such as by using the date) to prevent it over-writing any existing route of the same name.

You can also record while following a pre-planned route. Start recording, then find the trail from 'View Trails' to follow it. Switch back to 'Record Trail' to stop the recording, and choose whether to save. If you delete the route ensure you delete it from 'Record', not 'View' so as not to lose your planned route.


Q5: How can I plan a route?

A: To plan a route; select 'Plan trail' from the menu. You do not require location services to plan a route. Plan your route by placing points on the map, to place a point simply tap on the map. Whilst planning your route, you will see an estimation for the walking duration.


Q6: How does the application estimate the duration of my planned route?

A: For walking, we calculate the time based on a speed of 5km per hour. We are ignoring the type of terrain and the elevation of the route, so please take into account the type of walk you are planning and treat the estimate as a rough guide only.


Q7: How do I add a picture to my route?

A: When saving a recorded or planned route you can add a picture from your device gallery or (if available) take a photo with your device camera. You can edit this picture by selecting the saved route in the 'View trails' screen.


Q8: How do I rate the app?

A: Please rate the application through the Google Play Store


Q9: What is the difference between OS Landranger Map(1:50 000 scale) and OS Explorer Map(1:25 000 scale) tiles?

A: OS Explorer Map is 1:25 000 scale and is the most detailed of Ordnance Survey's leisure maps. It is ideal for walking, hiking and cycling. OS Landranger Map is 1:50 000 scale and shows a larger area, but with less detail.

OS Explorer Map

For detailed navigation when walking, hiking, cycling and running the OS Explorer Map series is ideal. The 1:25 000 scale (4 cm to 1 km, 2½ inches to 1 mile) shows national trails, recreational paths, picnic areas, viewpoints and selected places of interest. In addition, there's rights of way information for England and Wales.

OS Landranger Map

For planning day trips and getting to know an area, OS Landranger Maps are perfect. This 1 50 000 scale, (2 cm to 1 km, 1¼ inches to 1 mile) all purpose map is just what you need if you want to get the most out of your trips.


Q10: How do I save and share routes?

A: When you record or plan a new route you will be asked to save the route. You can personalise your routes by adding a name and image. You can now share routes and export GPX files in this version of the application.


Q11: Can I use 3G and Wi-Fi to download my maps?

A: Yes, you can download maps using either Wi-Fi or your data connection. WARNING - Downloading maps requires a lot of data. Each map tile, which represents 10km x 10km, can be several megabytes.


Q12: Why is my map not downloading?

A: Please check that you have a working Internet connection before downloading a map tile. If you have an Internet connection please ensure that you have sufficient data allowance to complete the download.


Q13: Which devices does this application support?

A: We support devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (Version 4.0.3) and above.


Q14: How can I provide feedback or report any issues on the application?

A: Visit the Help & Support sub-section of the app, which is under the About section, or visit the URL below to contact us.


Q15: Why is my location not being picked up?

A: Location Services allows location-based apps to use information from cellular, Wi-Fi¹, and Global Positioning System (GPS)² networks to determine your approximate location.

  • Please ensure that your Location Services are turned on: Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

Improving GPS accuracy

GPS accuracy varies depending on the number of visible GPS satellites. Locating all visible satellites can take several minutes, with accuracy gradually increasing over time. Use these tips to improve GPS accuracy:

  • Ensure the date, time, and time zone are correctly set on the device in Settings > General > Date & Time. If possible, use Set Automatically. Important: Incorrect settings on your computer can sync to your device. Verify the date, time, and time zone on any computer that syncs with your device.
  • Restart your device.
  • Verify that you have a cellular or Wi-Fi network connection. This allows the Assisted GPS (A-GPS) on the device to locate visible GPS satellites faster, in addition to providing initial location information using the Wi-Fi or cellular networks. Note: Microcells (sometimes called Femtocells) are not supported with Location Services.
  • Maintain a clear view of the horizon in several directions. Keep in mind that walls, vehicle roofs, tall buildings, mountains, and other obstructions can block line of sight to GPS satellites. When this occurs, your device will automatically use Wi-Fi or cellular networks to determine your position, until the GPS satellites are visible again.

Crowd-sourced Wi-Fi and cellular Location Services

If Location Services is on, your device will periodically send the geo-tagged locations of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers in an anonymous and encrypted form to Google, to augment Google's crowd-sourced database of Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower locations. In addition, if you are traveling (for example, in a car) and Location Services is on, a GPS-enabled Google device will also periodically send GPS locations and travel speed information in an anonymous and encrypted form to Google, to be used for building up Google's crowd-sourced road traffic database. The crowd-sourced location data gathered by Google does not personally identify you.


Q16: How do you read a map anyway, and what's a grid reference?

A: Map reading guides and map legends

Q17: Where can I get more detailed FAQs

A: Keep up to date with the app keep following us on Facebook/Twitter and sign up to our newsletter to make sure you receive information on OS MapFinder.


Q18: Why are some map tiles coloured in the purchase section?

A: Tiles are coloured if they have been purchased previously.

  • Orange tiles indicates that the OS Explorer Map tile has been purchased.
  • Pink tiles indicates that the OS Landranger Map tile has been purchased.
  • Green tiles indicates that both OS Explorer Map; OS Landranger Map tiles have been purchased for that 10km x 10km.
  • After purchasing install the mapping, then select Menu – View Map to remove the coloured overlay. Zoom in using a pinch out/in movement. The detailed purchases will fade in.


Q19: How can I download purchased tiles to my other Android devices?

A: Map tiles, once purchased through your Google account can be downloaded onto all devices registered to that account (i.e. if you purchase on your Android phone you don't have to repurchase on your Android tablet). To do this, simply follow the following steps:

  • Step 1: Go to the 'My maps' section via the menu.
  • Step 2: Tap the 'Sync' button.
  • Alternatively, if you hit the buy button on a tile and go through the purchase process, Google knows if you have previously paid for that tile and you won't be charged again.


Q20: How can I import GPX routes' files into my OS MapFinder application?

A: Users can either import GPX routes' files directly from an email attachment or a web link.

  • Step 1: Click on either the GPX file or GPX url link you wish to import into OS MapFinder.
  • Step 2: Click the share option located in the top right corner of the opened window.
  • Step 3: Select the OS MapFinder icon.


Alternatively if you receive a GPX file via email you can import it by holding down the GPX file in your email. This will popup a window allowing you to select the open in OS MapFinder icon.


Q21: How do I share a route?

A: To share a route:

  • Step 1: Select the 'View trails' option from the OS MapFinder menu bar.
  • Step 2: Select the route you which to share.
  • Step 3: Select the 'options' button, and then select 'Share' in the menu that appears.
  • Step 4: Select the service you wish to share to from the sharing menu.


You can also Export a route as a GPX file by selecting Export GPX from the sharing menu.


Q22: How do I import a route into OS getamap

A: To import a route into OS getamap from OS MapFinder:

  • Step 1: Export the route from OS MapFinder using the Export GPX feature.
  • Step 2: This allows you to email the route out of the app. You then access your email on your computer and download it from there.
  • Step 3: Use the Import a Route tool in OS getamap, locate the route you just downloaded from email and click Open.


Q23: Can I move OS MapFinder or my purchased map tiles to the SD card for my device?

A: No. The app itself is always stored on the device, but the map tiles by default are stored on the SD card. There is no option to store the app on the SD card or move files. The mapping is coded only to work within OS MapFinder. You can remove purchased map tiles using the “delete” function in My Maps to free up space on your device, then download them again when needed. The purchases remain linked to your Google Play account so the system remembers you have already bought them.


Q24: If I switch platforms from Android to Apple can I still load my purchases on my new device?

A: You cannot sync to restore purchases cross platform. The accounts are tied to the relevant Google Play and iTunes accounts and these are not interchangeable. In the same way as when you buy PC Software you cannot use it on a Mac.


Q25: As an overseas customer can I download OS MapFinder? What functionality will I have if I want to purchase mapping and plan routes in advance of visiting Great Britain?

A: You can download OS MapFinder, purchase detailed map tiles and use the app to plan your routes but will not have full functionality (such as route recording) until you visit Great Britain.


Q26 Can I sync purchases between my Google Android device and my Android tablet which is an Amazon Kindle?

A: You cannot sync purchases between these accounts. They are separate accounts administered by Amazon and Google respectively. Your purchases always remain tied to the account originally used to make them.


New features

How do I keep up to date with new app features?

To keep up to date with the app keep following us on Facebook/Twitter and sign up to our newsletter to make sure you receive information on OS MapFinder. New releases will be published in the Play store.


About this app

Ordnance Survey maintains Great Britain's definitive digital mapping database and we wanted to offer our customers the chance to enjoy high quality (660dpi) mapping on their Android devices. This app offers our users the opportunity to buy high-resolution maps on their Android devices via Google Play in app purchasing service. You can buy either OS Landranger Map tiles (1:50 000 scale) or OS Explorer Map tiles (1:25 000 scale). Once downloaded, you can enjoy and use the maps online and offline.

Additional data in this app is sourced by third parties, including public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0. Whilst we have endeavoured to ensure that the information in this product is accurate, we cannot guarantee that it is free from errors and omissions, in particular in relation to information sourced by third parties.

WGS84 (World Geodetic System) is used for the latitude and longitude figures displayed on the app.

Public rights of way shown on Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 scale mapping have been taken from local authority definitive maps and later amendments. Rights of way are liable to change and may not be clearly defined on the ground. Please check with the relevant local authority for the latest information. Please note that the representation on Ordnance Survey 1: 25 000 scale mapping of any other road, track or path is no evidence of the existence of a right of way.

Other public access

The exact nature of the public access routes shown on Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 scale mapping and the existence of any restrictions may be checked with the local highway authority. The alignments shown are based on the best information available.

Ordnance Survey © copyright
Be sure to take a look at our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy