OS Landranger vs OS Explorer maps – selecting the right one for your journey

Ordnance Survey maps are detailed high quality maps of Great Britain and Memory-Map were the first company to licence OS map data to produce digital maps for outdoor recreation. The Memory-Map OS Landranger 1:50,000 and OS Explorer 1:25,000 maps look identical to the printed OS versions – but what are the main differences for users and what are the benefits of each?


The main difference between the two maps is scale; the number of times the map would need to be magnified for it to be actual size (or the number of times that the real world has been reduced in size to become the map).

OS Explorer maps are at 1:25,000 scale, which means every 4cm on the map equals 1km in the real world. These popular maps show great detail including footpaths, rights of way, open access land and even vegetation which is very useful for walking, running, horse riding and off-road cycling. They are an essential for longer or more complex walks or for those going off the beaten track. They’re valuable too when kayaking or climbing. The detail shows every house, public facility or point of interest and provides the tools you need to locate yourself as well as finding the nearest pub after a hard days walk!

OS Landranger maps cover a wider area with a scale of 1:50,000, meaning every 2cm on the map equals 1 km on the ground. Because they cover a larger area than the OS Explorer map, they’re handy for planning a day out over a broader area and for getting a good sense of where you are going. However they don’t contain as much detail as the OS Explorer range, and you lose things like open access land. Footpaths, rights of way and some tourist information still feature on the Landranger maps and they can still be used for walking but are really ideal for days when you are covering longer distances, especially if you are exploring by car or doing road cycling.

Using Memory-Map is the easiest and quickest way to get Ordnance Survey Explorer and Landranger maps onto your PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device; turning your mobile into an outdoor GPS to make navigation safer, easier and more fun.