Which map scale would suit you best?

HD-Great-Britain-Maps-lrOrdnance Survey (OS) is the mapping agency of Great Britain, providing detailed high quality maps of the country. First established in 1791, the Ordnance Survey eventually mapped Great Britain at a scale of one inch to the mile. Drawn on a larger scale than the final printed maps – two inches or six inches to the mile – these old maps show incredible detail.

In 1854 a scale of 25 inches was initiated, and by the end of the 1800s all cultivated areas were mapped at this scale, which showed every building in outline ground plan to a high standard of accuracy.

In our technologically advanced age, Memory-Map was the first company to licence OS map data to produce digital maps for outdoor recreation and their OS Landranger 1:50,000 and OS Explorer 1:25,000 maps look identical to the printed Ordnance Survey versions.

The main difference between the two map products is scale – the number of times that you would need to magnify the map for it to be the same size as the real world; or the number of times that the real world has been reduced in size to become the map.

OS Explorer (1:25k) Mapping

The OS Explorer Map is at 1:25000 scale (so 4cm on the map equals 1km in the real world). It shows great detail of the area the map is covering including footpaths, rights of way, open access land and the vegetation on the land. This is the map you would use for your outdoor activities such as walking, horse riding and off-road cycling.

OS Landranger (1:50k) Mapping

The OS Landranger Map is at 1:50000 scale (so 2cm on the map equals 1km in the real world). The map covers a larger area than the OS Explorer Map, but not in as much detail. You’ll still find footpaths, rights of way and some tourist information features on the map. While some of the detail is lost, such as open access land on this map – it is still possible to use it when out walking for navigation with your compass. This is the map you would use for days out or short breaks and even road cycling as a larger area is covered.

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.

If you’re a history-buff, Memory-Map also have a complete selection of historical Ordnance Survey maps available for use across multi-platforms, either in singular packages or combined.

11 thoughts on “Which map scale would suit you best?

  1. I have the 1:50,000 MM maps for Scotland on my PC. If also getting the 1:25,000 maps can these be run simultaneously on the Memory Map set-up?

    1. It depends on your age of Memory-Map Landranger 1:50k if they can be run within the new V6 software that comes with the 2016 mapping. Pre-encryption mapping will require an additional licence (ie 2010 maps or earlier) but Memory-Map maps purchased where you were required to activate your mapping online will be compatible without needing the extra licence.

    1. Memory-Map Landranger mapping is ideal for use on a bicycle and motorcycle in preference to the Explorer mapping as the map doesn’t update across the GPS screen as quickly as the Explorer. You don’t mention which GPS you have so I cannot comment on the compatibility but you can download a free trial from our website to check this. As part of the free trial you can also download small sections of mapping to see if you think that Memory-Map will be suitable for your requirements.

  2. For a walker, perhaps the most useful feature of 1:25k maps is field boundaries which help pinpoint where you are along a right-of-way.

    1. The feedback from our many customers who use Memory-Map for walking and hiking is that the Explorer scale is superior to the Landranger scale due to the field boundaries in the Explorer.

    1. At the moment your position will appear on the mapping as a red dot if you have a GPS fix and you can also click on the map to get your grid coordinates. We have a wish list on our website for customer requests so please pop this on there for processing to our software writers.

  3. In answer to Roger’s question, yes MM can cope with having both OS maps available for the same region. You simply scale in and out to move between them (and others such as the road maps or Streetview). On the PC this is made simple via scale in and scale out buttons, but on the Android App I find it more of a fiddle because you can pinch zoom several times before successfully changing map scale.

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