OS MAPS HELP CENTRE

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Maps & Locations

With a premium subscription you can access topographic mapping covering the following countries

  • UK (England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland)
  • Australia (coverage in certain states may be limited)
  • New Zealand
  • USA

We are expanding our coverage of topographic mapping on a regular basis so check back for updates.

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Paths and tracks displayed on standard mapping are not necessarily rights of way and should not be taken as evidence as to the existence of a right of way. Please follow local signage and access restrictions at all times. 

Public rights of way are displayed on Premium Topo maps, taken from Ordnance Survey's 1:25k (OS Explorer) and 1:50k (OS Landranger) maps. These have been taken from local authority definitive maps and later amendments, but are subject to change and may not be clearly defined on the ground. Please check with the relevant local authority for the latest information.

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Our 'Places' feature is available for Great Britain and can be accessed from using the 'Places' icon on the right hand side of the main map screen.

From here you can turn on 'Places' and select the features you would like to see. Any that are visible in the area currently being displayed will show as symbols on the map.

When there are several close together, they will appear as a cluster with a number instead of a symbol which show the number of individual places. Zoom in until it displays individual points, or click on the cluster to see more details.

If there are no places within that category visible you may need to zoom out a little or move the map to a new area. 

You can use the 'Places' feature in any map type, including 3D mode.

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If you want to explore locations via the map screen, you can do so by panning across the map and zooming in/out.

On web, simply click and drag the mouse to pan across the map and use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in/out. You'll also find the zoom bar on the right hand side of the screen.

On mobile app, swipe left/right & up/down to navigate around the map. You can zoom in/out by using two fingers to pinch the map.

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Tap or click the 'find my location' button (the crosshair symbol found in the bottom right corner of the main map screen on both mobile app & web) to show your current location, you can also tap/click this button again to stop the map centring on your location.

This feature uses your devices GPS signal (if available on mobile device) or location data from your Internet Service Provider (web) to find your location as accurately as possible. You may need to allow OS Maps to access your location settings via a pop-up or through your device's settings.

When following a route via the mobile app, you can also allow location access at all times which will follow your location even if you close the mobile app or turn off the screen on your device.  

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You can search for specific locations in the search bar, located at the top centre of mobile app screen and top left corner on web. 

You can search here for cities, towns, villages, postcodes, grid references (GB only) or latitudes & longitudes (globally).

When searching for place names, you will be given automated suggestions as you type. When you have found your searched location, simply select the search result and your map will automatically centre on that place/point with options on various functions that can be performed next.

If there is no exact match for your search, the search tool will match to the next best result. If there is no near match for the place you have entered please check your spelling and try again.

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You can share your location from the OS Maps mobile app only, to let other people know where you are.

Press and hold on the map at the point you wish to share. Select 'Share' and choose from your installed mobile apps to share the location as a link.

This link can be opened by anyone, even if they do not have OS Maps.

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You can find grid refs (GB only) or latitude & longitude (rest of world) by right clicking on the map (web) or tapping and holding your finger on the screen (mobile app).

On web, click 'more info' to get additional details about a location including altitude and current weather conditions.

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Standard Maps (free for all users)

  • Standard Map: Free, simle street-view mapping
  • Aerial Map: Reference location and terrain in greater detail with aerial imagery
  • Greenspace Overlay: Easily identify parks and other local greenspaces
  • National Cycle Network: Explore the UK-wide network of dedicated cycle paths

Premium Maps (available with subscription only)

  • Premium Topo Maps: The most detailed mapping for outdoor activities. Ordnance Survey's 1:25k (OS Explorer), 1:50K (OS Landranger) and 1:250k (OS Road) map types. 
  • National Park Pathways: Shows all public rights of way within National Park

Coverage for standard and aerial mapping is available globally, meaning you can explore all countries across the world and use the various route planning tools, plus 3D mapping on these map types.

Premium Topo maps are currently available for Great Britain, Australia & New Zealand. We are increasing our coverage for Topographic mapping so check back regularly for further updates.

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You can access the different map types by selecting the 'Map Types' icon (stacked squares symbol) in the bottom right corner of both web & mobile app versions of OS Maps. 

Here you will be able to see all the available map types, and overlays that you can use.

Click or tap on the preferred map type and/or overlay to see a preview on screen, when you've found the right map, click/tap the 'X' to return to the main map screen with your chosen map type.

Some map types & overlays including Premium Topo and National Park Pathways overlay are only available to premium users.

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When logging into OS Maps or starting a new session you will start with a default view and map type. 

These preferences can be changed through OS Maps web.

  • Navigate to the main menu Menu (top left corner, ☰ symbol) > Preferences > Initial Map View
  • Here you can amend Initial Map View
    • Country Overview - the default zoomed out view
    • My Current Location - your location (requires permission access to your location)
    • A Specific Location - search for a particular location you'd like shown

You can also change the Initial Map Type

  • Standard - the default, street level mapping
  • Aerial - high resolution aerial imagery
  • Premium Topo - our OS Leisure mapping, or local equivalent (available to premium users only)

Once you're happy with the chosen options, click Save and your preferences will be remembered the next time you start a session or login.

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You can find the available map legends within the main menu of OS Maps on web & mobile app.

Select: Menu (top left corner, ☰ symbol) > Map Legends

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The compass feature is available in the OS Maps mobile app, and can be found under 'My Preferences' in the main menu. Tap the 'Show Compass' slider to choose whether to have it displayed on the main map screen. You can also show/hide the compass by double tapping on the crosshair symbol on the main map screen.

The compass will show you which direction you are facing, useful to make sure you're heading the right way and cross-checking your location/route on a paper map.

Note - OS Maps uses your devices built-in compass. If your device does not have a built in compass, then it will show on the map screen, but won't change as you move your device. 

Occassionaly, the compass arrow may stop showing your direction of travel. This can generally be resolved by recalibrating your built-in compass. This should be done regularly to ensure the compass is as accurate as possible.

In iOS, use the built-in compass calibration system by turning it on and triggering calibration at

  • Settings > Privacy >Location Services > System Services > Compass Calibration

In Android, you can download a compass calibration app, or with the AR mode open, wave the device around in a figure-eight for around 30 seconds to improve accuracy.

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The mapping data used comes from a number of suppliers - please contact the relevant organisation as below if you find an error.

Standard & Aerial Map 

Premium Topo Map

National Cycle Network

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The weather forecast information will show weather conditions for a place at the current time. OS Maps does not currently provide information for future weather forecasts.

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