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Routes

You can plan and plot your own routes via OS Maps on web & mobile app.

Web:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > Create Routes or by clicking the 'Create Routes' icon on the top tool bar
  • Select your activity type and start plotting your route by clicking on the map where you want your route to start
  • Continue plotting your route by clicking on the map where you want to add waypoints.
  • You can move waypoints by clicking on them, and dragging them to a new location
  • When you are finished plotting your route, click 'Save' and enter some details on your route to save it in 'My Routes'

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Create Routes or by tapping and holding on a specific location and selecting 'Plot new route'
  • Select your activity type and start plotting your route by tapping on the map where you want your route to start
  • Continue plotting your route by tapping on the map where you want to add waypoints
  • You can move waypoints by tapping on, and dragging them to a new location
  • When you are finished plotting your route, tap the 'Save' icon (red disk symbol on right side of screen) and enter some details on your route to save it in 'My Routes'

Routes are created either by connecting a series of straight lines, usually following roads, paths or tracks; or by automatically snapping to rights of way when using the snap to path feature. Snap-to-path is a tool which will help to plan routes more easily by automatically 'snapping' your route to available roads and paths, giving you the shortest possible distance between two waypoints.

Other route plotting features include:

  • Option to remove waypoints
  • Undo last action
  • Customise route style (line colour, thickness and transparency)

Once you have created your route, you can find it under 'My Routes' from the main menu on both web & mobile app platforms. From here you can see more information on your route and have the option to favourite, modify, start, export or delete your route.

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With previous route recording, many OS Maps users recorded a route so that they could keep track of how far they went. To make this a more intuitive process, we have updated the functionality to offer a true activity recorder.

For users who still want to create a route from activities they have recorded, we've kept this functionality but made it optional after recording. 

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Activities are private to you, they are a log of the different activities you have completed and where you've been. Recording your activities allows you to see more useful information like moving time and average speed. You can keep track of the activities you've completed in the 'My Activities' section, found within the Main Menu.

Routes are something that you follow, and can be shared with others if made public. You can create routes by using the 'Create a route' functionality, uploading a GPX file or by turning one of your activities into a route.

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You can create a route from your recording by

  • Navigate to main menu (☰ symbol) in the top left corner of the screen
  • Select 'My activities' and then select the activity you wish to create a route from
  • Tap on the options (3 dots in a circle) in the top right hand corner of screen.
  • Tap on 'Turn into a new route'
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You can add route distance markers when modifying a route in OS Maps web.

Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > My Routes.

Select the route for which you want to add distance markers and tick the 'Add distance markers to route' box (shown underneath the elevation profile). 

This will add distance markers to your route, showing every mile or km depending on the distance units you have selected under preferences.

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OS Maps features over 1.5 million ready-made routes from recommended route partners and other OS Maps users. You can find these routes on both web and mobile app versions of OS Maps.

Web: 
- Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > Find Routes or by clicking the 'Find Routes' icon on the top menu bar

Mobile App:
- Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Find routes or by tapping the 'Find Routes' icon (two dots connected by a line) on the left side of the map screen.

From the 'Find Routes' screen you will be given various filter options for the type of route you are looking for based on activty type, Recommended or All Routes, Distance or Time, Difficulty and Rating

- Adjust the filters according to your preferences and you will see matching routes  appear on the map (web). On the mobile app, tap 'Find Routes' at the bottom of the screen.

- Routes matching your criteria are shown as pins on the map. A purple dot represents a cluster of routes, zoom in or click/tap on a purple dot to see the individual routes in that area.

- Select your chosen route to see further route detail and options to favourite that route by adding it the 'My Routes' list. You can return to the main map screen and your route search results by clicking/tapping the 'X' in the corner of the route card.

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Recommended routes are those routes added by Ordnance Survey's outdoor route partners . There are over 100,000 Recommended routes currently available in OS Maps, provided by specialist outdoor organisations including outdoor magazines, outdoor industry groups, charitable associations, outdoor gear & apparel suppliers and many more.

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You can modify your own routes in OS Maps but it is not possible to modify routes created by other users or organisations, as they are the original route owner.

Web:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > My Routes
  • Select the route that you want to modify and then click 'Modify Route' on the left hand side of the route card

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes (shown under My Routes and Maps)
  • Tap the route you want to modify and then swipe up on the route card shown on the bottom of the screen
  • With the full route card visible, tap 'Modify Route'

When modifying a route you can move existing waypoints by clicking or tapping, holding and dragging it to a new position. If you have 'snap-to-path' turned on, the route will automatically re-route along available paths, tracks and roads.

You can also remove waypoints, extend your route by adding new waypoints, changing the appearance of the route and updating the route name and description.

When you've finished modifying your route, click or tap the save icon to save your changes.

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Snap to path is a tool which will help to plan routes more easily by automatically 'snapping' your route to available roads and paths, giving you the shortest possible distance between two waypoints.

Snap to path is available to premium users on the following map layers.

  • Standard & Aerial map layers - Globally
  • Premium Topo - GB National Parks only

To use 'snap-to-path' select your map type and begin to plot your route by clicking on the map to create waypoints. Your route will automatically snap to available roads and paths, giving you the shortest possible distance between one waypoint and the next.

There may be times when you want to follow a particular route, or avoid certain roads/paths. In this case you can turn 'snap-to-path' off by deselecting the 'Snap' feature, represented by the magnet icon, and you can continue to plot your route manually. Just click the magnet icon again to return to 'snap-to-path'.

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Yes, during route creation or when modifying a route. You can only modify your routes (not those created by others). 

You can move existing waypoints by selecting and dragging them to a new position. 

You can delete waypoints by selecting ‘Remove’ from the tool bar then select chosen waypoint. Switch back to ‘Plot’ to continue with route creation. You can also hit the ‘Undo’ button for a quick undo of the last action.

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Yes, whilst your are modifying a route, select the waypoint on the route that you want to add a comment to. A pop up will appear, select the 'edit' button on the pop up to change the name and/or add comments to the waypoint.    

Adding a comment to a waypoint will automatically make this a 'key waypoint'. Information on key waypoints can be viewed on your route card in OS Maps web.

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To add this route to your favourites, open the route card by clicking on the route listing in OS Maps web or swiping up/tapping the 'up arrow' on the basic route info shown when tapping on a route marker pin.

Favourite routes automatically synchronise between the mobile app and web.  

You can favourite both your own routes and those created by other users that you have discovered. 

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Whenever you create a new route, they are automatically saved into 'My Routes', you can also add a route created by another user to this list by favoriting that route using the heart icon on a route card.

You can find your list of saved routes on both web and mobile app versions of OS Maps

Web: 

  • Navigate to main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > My Routes
  • Here you can see your list of created and favourite routes, search through your routes, filter your list of routes by activity and sort by various criteria.

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Routes
  • On the mobile app, you can still search through your list of created and favourited routes but are not able to filter or re-order your routes.
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Routes can be shared using either OS Maps web or mobile app. In order to share a route it must be set as a public route, visible to everyone. To amend this in your routes, select the chosen route and use the modify feature to re-save your route and on the 'Save Route' screen, select the option 'Everyone' under 'Who can see my route?'.

Web:

  • Navigate to main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > My Routes and select the route you want to share
  • Select the share icon and the platform you’d like to share your route from. 

You can also share a link manually by copying the route URL from your web browser's address bar.

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Routes
  • Tap the 'down' arrow on your chosen route and then tap the 'Share' symbol
  • You'll be presented with various options to share which may vary depending on device. Tap the option you wish to use to share and follow your device's instructions.
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Routes can be imported into OS Maps from a variety of sources, using a GPX route file.
 
This can only be done via OS Maps web.

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > Import GPX
  • Select 'Import Routes' and then load the GPX file that you have saved on your device.
  • Import the GPX file to create a route, add relevant route details and then save it.
  • You can now modify this route as normal, save it to 'My Routes' and sync to use it within the OS Maps mobile app.

GPX files come in a wide range of versions. OS Maps can handle the most common versions but may not understand some formats.  There is a max file size of 10mb that can be imported into OS Maps. If you have a GPX file larger than this, try splitting the route into multiple files or reduce the number of waypoints to help reduce file size.

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OS Maps allows you to export routes as a GPX file that can then be shared with others or uploaded to various devices or other software/applications.

You can export GPX files using OS Maps on web and mobile app.

Web: 

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Routes > My Routes
  • Find the route you wish to duplicate and open the route card.
  • In the route card, select the 'Export GPX' option, this will download the route to your device as a GPX file

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Routes
  • Tap the 'down' arrow on your chosen route and then tap the 'Export GPX' option
  • In the mobile app, you'll be given various options to download or send your file, this may vary depending on your device.

Once you've downloaded your GPX file, you can import this into almost any GPS device or software. Please refer to the relevant manual/instructions of your additional device/software to get direction on how to import your GPX file.

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It is not possible to modify a route created by someone else, as they are still the original route owner.

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Within the OS Maps mobile app, you can get driving directions to the start of a route, or specified point on a map.

To get driving directions, you can either tap and hold on a specific place on the main map screen, where you'll be presented with options including to "Get Directions". Tap this and choose your preferred driving navigation app to get directions.

You can also get directions to a start point of a route, using one of your saved routes under the 'Routes' option in the main menu; or from a route found via the 'Find Routes' feature. Select your preferred route, tap the 'up' arrow on the route card and select 'Get Directions' to open up in your preferred driving navigation app.

Note this feature is only available in the OS Maps mobile app.

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Once you have a route on screen, you can activate the 'Follow Route' function using the ‘start route’ button. This will use GPS to keep you on course whilst showing you how far along the route you are.

Once you finish following a route you will be asked to rate it out of 5 stars, and can chooseto add it to your personal activity record log.

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The appearance of a route can be amended both when initially plotting a route, or retrospectively by changing your preference settings in OS Maps.

When plotting a route, you can change the appearance using the toolbar on both web and mobile app versions.

Tap the 'Style' (palette) icon to see various options to change the route line colour, thickness and transparency for that particular route.

You can also amend the default settings for your route's appearance within the preferences.

Web:

  • Navigate to the Main Menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) and select 'Preferences'. 
  • From the preferences menu, select 'Route styles' to show the various default styling options which can be changed as required.

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Preferences
  • Select 'Route Styles' and amend the default styling options as required.
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Web:

  • Navigate to Main Menu (☰ symbol) at top left of screen > Preferences .
  • From the preferences menu, select 'Units of Measurement' and select the Imperial (miles) or Metric (kilometres) option.

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Preferences
  • Select 'Units of Measurement' and select the Imperial or Metric option.
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Route times are calculated using a variety of common rules/formulae. Walking for instance is estimated using Naismith's Rule, where 10 minutes walking time is added for each 100m of elevation; cycling on the other hand is estimated based on a simple speed x distance calculation.

You can adjust the average speeds that OS Maps uses to estimate the time taken for specific activities under 'My Preferences'

Web:

  • Navigate to the Main Menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) and select 'Preferences'. 
  • From the preferences menu, select 'Speed Calculation' and you can edit the average speeds used to estimate your times for each activity.
  • Once you've made your changes, select 'Save' and your estimated route times will have updated.

Mobile App:

  • Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Preferences
  • Select 'Change Activity Speed' and adjust the activity speeds where necessary and tap 'Save'

Any adjustments made to average activity speeds on mobile app will sync to web and vice versa.

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Elevation profiles and total ascents for routes are calculated by using predefined intervals on the length of a route, taken between waypoints. The more waypoints on a route, the more accurate these calculations are. On shorter routes, or routes with fewer waypoints, you might find the calculations for elevation and ascent are slightly different from the actual data.

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If you believe there is a problem with any route published on OS Maps please contact our customer services using the contact form at the bottom of this page, providing the URL of the route concerned.

We will investigate further and if we believe it is appropriate the route may be taken down in accordance with our Take Down Procedure described in Section 1.7 of the OS Maps Terms. 

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