OS MAPS HELP CENTRE
How can we help?
After a route is created in OS Maps and set to public, the route will be given an initial rating based on the quality of the route, determined by a number of factors:
- Length and number of words used in the route name e.g. "Scafell Pike Circular from Borrowdale" will receive a better rating than "SPB".
- Length of route description, where a longer description will be considered to provide a more detailed overview of the route.
- Number of labelled waypoints and frequency - if a route has waypoints spread throughout, it will be considered a better quality route.
- Circular routes and those with moderate ascent will be rated more highly.
These automated ratings are then supplemented overtime with ratings received from other OS Maps users who have chosen to follow and rate the route.
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.
OS Maps premium users can download routes and mapping, which can be accessed 'offline', even when no WiFi or mobile signal is available.
There are two options to download maps, either for an area covering a particular route, or a specific area of a map.
Note this feature is only available via the OS Maps mobile app.
Download a route map:
- Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Routes to see your list of saved and favourited routes.
- Underneath each route you can see it's downloaded status 'Map available to download' or 'Map downloaded'.
- Tap the down arrow on the route you'd like to download and select 'Download Map'
- This will download a section of the map covering the entire route.
- You can use this to download a larger map section by creating a private 'dummy' route connecting two points at long distance and downloading that area.
Download a specific map area:
- Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Offline Maps and tap 'Add a Custom Offline Map'
- Pan across the map to the area you want to download, and zoom in until you see the 'Download' message displayed.
- Tap 'Download' and give your map a name to download the map covering the area and zoom level displayed.
- You can download multiple sections of map areas to cover a larger area as needed.
- Tap the 'X' on top left of the screen to return to the main map screen
Downloaded maps can be found under the 'Offline Maps' section within the main menu. Tap 'Custom Offline Maps' to see the maps you have downloaded. From here you can also remove downloaded maps that are no longer required.
We recommend regularly deleting maps that are no longer required to help save storage space on your device and maintain performance of the mobile app.
To redeem a map download as part of your purchase of a paper map, follow the below instructions.
- Head to os.uk/redeem where you will need to create an account with OS Maps or log-in if you already have an account.
- By signing in, your maps are saved to your account for use on multiple devices
- Enter the 12-character code in the scratch-box on the redeem page. There are no numbers, just letters, so be careful with 'I' and 'O'!
- In the OS Maps app, you will find the map listed under Menu - Offline Maps - Paper maps. If you entered the code on the web, ensure you log in to the app using the same account details
- Select the map sheet to download to local storage and click the 'download' button
- Click on an existing map sheet to jump to it. You may need to zoom in for it to show up. Unlike Premium users, you cannot find them just by changing layer.
Navigate to the main menu (☰ symbol in top left of screen) > Offline Maps > Paper Maps
Here you will be able to see the list of maps redeemed against your account. Tap 'Download map' to download that specific map to your device.
Tips for Offline Paper Maps:
- Logging out of the mobile app will remove all existing downloads, as they are linked to your OS account, not the device. Check you have the downloads you need before heading out, and do not log out in normal use.
- Downloading many maps at once can cause issues, overloading your device and causing slow response or crashing when you try to view maps. Delete maps you are not currently using to both save storage space and improve mobile app speed. You can always download them again later.
- The total number of maps you can have at once depends on your device and other apps installed.
- When you have just redeemed a new map, it may take a few minutes to show up in the mobile app. Close the mobile app and wait for a short while before checking again.
- If a download gets 'stuck', restarting the mobile app will usually resolve it. Sometimes you may need to log out and back in to clear all downloads and try again.
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'.
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
- 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.
- 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.
You can set up your OS account through OS Maps on web & mobile app.
- Main Menu (☰ symbol) in the top left corner of the screen and select 'Log In' or click the silhouette icon, just to the right of the search box
- On the next screen, select 'Sign up Now' at the bottom of the login screen to create a new account
- If you have an existing OS account, enter your details here to log in. You can also use the 'Forgot Your Password' system to update your password if needed.
- Main menu (☰ symbol) in the top left corner of the screen and select either:
- 'Log In' if you have an existing OS account
- 'Go Free' to create an account as a free user
- 'Go Premium' to sign up to a premium subscription (here you will also need to choose whether to sign up to a recurring monthly or annual subscription).
- Enter the relevant details on the following screen to create an account.
Once you've create your account, you're ready to start exploring with OS Maps!
Purchasing a premium subscription (available on a recurring, monthly or annual basis) will give you access to all the premium features OS Maps has to offer!
Most subscriptions (including all those purchased via the Apple or Google Play app stores) will automatically renew monthly or annually. Unless changed, your subscription will be renewed on the same day of the following month/year.
If you have purchased standard access from the OS Shop (or received a gift to OS Maps) then this will not renew automatically. You can renew these subscriptions manually either by purchasing the same subscription again or purchasing one of our auto-renewing monthly/annual subscriptions.
You can check your subscription type and expiry date by using the Subscription Management tool
- Main Menu (☰ symbol) > My Account > Manage Subscription.
- Main Menu (☰ symbol) > Account > Edit (next to Subscription type)
As an additional security feature, you will be asked to login to your account again to confirm you details. Once completed you will be able to see your subscription type and renewal or expiry date.
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.
With OS Maps, registered users have the option to print paper versions of maps from OS Maps on web.
Before printing, make sure you are logged into your OS account.
Registered (free) users can print standard maps (including routes) in A4, portrait or landscape.
Premium users can print standard or Premium Topo maps (including routes) in A4 and A3 portrait or landscape.
To print, first ensure your chosen area is visible on the screen, then select ‘Print' icon (shown in the top right corner of the screen).
The map area that falls within the highlighted box will be printed, to move this area click and drag the map.
A print panel will appear on the left-hand side of the screen, here you can select and change your printing preferences. Zooming in, changing the paper size and/or page orientation will change the area covered by the print.
Once you are happy with your print selection select the pink “Generate PDF” button found at the bottom of the left panel.
This will generate a PDF file that you can review before printing to check it is correct. If you're happy with the PDF preview, then follow your standard printing procedure within the PDF document to print your map.
To print exactly to scale, it is important to double check your printer settings, especially ensuring that 'Actual size' is selected under the relevant page sizing.
You also have the option to save the PDF file, if you want to print it at a later date.