OS MAPS HELP CENTRE

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3D & AR

Tabletop 3D is an augmented reality feature in the OS Maps mobile app (available on iOS only) that allows you to see your route on a virtual 3D model of the terrain.

To use Tabletop 3D:

  • Select a route from the 'Routes' section within the main menu (☰ symbol, top left corner of the main screen)
  • Tap the down arrow on your chosen route and tap 'Tabletop 3D'
  • Point the camera at a clear, flat surface (a table works well) and allow it to 'lock on'. If you don't have a clear table, the floor will usually work.
  • Once the square mobile appears on the surface, it has locked on. Tap the 'Place Model' button at the bottom of the screen to start AR mode.
  • Try moving around the 3D model. Use pinch to zoom, one finger to move the model and two fingers to rotate the model. Moving the device around and up and down will adjust the view.
  • End Tabletop 3D by tapping 'X' to close
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The AR viewer is a great tool to help you find & identify specific locations and points of interest when you're out and about. AR uses your device's camera to overlay labels on key locations on your horizon with their name and distance from your location.

To access the AR viewer:

  • Head to the main menu (☰ symbol, in top left corner) and tap 'Open AR viewer'
  • Follow the onscreen instructions to allow access to your device's location, camera and permission to download a small data pack
  • When ready, hold the device up to the horizon, and labels will show the feature name and distance. 
  • Tap on a text label to open a web page with information about that point. AR will work without mobile phone signal but opening the information page will require a data connection.
  • To change what kind of features you see, use the 'options' button in the bottom right to turn features on and off - a solid colour circle is on, a transparent circle is off.

To exit out of AR viewer, just tap the phone icon in the bottom left corner to return to the main map screen

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There are over 200,000 points in our Augemented Reality (AR) database, which means we cannot show every point at once. 

There is currently a maximum distance set to 10 miles (16km). The mobile app will choose which points to display based on how far away they are and their 'priority' score to ensure the screen is not overcrowded. 

Generally, closer features and more important ones will be shown. You can filter by tapping the settings button and choosing which types of features you are interested in, which may make more distant features visible.

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When you start AR for the first time you will be asked to set it up by downloading a small data packet to your device. Until this is done you will not be able to use the AR feature. You will need a data connection to do this the first time, but after that AR mode will work offline.

You also need to hold the phone up to the horizon, as the motion sensor is aware of where the phone is pointing.

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AR relies on two functions: GPS location and compass. Please ensure these are turned on and the mobile app has permission to use them.

GPS can take a few minutes to accurately pinpoint your location, especially if you have not used it in some time. Waiting with the mobile app active will slowly give increased accuracy. If a GPS signal is not available, such as inside a building, AR may incorrectly estimate your location.

Your built-in compass needs to be calibrated regularly in order to be accurate. 
In iOS, use the built-in compass calibration system by turning it on and calibrating it.

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.

If the compass is inaccurate, there may be issues with features and location labels lining up with one another

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Augmented Reality (AR) features on OS Maps mobile app will be disabled if you do not have a GPS chip, a compass (magnetometer) and motion sensor installed. 

Certain Android devices, such as some Motorola and Huawei phones do not have a compass so cannot use AR features. 

Some Samsung models have camera systems that are incompatible with the AR viewer, so the AR function is disabled.

Please also check that you are a premium user as AR is a premium feature.

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3D Mode is only available to premium users on OS Maps web, and lets you experience different map types in 3D, giving you a detailed view of terrain and elevation.

You can access 3D mode by selecting the '3D' icon in the bottom right of the screen.

3D Mode works with any map type, defaulting to the map type selected when you enter 3D Mode. You can change the map type by clicking on the map type icon (stacked squares) on the right hand side of the screen.

In most cases the Aerial map type will give you the best experience in 3D.

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You can navigate around 3D Mode using the following methods

  • Select the 'Find my location' button (crosshairs symbol) to move to your current location. This requires location access permissions to be enabled.
  • Search using the location search box (top left). You can search here for cities, towns, villages, postcodes, grid references (GB only) or latitude & longitude (globally).
  • Pan across the map by clicking and dragging using the left/main button on your mouse/trackpad.
  • Zoom in/out by using your mouse wheel or the zoom bar on the right side of the screen
  • Rotate your view by holding CTRL + left mouse button to pivot your view around the mouse cursor, or SHIFT + left mouse button to rotate around your position
  • 3D Mode will try to keep your viewpoints in a useful orientation but it is possible to end up staring at the sky, side of a cliff or even upside down!
  • If using a device with a touchscreen you can zoom in and out by using pinch zoom, and rotate by using the two fingers and a rotation motion.
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To show contours on a 3D map, you can use the Premium Topo map layer. When in 3D mode, select the Premium Topo map layer from the map layer menu (stacked squares) in bottom right hand corner.

Note, the Premium Topo map layer is only available to OS Maps users with a premium subscription.

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Viewing routes in 3D mode works in exactly the same way as in standard mode. 

You can either select your chosen route (via the 'Find Route' feature or from your 'My Routes' List) when in 3D mode and your route will be overlayed onto the 3D model.

Alternatively, you can select your route when in 2D mode and then select 3D mode. You can also freely switch between map types and 2D/3D modes whilst viewing your route.

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Adjusting the settings of 3D is recommended for advanced users only as adjusting these can affect the performance of 3D mode.

3D mode and 3D preferences can only be accessed on OS Maps web:

  • Head to the main menu (☰ symbol) > Preferences > Aerial 3D

Here you can adjust various settings that will change the performance of 3D mode, depending on the capabilities of your device, including

  • Change the multiplier attributed to elevation data
  • Alter the level of 'fog' added to the depth of your view
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3D fly-throughs allow you to 'fly-through' a route, to preview a planned activity or look back on an activity you've just done.

You can access the 3D fly-through feature via OS Maps web. Select your chosen route (via the 'Find Route' feature or from your 'My Routes' List) and on the route card, select '3D Fly-Through'

You can play/pause your preview using the progress bar on the bottom of the screen, and adjust the playback speed using the  arrow icons on the right hand side.

You can start a 3D fly-through from a route displayed on any map type, but the fly-through itself will always appear on an aerial 3d map.

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