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Thread: Free OS Maps For Smart Phones

  1. #1
    Tribal Elder Humakt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    The hills of Sartar

    Free OS Maps For Smart Phones

    Well, kind of.
    You have to own them in the first place.

    Here's what I did.
    I took a photograph (from 90 degrees directly overhead) of the area of a map on my camera. I used my camera because I wanted a good quality, hi-resolution, image.
    And then I uploaded the image to my phone.
    Being a smart phone it means I can zoom right in to the image at a good quality resolution.
    So now, when out and about, you have a high-quality, OS version, of a map of the area you want!

    OK, so it's no good if you want to use the map with a compass, but if you are just out, following a footpath, and want a map of your area...well, there you are. It works perfectly for a day's walk. Like I say, it has limits, but if you just want a route map of somewhere (which is probably most of the time) then having them stored on your phone is convenient and handy. Yeah, I know you can get some maps for some smartphones, but these are good, reliable, OS maps with all useful features on them rather than those featureless driving-style maps and, of course, can be used offline so you don't have to worry about a bad signal.
    'What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare' - William Henry Davies



  2. #2
    Tribal Elder Tigger004's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Raunds, Northamptonshire, NN9 6TW
    Great idea
    Campfires are best shared with friends.

  3. #3
    Woodsman Pootle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Oh yeah. why have we not all thought of this before. shame on all of us.

  4. #4
    Ranger Ehecatl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Somewhere in Kent
    I tried this today and it worked well. The plus side is the ability to zoom in using the phone. I'd suggest photographing more map/route than you think you'll need though. In bright sunlight is was difficult to impossible to read the screen but we all know that anyway. On the negative side, I hadn't explained the "new system" to the dog. He got bored as I studied the route and pulled hard on his lead taking me off balance where I almost dropped the phone.
    "If you were to ask me what I consider to be my finest achievement, I could answer the question without hesitation: teaching." ~ Raymond Blanc.

  5. #5
    Trapper Magicdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    I seem to recall downloading something free for my phone a few (maybe a few more than a few) years ago. It was a GPS navigator type thing, but you had to take a photo of your map, upload it to your pc and set a scale for the software to identify. The transfer it to your phone, for GPS use.

    I downloadedit, but never got round to adding map to it. It might still be around.

  6. #6
    Samuel Hearne Bernie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Exmouth, Devon, England, UK
    I've done something similar - scanned the map and then "stitched" scans together to make the map area I wanted and printed it off on A4 because I don't like risking getting my original maps wet or torn in the field. I'd consider laminating the map if we went to the same place a lot. On the plus side, laminated paper is easy to read in bright sunshine, and works even if you step on it. But mobile phones are better for storing lots of maps so you'd still be able to navigate if you walked off the edge of the map you brought along.

    PS. I take the original maps with me when I go out, but they stay in my backpack so long as the copy suffices.

    I like the idea and I think I'll do this for the maps I have, then I can have a handy pocket-size "map" that is the same as a huge sheet of paper. \o/

  7. #7
    Natural Born Bushcrafter Valantine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Flintshire, N.Wales
    Try Backcountry Navigator it uses free OS maps from Bing and you can select and download tiles for offline use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    New OS mapshave a free download included. New editions from Oct 2015. There is a small silver rub off on the inner card.

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