Map Reading

Map Reading

Read a map, use a compass, plan a route and much more

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OS Maps: How-to video guides

We’ve created a series of short ‘how to’ videos to help you get started or make the most of OS Maps. Packed full of great planning features and extensive mapping across Great Britain, OS Maps is the only app you’ll need for your next adventure. Enjoy your guide to the great outdoors!

Top tips to get children using paper maps

Find top tips on how to teach children to map read and make it fun with 'Get Out With The Kids'.

Take the Map Reading quiz!

Free Map Reading Guides

Learn to map read for free with these guides from National Map Reading Week, which aims to inspire people of all ages and interests to get outside, find adventure and make memories. Reading a map can take you off the main paths and discover new places - we’re here to help you learn how!

Which compass is best for me?

In some sense, all compasses do the same job but not everyone uses them for the same purpose. There are many different models with variations in features, accuracy and functionality. We take a look at some of the best on the market to help you decide which compass is right for you.

What is a trig pillar?

The trig pillar was first used in the retriangulation of Great Britain on 18 April 1936. With over 6500 built, they were vital in map making. Here's everything you need to know about trig pillars including 10 great trig point walks.

An advanced guide to measuring distance

An important part of navigation is being able to calculate distance on a map, then estimate that distance on the ground to reach your next navigation point. This advanced map reading guide explains how to calculate distance on the ground for walking or running to improve your navigation skills.

Map reading skills for children

Find out why you should get maps for kids and encourage them to improve their map reading skills. These guides will show you how to make map reading for kids of all ages both fun and educational.

Map skills with Scout Leader Mahroof Malik

Group Scout Leader Mahroof Malik works with The Scout Muslim Fellowship and manages the footpath network for Birmingham City Council. He brings together his love of the outdoors, nature and navigational skills in this handy guide which will improve your map skills.

Advanced guide to finding your exact location

Pinpointing your location is a fantastic skill to have whilst out on an outdoor adventure as you can use your surroundings to find your exact location on a map. Follow this fantastic guide to become an advanced navigator and learn how find your exact location when you don't know where you are.