Map Reading

Map Reading

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

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Advanced navigation for poor visibility

When you're walking, running or climbing at night or in poor visibility, things don't always go as planned. This advanced map reading guide offers expert advice on how to find your location and never be lost again.

Guide to OS Maps symbols

This simple map reading guide explains every map symbol on an OS Explorer map (1: 25 000 scale), most popular for walking and cycling. Learn what each map symbol represents on the ground and how you can find points of interest, access land and public rights of way to make the most of your time outside.

Advanced guide to reading contours and relief

Understanding contour lines and relief on a map is essential for safe planning and navigation across the varied terrain you may encounter on your outdoor adventures. This guide explain all you need to know about contours and help you read valley and ridge contour lines, slopes and spurs on an OS Map map.

An advanced guide to understanding map scale

Understanding map scales is vital to successfully using maps for planning and navigation. Boost your map reading skills with this advanced guide for understanding Ordnance Survey map scales and key features on each OS map.

Map reading skills - beginner's guides

These simple beginner's guides will teach you the basics of map reading so you can learn how to read a map. Includes a selection of short videos to help you brush up on your map reading skills.

Beginner's guide to grid references

Improve your map reading skills by learning how to read a 4-figure, 6-figure or 8-figure national grid reference. This grid reference finder is suitable for beginners and includes a short 'how to' video.

A beginners guide to understanding map contour lines

Learn the use and meaning of contour lines on a map and understand how to use them to when you're out and about or planning routes. Understanding contours will improve your map reading skills.

Beginners guide to using a compass

Even with a GPS in your phone, it's important to know how to use a compass just in case technology fails or visibility is poor. Here's a step-by-step beginner's guide to using a compass, so you can learn the basics of how to navigate with a map.

A beginners guide to understanding map scales

Have you ever got confused about what a map scale is, or wondered what is the difference between our OS Landranger and OS Explorer maps? This beginner's guide to understanding map scales will help! Includes a short video for easier learning.

A beginners guide to measuring distance on a map

Measuring distance is a key tool in map reading and is especially useful for hikers and cyclists who want to measure how far they have travelled or how far they wish to go. Learn how to easily measure distance on a map with our quick and simple guide.