Map Reading

Map Reading

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

Your current location / selection

Map reading skills - advanced guides

Do you know how to read a map? Learn some of the more advanced navigation skills for more extreme adventures or just to challenge yourself. This collection of advanced map reading guides will help you become an expert navigator in no time.

A beginners guide to the compass

Improve your map reading skills with this beginner's guide to the compass. We take a look at the different types of compass, such as a baseplate compass, and explain how to orientate a map with one.

Teaching younger children about maps

Teaching children to map read from a young age will help them understand the world around them and set them up for future adventures. We look at how you can introduce younger children to map reading and teach them to create their own simple maps.

Teacher training: how to make map skills fun

Adrian Hall of Active Outdoor Discovery is an Outdoor Activities Instructor, Mountain Leader and Expedition leader - and has spent the last few years inspiring school children to learn all about maps. Here is his advice on how you can make maps fun for kids to support their education and help them learn important life skills.

How to spot history on a map

British broadcaster and anthropologist, Mary-Ann Ochota reveals some of the most common archaeological clues and historic symbols you’ll spot on a map. From church spires to tumulus, this guide will take your though old ordnance survey map symbols.

National Map Reading Week Quiz

National Map Reading Week: Think you know your way around an OS Map? Test yourself with eight challenging questions in our new quiz to find out if you’re a map reading legend or clueless with a compass.

Danger Areas

If you’ve been using OS Maps’ ‘standard’ mapping recently, you may have noticed we’ve added some places marked as ‘Danger Area’. These areas are used by the military for training.

Top tips for map reading

Want to explore new places? Every adventure starts with a map and some basic map reading skills. Here are our top tips for better map reading so you can start planning your next day out.

Ordnance Survey Advanced Map Reading Quiz

We've created a tough map reading quiz to test your skills. See if you can get 100% without looking at a map legend!

OS Tricky Place Names Quiz

We've created this challenging place names quiz to see how easily you can be tricked with made up places.