OS back on the map

The Ordnance Survey (OS) has revealed sales of conventional paper maps produced increased last year for the first time in 10 years.

OS said it sold 3% more paper maps in 2014 and the increase is continuing, with a 7% rise this financial year, bucking the trend in the past decade which saw people opting for digital versions. The Outdoor Leisure range is the most popular, indicating outdoor enthusiasts are packing a paper map on their trips into the hills and countryside of Britain. All four maps covering the English Lake District are in the top 10 sellers, but the one covering Snowdon is the most popular, backing up evidence that Wales’s highest mountain is one of the most climbed in the UK.

Will Herman of Pelican’s outdoor communications team commented: “Whilst many traditionalists like paper maps, the long-term trend is in favour of digital navigation and social sharing.

“Many people don’t just want to navigate a route they want to be able to plan and share their experience with their community via Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest and the like. This is especially the case with younger outdoor enthusiasts and apps like ViewRanger are making it possible.

“It’s also important to note that digital navigation does not preclude the use of OS maps while a host of other features such as ViewRanger’s Buddy Beacon – which allows the movement of solitary walkers or cyclists for instance to be tracked by friends – are making the alternatives to paper maps increasingly attractive to many.
“There is no question that traditional map reading skills and the ability to use a compass remain a vital part of the outdoor enthusiast’s armoury and as the number of people participating in outdoor recreation continues to grow, news of rising paper map sales is welcome. But digital navigation is here to stay and as innovation in technology continues apace, the use of digital devices will only increase.”

The top 10 OS Explorer Maps are:

  1. Snowdon
  2. English Lakes: south-eastern area
  3. Peak District: White Peak area
  4. English Lakes: south-western area
  5. Peak District: Dark Peak area
  6. English Lakes: north-western area
  7. Yorkshire Dales: southern & western area
  8. Purbeck & South Dorset
  9. English Lakes: north-eastern area
  10. New Forest

Top 10 OS Landranger Maps:

  1. Snowdon
  2. Penrith & Keswick
  3. Ben Nevis
  4. Buxton & Matlock
  5. Newquay & Bodmin
  6. North Skye
  7. Land’s End & Isles of Scilly
  8. Anglesey
  9. South Skye & Cuillin Hills
  10. Dorchester & Weymouth.

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