Map pricing

Day 1Living in a relatively densely populated area, I really need a 1:25,000 map to find my way around. So I toddled down to the local independent bookshop and bought the 1:25,000 OS Explorer Map for our area, which cost £7.99.

For my trips, I use Tracklogs mapping software to print off route maps. I’ve got no views as to whether it’s better or worse than other providers, but it’s what I’ve got and I’m reluctant to give up the sunk cost of the whole of Great Britain mapped in 1:50,000.

I had a quick look to see how much the equivalent map would cost in digital form from Tracklogs. £19.95!!!! The whole of GB in 1:25,000 only costs £250. I looked on Route Buddy and it’s slightly more expensive at £19.99. I have to say it’s very strange that digital maps are massively more expensive than paper ones!

However, the whole of GB at 1:25,000 for £250 from Tacklogs begins to look a bit of a bargain. On Route Buddy, GB regions are £150. Route Buddy gets a lot of good press and has some attractions as it coordinates with an iPhone. However, I’m not sure the costs are worth it for me. If you’re wondering about the map at the top, it’s day one of my 2014 TGO Challenge 🙂


25 thoughts on “Map pricing”

  1. Or you could get a wee app called backcountry trail Explorer and just cash the maps to your required zoom before you go for nothing.

  2. If you haven’t already tried it, there is a superb iPhone App called UK Map which gives free tiles on screen from 1:50,000 down to 1:10,000. You cannot print routes but carrying it as an extra detailed map is very useful.

    1. Thanks Alan. I have a Satmap but don’t really use it since getting an iPhone 5. As far as I’m aware, you can’t use the maps on a SatMap card on a PC, which is what I want.

  3. I’ve always used paper maps which frequently need replacing due to wear and tear. I like the concept of digital maps, but the one product I’m waiting for has never appeared – an OS 1:25000 map pack for the whole of the uk that can be planned on using the PC and then have the relevant parts of it download to the Garmin GPS.

    What are self-printed maps like? I have never explorered this avenue as I always have nightmare visions of the ink running the moment it gets slightly wet. Would be interesting to hear how well they stand up to the uk’s weather,

    1. You can download route coordinates from mapping programmes to GPS ‘s. I find planning on Tracklogs invaluable.

      You can print maps to waterproof paper on an ordinary inkjet if you want, although it’s quite expensive. I just print to good quality paper and put in a waterproof map case. Sometimes I’ll print two sets in case of damage.

      If I carry printed maps, I’ll generally take the Harveys BMC waterproof 1:40,000 or occasionally the laminated 1:25,000 if I have the sheet. I find printed maps less easy to handle than A4 inkjet ones. It’s a matter of preference.

      1. That is the downside to printed maps. They are hard to handle and invariably the bit you want requires doing reverse folds on the map. Under bad weather they are an even bigger pain. Maybe I need to step into the digital age at some point!

  4. I print from Memory Map generally at 1:25k scale using an HP Laserjet printer and the results are indistinguishable from an actual map. I either laminate it or carry it in an Ortlieb map case. By printing at 1:25k, I find I don’t need to use my specs on the hills!

    1. It does look good 🙂 Second day is follow N shore of Monar and then camp in Strathfarrar. I’ll do some more detailed posts nearer the time.

  5. I also use Bing Maps which uses OS 1:25000 when you click on the walker icon and increase the map scale with the plus arrow. Ok, you cannot do a route trail as far as i know, but you can print the maps for free.

  6. I noticed that with Bing, I think you’ll find they adjust it to true N up hence the shift. Should be easy enough to custom rotate and print if it is a big concern. Or just print and trim with scissors.

  7. I must admit to not finding the 1:25,000 maps too practical, OK they may be good for to odd spot but I find them a little cluttered in the mountains…..but that’s only my opinion. If I want detail of a particular spot I’ll take a screen shot from Walkhighlands route planner.
    I use Routebuddy with 1:50,000 which as a bundle is reasonably priced. I usually print off A4’s @ 1:40,000 (saves the old eyes) and either laminate or if there’s a bunch (e.g. TGO) I’ll carry them in a 12″*12″ Aloksak. Having it on the iPhone is also a very useful back-up to ‘losing’ a map.

    1. I agree in mountain areas, although they can be useful for some detail. In populated lowland areas, they come into their own, which is why I got one for the area I live in just outside London. 1:50,000 just doesn’t have enough detail.

      I’ve got most of Scotland and all GB national parks OS 1:50 on the RoadTour iPhone app plus the whole of GB 1:50 on PC with Tracklogs, so there doesn’t seem much point in using RouteBuddy for the moment.

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