Don’t use that old map!

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Ordnance Survey offering old map exchange scheme…

Your outfit may be from the '70s- but your map shouldn't be.
Your outfit may be from the ’70s- but your map shouldn’t be.

What sort of adventure doesn’t require a decent map?  Here at Singletrack, we’re clearly fond of poring over maps, sizing up contour lines and tracing the squiggly tracks of possibility.  What if we went hereAs much fun as it is to head off into the unknown, we’ve also been led astray by incorrect or out of date maps, resulting in frustrated mates, missed dinners, and unlit descents down strange bridleways.

If your maps look like these, they're probably wrong.
If your maps look like these, they’re probably wrong.

To help keep our adventures from becoming misadventures, Ordnance Survey has launched a scheme providing credit toward up-to-date maps in exchange for older versions.  It’s said that the organisation makes 10,000 changes to their mapping databases every day– as the country grows and changes so too does its geography.  The older your maps are, the likelier they are to lead you astray.  Redeemable at the OS online store, credits are as follows:

  • 1 Ordnance Survey map = £2.00 voucher
  • 2 Ordnance Survey maps = £3.50 voucher
  • 3 Ordnance Survey maps = £5.00 voucher
  • 10 to 19 Ordnance Survey maps = £10.00 voucher
  • More than 20 Ordnance Survey maps = £20.00 voucher

To date, over 3,000 maps have been exchanged.  The OS is planning to use returned maps to “help teach navigation skills to young people,” which should be interesting with outdated information.  Your suggestions for reuse are also welcomed.  Full details on the scheme, which runs through April 30, are at

Comments (11)

    Better value to do your maps one at a time. Rather than in batches.

    Old OS maps can be worth a lot of money. Make sure you get them valued before you send them to OS (I’m sure they know this).

    Also, OS would do far better for their business and PR if they did something about their digital map cartel and the ridiculous prices they charge.

    They need to learn the iTunes/pirate music lesson and start charging small prices for instant down load maps that you can track, manipulate and transfer onto devices instead of the £100’s of pounds they want through Garmin etc.

    excitable – check out backcountry navigator, £6.99 on the play store. they bought out multimap who have rights to OS maps. Explorer- whole of the UK, 7 quid!!

    Old OS maps are worth keeping for the old rights of ways.

    speshpaul et al: is the an iphone equivalent?

    If you need access to OS maps while potentially out of range of UK cellular network then I use ViewRanger on android. You buy a set of credits and then purchase map squares with them for the areas you care about. Those you’ve bought can be downloaded and stored on your phone so you can still navigate with only a GPS signal and not needing network connectivity. Useful if you’re on the top of a mountain.

    Part-ex my old maps?
    Sorry; does not compute.

    An admirable idea but unfortunately still cheaper to just buy new maps from the likes of Dash4it.

    “.. the scheme, which runs through April 30…”
    Aaaaaaarrrrgggh! This is not the USA, ffs. I now have a mental picture of the scheme gaily skipping through the day of 30th April.

    “What sort of adventure doesn’t require a decent map?”
    The most memorable sort, of course!

    Old maps – absolutely essential when planning new rides if you like to find long-lost routes and archeology.

    powerbenny totally agree!
    To be honest I have a basic Garmin but prefer maps but the old OS ones are just too bloody big to keep opening out on rides so we just scan then print to A4 and laminate what we want or just grab it off the web and print and laminate it.

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