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The GO Outdoors Guide To Maps and Guidebooks

Maps and Guides are essential for helping you guide yourself around an unfamiliar area, as well as helping you plot your next route, take an interesting detour, or just to help guide you to a point of interest. 

Despite the rise in popularity of GPS and online based mapping technology, paper based maps are still used by many travellers, walkers and runners. However, as technology advances and becomes widely available, map companies such as the Ordnance Survey have adapted their range to offer digital based solutions, such as downloadable software and computer based navigation cards that can fit in with your existing PC or laptop and GPS systems. 

 To read more on GPS systems, see our guide.


Paper Based Maps

Easily transported, Paper based maps are easily stored in a backpack for easy navigation on the move.
Paper maps are simple to read and can be marked by the user to show a destination clearly
Paper maps do not require a PC or a GPS system and can be used by everyone, even children
Paper maps never fail to load or become interrupted by technological problems 
Paper maps allow you to physically mark routes for future reference and plotting 
However paper based maps an get wet if you do not use a map case


Digital/ CD Rom Maps

Digital maps allow interactivity with other users
Digital maps allow you to chart your progress/routes precisely
Visual aid is given before you set off.
With digital maps, all your information is stored virtually and can be updated as required
Digitial maps work with GPS systems so a GPS and a PC is required. 
You can download a map and then print it off - however this requires a printer

Read about GPS in the GPS Guide


Guide Books

Guide books are ideal for helping you find the best areas in a strange destination
Guide books can help with issues such as local etiquette and currency 
Guide books are able to provide hints on language and pronunciation 
Guide books also provide local know how 
Sometimes guide books can fail to be updated in ‘real time’ so information may not be 100% reliable and is subject to change
Opinion based guides may not appeal to all users.


Digital Maps/ CD Rom Based Maps

CD Rom Maps are designed to be used at home via your computer in order to plan walks and trails, before allowing you to print out your own maps for use on the hills, or allowing you to program routes and waypoints into a GPS system.

CD Rom Maps are ideal because you can connect your GPS and import a tracklog back into your PC -overlaying it on a map of your choice so you can see the route you took. 

CD Rom maps allow you a variety of options, from visuallising a 3D landscape, to including your own personal notes and photos with time, distance, coordinates and hill profiles. 

CD Rom systems at GO Outdoors include the Ordanance Surevy CD Rom systems, and these are supported by a huge ranged of GPS systems including Garmin, Magellan, Silva, Suunto and GPS enabled Pocket PCs.


Paper Maps

Ordnance Survey Maps

OS maps measure 100 by 300 mm folded. The Ordnance Survey range has over 403 maps that cover a variety of areas, including National trails and paths.


OS Lamfold Maps

OS maps are also produced under the name ‘Lamfold’. Lamfold indicates that they are Laminated- LAM and are able to fold over, FOLD.


OS Landranger Maps

Landranger maps have a scale of 2 cm to 1 km, (1¼ inches to 1 mile.)


OS Explorer Maps

Explorer maps have a larger scale than the Land Ranger maps, of 4cm to 1km ( 2½ inches to 1 mile.)

Memory Maps

As well as paper based routes, Ordnance Survey also have digital software that is held with Memory Maps. 

Essentially a digital map, these can help you visually plot and plan routes digitally. As well as allowing you to plan your routes before heading out, you can also use the memory maps to navigate back through previous journeys with the inbuilt GPS tracklog system. 

 As well as covering off the same areas as the Ordnance Survey, Memory Maps also have routes for European destinations, pub routes and specific areas alike, so whatever the destination, you can now have the option of digitally your progress.


Map Covers

Designed to be used with paper based maps, then map covers provide a safe storage solution that’s easy to use, carry and open, whatever the weather. 

Map covers can also be used for storing passports and other documents, or even electricals. Map covers are almost always created with an easy to clean, waterproof cover. 

Map covers are designed to avoid tears and often come with crease resistant finishes so the map stays secured as you walk. 

Guide Books

Guide books vary, from coffee table style books, full of photos and inspiarational images and stories, to handy, pocket sized user friendly guides that can be used whilst outdoors.

 Most guide books contain pull-out maps of the area, but offer other information as well, such as more detailed neighbourhood maps as well as local information and details on important aspects of travelling, such as lodging information, activities, sightseeing, as well as cultutral differences, etiquette and pronunciation.