walkhighlands

This forum is for general discussion about walking and scrambling... If writing a report or sharing your experiences from a route, please use the other boards.

OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!


Postby Lightfoot2017 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:03 pm

Hi All,

I wonder if anyone can shed some light on this wee conundrum for me?

I’m planning a walk to Carn an Fhidhler and An Sgarsoch this weekend. I’m looking out the appropriate OS Explorer (1:25,000) map.

My map, which isn’t that old, is numbered 394. However, on the WH website (and the hardcopy book) the map is referenced as OL51 (and OL57)

What the heck is going on? Did OS do away with their old numbering system? Or re-name / re-schedule their maps without telling anyone? :shock:

If so, 1) why? 2) when did this happen? and 3) is there a ready-reckoner anywhere where it co-relates the old and new map numbers?

As ever, any help gratefully received.

LF
User avatar
Lightfoot2017
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 829
Munros:175   
Grahams:1   
Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Location: Dunfermline

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:22 pm

On the last update the Ordnance Survey rebranded what were the Explorer maps that covered areas that include National Parks as Outdoor Leisure (OL) rather than Explorer, and gave them new numbers. The new ones not covering National Parks are still known as Explorers and use the old numbers.

So in Scotland the maps that cover the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond areas now have different numbers to what they did in the last edition, but the new editions of all the other maps have kept the old number system.

To confuse things further if you go back into the past the maps were originally called Outdoor Leisure and only covered popular areas (not necessarily National Parks, like Torridon, the Cuillin, Arran and the Cairngorms) - before the Explorer range came along and covered the whole country. Previously the country was only fully covered at 1:25k in the wee green Pathfinder maps.

:crazy: :wink:
User avatar
Paul Webster
Site Admin
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 5395
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:66   Donalds:43
Sub 2000:116   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:134   Islands:92
Joined: Jan 6, 2007
Location: Highland
Walk wish-list

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby Phil the Hill » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:23 pm

I think they've published some new Outdoor Leisure maps for the Cairngorms, replacing previous Explorer Maps. OL Maps cover the National Parks and more touristy areas, but are pretty much the same as the Explorers nowadays. Possibly they have more symbols for touristy things and some of them are double-sided.

I bought a new map for the Glen Ey group for my trip in May, and it was an OL one.
User avatar
Phil the Hill
Walker
 
Posts: 350
Munros:261   Corbetts:26
Grahams:5   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:136
Wainwrights:63   Islands:8
Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Location: Wallington, Surrey

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:44 pm

Paul Webster wrote:On the last update the Ordnance Survey rebranded what were the Explorer maps that covered areas that include National Parks as Outdoor Leisure (OL) rather than Explorer, and gave them new numbers. The new ones not covering National Parks are still known as Explorers and use the old numbers.

So in Scotland the maps that cover the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond areas now have different numbers to what they did in the last edition, but the new editions of all the other maps have kept the old number system.

To confuse things further if you go back into the past the maps were originally called Outdoor Leisure and only covered certain areas (like Torridon, the Cuillin, Arran and the Cairngorms) - before the Explorer range came along and covered the whole country. Previously the country was only fully covered at 1:25k in the wee green Pathfinder maps.

:crazy: :wink:


Thanks Paul. That's really helpful. :clap: I had to read it through a few times before I got my head around it :lol: but I think it's sunk in now.

I'm a big fan of the OS and the range of services and resources they provide, but I wonder if there was any market research or end-user / customer consultation before they went ahead with, what seems to me, like wholly unnecessary re-numbering. :roll:
User avatar
Lightfoot2017
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 829
Munros:175   
Grahams:1   
Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Location: Dunfermline

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby major ac » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:12 pm

Not sure that's true Paul - the Outdoor Leisure series has been around since the 1970's http://www.usedordnancesurveymaps.co.uk/outdoor-leisure-and-explorer-maps.php
major ac
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 18
Munros:122   Corbetts:33
Grahams:11   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   
Joined: Nov 2, 2011

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby DopeyLoser » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:13 pm

A bit of info on the history of the 1:25k OS mapping, from https://maps.nls.uk/os/25k-gb-1937-61/info2.html

Later history - Pathfinders and Outdoor Leisure maps

From 1965, the 1:25,000 series was issued in a standard 20 x 10 km size, in what became known as the 'Second series', and (from 1979) as the Pathfinder series. The colour scheme and detail was revised, and showed more comprehensive footpath information from County Councils. From 1972 even larger sheets at 1:25,000 were issued for popular walking areas and National Parks, known as the Outdoor Leisure series. From 1994, these were complemented by the Explorer series for all other areas, which covered on average three times the area of their predecessor Pathfinders.


I find it interesting how the OS have successfully got people buying these 1:25k maps for hillwalking e.g. in the Scottish highlands. I'm going to start ranting here and possibly be inflammatory by saying that they are overkill, and you're better off with the 1:50k. Maybe in the Lake District the 25k is good because there is so much more cultural detail to put on the map, but in Scotland, e.g. Carn an Fhidlheir? It's bog and heath with the very occasional ruined hunting lodge or landrover track. If you buy a 1:25k map for that you're spending money for a lot of blank paper. And you need reams of them because they cover smaller areas (though maybe the OL ones are larger format?)

Still, people are buying them. So hats off to the OS marketing department!

I did get a couple of those OL sheets a long time ago, one for Cairngorms I think and the other for the Cuillins. For the Cuillin you obviously would appreciate something larger scale than the 1:50k. However the 25k Cuillin was still not detailed enough, and didn't have anything about land cover e.g. where it's rock, where the crags are, the kind of detail you actually need there. I have also found the 1:25k printing too faint and the lettering too small to be easy to read. Even their paths are faint. Maybe something has changed, but based on the 25k mapping on Walkhighlands (thanks!!!) I don't think so. Think murky December afternoons at 4pm. You need some colours that stand out! Yeah, you don't think about these things in your office down there in Southampton, do ya!

If I figured I needed something better than the 1:50k I would take a good look at Harveys. At the very least, they are easy to read for those of us with aging eyes. And they are less likely to show completely non-existent paths, unlike the OS! E.g. this one: https://www.harveymaps.co.uk/acatalog/Cairngorms-YHBMCG.html#SID=3
DopeyLoser
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Apr 7, 2011

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby Sgurr » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:23 pm

I sometimes look at the larger scale online to see where the fences (that might turn out to be deer fences) are. Husband sometimes pencils these onto the smaller scale. Sometimes helps to be able to follow a fence if it's going homeward: Landranger don't put them on.

Before I retired as a 2nd hand bookseller, I always used to be able to sell 1" maps at a good price, as even though they were old, there were still enough people around whose legs remembered what it was like to walk 5 miles.
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 4804
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:138
Wainwrights:160   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby basscadet » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:38 pm

Sgurr wrote:
Before I retired as a 2nd hand bookseller, I always used to be able to sell 1" maps at a good price, as even though they were old, there were still enough people around whose legs remembered what it was like to walk 5 miles.


I like those old maps because they have more stuff on them.. and by stuff, I mean ruins, brochs, forts, chambered cairns etc.. although must confess to using the old maps on heritage paths to check for that kind of thing, then mark them on the pink map too.. always look out for them in the charity shops 😀
User avatar
basscadet
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:52
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:34   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:17   Islands:21
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby Paul Webster » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:44 am

Not sure that's true Paul - the Outdoor Leisure series has been around since the 1970's


That's what I said:

To confuse things further if you go back into the past the maps were originally called Outdoor Leisure and only covered certain areas (like Torridon, the Cuillin, Arran and the Cairngorms) - before the Explorer range came along and covered the whole country. Previously the country was only fully covered at 1:25k in the wee green Pathfinder maps.


I've got plenty of all of these types of maps :)
User avatar
Paul Webster
Site Admin
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 5395
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:66   Donalds:43
Sub 2000:116   Hewitts:133
Wainwrights:134   Islands:92
Joined: Jan 6, 2007
Location: Highland
Walk wish-list

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby ChrisButch » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:22 pm

The confusion arose because when OS launched the countrywide Explorer 1:25000, the existing Outdoor Leisure sheets were also rebranded as Explorer, and their yellow covers changed to orange: but the sheet numbers of those ex-Outdoor Leisure maps were not changed - they were still prefixed OL, and were out of numerical sequence from all the others.

On the usefulness of these sheets - in many respects I've always found them hillwalker-unfriendly. The main problem has always been the sheer size, the folding system, and the obsession with double-sidedness. There's somebody-or-other's law which dictates that you always need to open out the entire sheet and refold at a crucial navigation point in a force 10 and drenching rain. But the actual cartography, although admirable in many ways, contrives to make essential detail such as contour lines harder to make out, especially in poor visibilty. They're often obscured by inessentials, such as the conventional squiggles indicating rock (just look at South Harris, for instance). In England and Wales the colour shades indicating woodland and access land under the CROW Act also often obscure detail, as do the boundaries of NT and military land. Fences, walls and hedges etc are usually accurate, but again often too faint to make out at those essential points where you're trying to get out of enclosures onto the open hill, or vice versa.

On a lot of these points the Harvey maps are an improvement, but they're not without their problems also (especially accuracy at the enclosed/unenclosed land interface). But they're streets ahead in the practicality of folding etc, and their new pocket-sized Ultramaps (1:40,000), originally aimed at fellrunners, are a brilliant innovation (so far only available for a few areas).
ChrisButch
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Apr 18, 2016

Re: OS Map Numbering ….I’m confused!

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:46 pm

I emailed OS directly at the same time as I posted on the WWH site yesterday . They got back to me this morning with the following response, which pretty much, reflects exactly what Paul said.

Cheers all.

 

Hello XXX,

Thank you for contacting Ordnance Survey about the numbering of our mapping for the Cairngorm Mountains.

The reason for the change of numbering is that we re-branded the maps in 2016. Some of the upland and tourist areas were re-issued as our Outdoor Leisure series Explorer 394 was incorporated into OL51 with some of the area included on OL51.

Although there is no direct correlation between the old and the re-branded maps, the best place to see our current coverage is on our website at the following link: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/shop/maps/explorer-map-atholl.html (please scroll down to bottom).

I hope this helps but if I can be of any further assistance, please let me know.

Kind regards,

David Pratt 
Customer Service Adviser
Customer Service Centre, Ordnance Survey Leisure
User avatar
Lightfoot2017
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 829
Munros:175   
Grahams:1   
Joined: Jun 28, 2012
Location: Dunfermline




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Davide, Scraggygoat and 32 guests