Gps / mapping

Hello , i know the gps / mapping has most likely been covered many many times but just wondering any new / up to date options ?

I use a paid subscription to OS maps in the uk which is fine but alot of time signal can be a issue where it will not load . I thought about a garmin gps but with the maps package its quite alot . Paper maps obviously a good option but can get expensive with buying the os maps for the areas your in also .

What are peoples thoughts ?

Matt 2E0FGX

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Use Bing and select the OS option, FREE. You can then snip the bit of map you need and put it into Paint then add any other bits you want. Print your own custom map. You can use Garmin base camp (FREE) to download any track you need into the Garmin GPS.

73 de

Andrew G4VFL


I use OS maps with a subscription. The best way to avoid issues with lack of signal is

(I) Download pre existing routes that cover a lsrge srea. For example, there is a pre existing route that covers every Wainwright, downloading this route gives you all the map tiles for the Lake District stored on your device

(Ii) create your own “large area downloads” by creating a toute that just consists of a raster pattern across a large srea…it doesnt take long to cover a whole county.


I use a Garmin eTrex Touch 35 and free opentopomaps

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Like Andrew I use Bing to print off OS maps for the chosen routes and I then compare that to my Garmin 64 which has Open Source Mapping on it. I find it useful to have both OS and OSM as it maximises the information available. As back up, I have OSMAnd (subscription around ÂŁ6 a year) on my Android phone which is very useful as an alternative to the Garmin.

Sometimes routes shown on the OS do not exist on the ground. OSM is based on users experience and can be more accurate.

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I have also a Garmin eTrex Touch 35, but never have used it a lot, as I think the screen is well below 2022 standards … and I don’t get the hang of their clumsy user interface :-(.

Compare the screen resolution: Garmin 240 x 160 pixels (0,038 MP) , my phone has 1920 x 1080 pixels (2MP) and has an AMOLED screen which is readable even in bright sunlight …

I have been using the free app MAPS.ME on my (Android) phone for a long time, and am still satisfied with it. It also uses open source maps, and it doubles as a car navigator, it helped me find my hotel in EA7 once, where my TomTom in the car couldn’t find it!
I have tried other apps (Orux Maps, OSMand, etc) , but none were as simple to use as this one (just my opinion).

The only consideration would be that using your phone drains the battery more quickly, but I can recharge my phone from my rigs’ battery (I always carry a PowerPole DC splitter with built in 5V regulator and USB output).


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Thanks all , i now sused out after 5 years with os subscription how to download offline maps !

Even on a 1 point summit the other week i had phone signal but no Internet connection so would not load, for those suggestions with various apps its only good as you have signal . I can print from the os website with a subscription but i would need to get a colour printer. ( rarley print and pictures )

I think the best mapping app i used was view ranger before it got bought out and memory map was a good one also but for ÂŁ4 a month for OS you cant complain .

Thanks , matt


Maverick Pro on Android with the UK OS Explorer maps as a datasource (might pull it from Bing).

I paid for the full version because there was a feature I needed in it. I don’t think it’s been updated for a long time though now.

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Hi Matt,
use (available also in english). There is also Android or iOS application. You can download off-line maps of many countries. Everything is for free :slight_smile:
73, Pavel


It is said that OS include some phantom information so that unlicensed copies by other map makers can be identified (possibly apocryphal). I have once tried to use a track shown on an OS map which couldn’t have possibly existed (but I only found out the hard way :rage:)

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on android, I use the gpx viewer pro app. The pro version, a fiver i think, lets you can download maps and use it offline.

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another site for OSM maps (for garmin devices and for garmin basecamp):

Not sure this would work on your side of Europe but this works perfectly well for me:

  • on my iPhone with downloaded maps as my main mapping system (sometimes an additional powerbank)
  • Garmin eTrex 30 for recording the trace as well as backup; there are plenty of free hiking maps that you can download on to it (similar details as - they use the same source). It’s built like a brick, is waterproof and has a huge battery life.

No paper maps but I rarely hike off-trail (or some sections only); if I have the route in mind and loose both navigation systems, the risk of getting lost is still quite low. rendering of the area posted by @G4VFL :

I use OSMAnd+ (for Android). The paid version (not so expensive, well worth the money, helps the development) allows you to load as many maps as your storage can hold.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW


I wouldn’t be surprised Barry. Quite often Paul G4MD and I have found tracks shown on the OS to be absent. Some were plainly impractical, others would probably have been okay had they actually existed. A bit of a mystery. We refer to them as “figments of the cartographer’s imagination”.

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I agree, my best GPS is my smartphone and the Komoot app. And by the way, it can spot and take photos.
73 Chris


I have a subscription to OS maps. I use the offline mode to down-load maps in advance of the activation.

It seems to work well for me.

Andrew, G0LWU

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I managed to get a subscription for OS maps at half price (ÂŁ24).

It also took me a little while to get to the offline maps mode, but not 5 years!

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Some of the apparent tracks on OS maps are actually parish boundaries. I remember when the 2.5 inch maps for Snowdonia were first issued someone took a boundary to be a track and tried to descend to the north from the col between Carnedd Llewellyn and Carnedd Dafydd, leading to a 300 metre fall down the Black Ladders cliff.

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