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UK mapping advice

I have been exceptionally happy with GaiaPro as a mapping solution for SOTA activation in the Western US. To boot, it’s maps seem to extend to the UK and have been invaluable on the few UK activations I have done.

Now that I am back in the UK on a more permanent basis (but definitely with a foot still in W6-land) I’m running into a lack of UK coordinates support in GaiaPro.

Lots of UK activation reports include waypoints etc in the form NT xxxxxx yyyyy and undoubtably other formats I’m not even aware of. Given GaiaPro doesn’t handle these and using a conversion app not particularly UX friendly what are UK activators using to plan and track in real-time routes to activations on an iPhone and either a Mac/PC at home?


HI Paul

I don’t have any Apple devices - I use a Windows PC and Android phones and tablet.

Not sure of compatibility therefore. Suggest you look at the Viewranger App which has an account server support server for each user on the internet with my.viewranger for saving tracks and routes and taking them from others on to your own device. A good planning tool. The app is free but then you have to buy either map tiles or take out an annual subscription to OS mapping. I think there may be a free trial available.

On the PC I have used Memory Map for 12 years, however this is lagging behind Viewranger and the app is not so good. I still use MM on the PC for planning routes in the UK though. The OS Maps app for the phone is buggy from what I am told. I tried an early version, it wasn’t good.

You can use Locus or Orux mapping apps also (not sure about iPhone support). These use an enhanced version of Open Street Map. I don’t need to use these in the UK as Viewranger is best, but I find Locus is good in Europe and you can import the GPX files provided by Rob from the SMP into the app. Again, I think Android only, not sure.

73 Phil

Paul, when you’re on a machine with a UK ip address (probably not otherwise) Bing Maps will offer you an OSGB mapping layer. This includes 1:25,000, which is what you want for hiking.

Because in this stitched-together view you won’t get the usual gubbins around the edge of the map sheet it won’t give you a clue to the letters that start the grid reference, but otherwise, once you’re in about the right place, you can read the x and y numbers that are printed over the map every 10km. You can also use various web sites to convert between OSGB references and lat/lon values.

I have Apple devices (8 Plus) and use the OS mapping apps - I buy the OS subscription which allows me to print out a paper copy when I don’t have the “real” map. It also produces a 1:25000 os standard map with you located in the middle! The subscription also now allows you to plan a route and do a fly through of the journey as well as doing distance and height gained when using a computer. ( Worked well for my sons DofE silver route plan…) ( Must admit to being old fashoned and I always have at least one paper map with me…)
There is a free app called OS Locate which gives a UK grid Ref and height gained. When I have the Scouts out walking I usually ask them for their grid ref and compare it with the app. They are starting to get quite good now!

I have not tried many different ios apps - but for me the functionality of being able to see a 1:25000 map of the UK summit ( Usually that someone else is activating ) on the computer screen combined with the apps is a good package.

(My other ios radio apps that get used are Sota Goat - which is easier to spot with than a website - can manage it even without glasses… , Ham Log which logs quite well, but the phone is hopeless in direct sunlight and Solar Data. Hope this is useful


Paul (G4IPB)

+1 for the OS maps app. Not used my Satmap since I had the OS subscription.


Plus 1 for ViewRanger

Hi paul
I use the SOTA goat App for general planning and the ViewRanger with a laptop and the iphone 6 plus for navigation planning, think it cost about £25 for a years subscription for UK maps http://www.viewranger.com/en-GB/world-of-maps.
You may find a few routes for summits from phil G4OBK on the app.


Thanks for all the suggestions. I downloaded a trial version of both ViewRanger and OS apps for my iPhone.

Will experiment!!


UK activators(and maybe even chasers) might be interested in http://magic.defra.gov.uk/ which offers detailed mapping with dozens of different overlays. Works best on a desktop, but I have tried it mobile on my phone and with a 4G signal works OK. Suspect it is unlikely to work on a summit.