Our usage of maps is certainly changing. We now all look up shops on the internet, and via different map services embedded into the website to find their location. The Yellow Pages has gone from under the home phone, and in fact in my house the landline phone has gone replaced by everyone having a mobile. But what about Outdoor mapping? The Ordnance Survey pretty much have a monopoly on this segment of mapping with their 1:25,000 maps for outdoor activities. Yet things are changing, and whilst I don’t believe our faithful folded map is heading the way of the Yellow Pages quite yet, it’s certainly losing market share. Technology is playing a large part of this. If you buy the folded paper map, its likely all you will take with you. When I relied mainly on printing maps, I used to print at different scales, allowing me to use one or two printed maps for my route, yet safe in the knowledge I was carrying more mapping should I require it. However, this takes preparation near my printer. For me now, technology is taking this idea even further. When I travel now I take a variety of different maps for the area on my mobile device, and this brings me on to probably my main point of this article: whilst the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps are probably the best UK coverage map for outdoor activities, they aren’t the best for all situations. Don’t get me wrong, if I’m asked to pick one map to take with me, it’s the Explorer – it’s excellent and certainly the best compromise of everything it’s trying to do. But as I can now take multiple maps in my pocket, that’s my choice, and I am now starting to make use of this more and more. We have been processing a lot of map data this week – OS Vector Map Local Colour, OS Vector Map Local Black and White, OS Street View and GroundRanger. So I have spent more time than normal looking at mapping. If you have OMN Pro for the PC, download the demo maps, use Sync Screens and scroll around comparing the map types – it’s very interesting. Looking at features such as water, road names, rights of way. These are all very detailed data sets, and yet the differences are stark. I’ve chosen a single square km, with some urban feature, contours and paths, and cut it from a number of map types, which you can see below. Each image has been cut at 100% zoom, so what you are looking at here is in many ways the source data. These images therefore get progressively larger as you go down the page. OMN OSX – the encouraging noises continue, and it looks like I should be seeing an internal beta next week. OMN2 PC – Still making changes to the Map Manager and the new Anquet Cloud server work, but we have also made headway on integrating the new 2d and 3d map movement code. OMN Android – after the diversion around SD cards, we are now back on the new control structures for the new map download work. Source.