Mapping and GPS software for the UK

While idly looking through a CTC magazine I came across a screenshot of a mapping program showing a section of an Ordnance Survey map with a GPS track overlaid on it. This got me thinking that this would be an extremely useful thing to do; at the moment I haven’t any way of using the GPS with a proper map.

After having a look around it seems there are three main programs that do this kind of thing; OziExplorer, Anquet Mapping and TrackLogs.

I found a thread GPS for unicycling? which mentions the Anquet and TrackLogs programs, but OziExplorer I discovered from the uk.rec.walking newsgroup.

TrackLogs appears to have better GPS integration than Anquet, being built in from the start rather than tacked on to an existing program; however the map area that comes with TrackLogs seems rather small. In my case the Anquet program would come with a map of the entire south west, whereas TrackLogs would come with a smaller area of Somerset, Dorset and a small bit of North Devon, so would be much less useful.

These two both come with smaller scale maps of the entire UK; Anquet at 1:250,000 and TrackLogs at 1:1,000,000. This could be very useful for longer car journeys.

OziExplorer I found later, which does not come with any map data but allows you to use images of maps, such as scanned maps, and calibrate them so routes can be overlaid upon it. This strikes me as being much cheaper in the long run; I already have OS maps for the areas I’m interested in, it seems silly to effectively buy them again on CD rather than dead trees.

Because of this, however, OziExplorer does not do anything with altitude. While this would be okay for car journeys, I find the altitude is a very interesting part of the results from a muni ride.

Currently I’m leaning towards OziExplorer, mainly because of being able to use your own maps, and sticking to my own program to sate my urges for funky 3D visualisations of where I’ve been.

Does anyone use, or have any experience with, any of these? Any opinions would be appreciated!


I don’t know what kind of GPS unit you use, so this may not help. I’m using a PDA with a CF GPS reciever and use Navio software with topo and aerial maps from TerraServer (sorry, terraserver doesn’t cover the UK I guess, but you can use any maps with Navio if you have two reference points). It stores tracks in many formats so you could transfer them to your pc, but I haven’t tried it. It’s simple yet effective and shows time, distance, mph (or kph), altitude, waypoints, and draws your track on the map, and it’s only 10 bucks(us), PDA not included :roll_eyes: .


I have an eTrex Venture. The eTrex range seems to be widely supported, I haven’t found a program that won’t use it yet.

Navio looks like it’s definitely aimed at a PDA even though it will run on a normal computer, and I’m too poor to have a PDA…

I found another option, Fugawi UK, which looks like a fairly new one. It is very tempting indeed as it is the same price as Anquet but comes with a much larger map; it splits the UK into four horizontal sections, the bottom section containing the south west and a bit of south Wales, which is just the job. Tempted…