Ordnance Survey Select Maps

This is probably of primary interest to UK riders, since the Ordnance Survey is the official mapping body here. Everyone has heard of them, but not everyone has heard of the OS “Select” service.

Basically you design your ideal map: choose what scale you want, choose what the map centres on, choose cover picture and title. You can have it sent to you rolled (i.e. no creases) or folded. And you can have a waterproof plastic copy made at extra cost.

It sounds like a great idea for a service - in fact I’ve been saying that they ought to do it for ages, not having realised that they already do! I’m particularly enthusiastic about this because I live on a boundary between several of their standard Explorer maps, which makes it difficult to plot routes in the surrounding countryside.

The website for the service is here: http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osselect

I have also always though this would be a great idea. At the moment I have access to the GIS lab and plotter at the tech-school I am attending.

Yes it is very nice to be able to print out maps at whatever scale you want with a center point of your choosing. The other great thing about using the GIS lab is I can customize what info I want on it (elevation, cover types, soil types, stand ages etc.)

For areas where this custom map printing is not available I would suggest checking your nearest University or tech-school with a good GIS program and ask them if you can print off some maps of a nominal fee.

Actually the other thing I’ve discovered recently that probably deserves a link is “OpenStreetMap” http://www.openstreetmap.org

Which is basically a fully open, wikipedia-style mapping resource for the entire planet. Setting up a plotting service for OpenStreetmap maps would be awesome, because no royalties would be due.

In my area, I think it currently lacks coverage of footpaths, rights of way, etc but it looks to be a pretty good guide to the towns and roads.

doesn’t really show much in Canada, not even secondary highways. It does show Totzke, SK a town that does not and never did exist but is marked on many Saskatchewan maps. :slight_smile:

Fairly impressive in the UK though.

I did look at Canada at one point. I must admit, I wasn’t sure to what extent that was due to lack of info and to what extent it was due to large portions of Canada being rather empty! :wink: I hope you don’t find that too offensive! I just don’t have a very good idea what Canada is supposed to look like :wink:

Why is Totzke on maps if it doesn’t exist? Is it a copyright easteregg designed to catch folks who are simply copying map info? If so, it probably shouldn’t be on openstreetmap!

The UK coverage is pretty good and I seem to recall that they recently finished the Netherlands entirely (!). Nice thing is that basically anyone can get an account and add stuff to the map. Even if the altruistic motivation isn’t appealing, it’s kinda nice to have some place to share notes on the lie of the land!

They do lack elevation information at the moment (as far as I know) which could limit the map’s usefulness for some purposes!

There is a bridge that goes over the railway tracks about 30km north-west of my home town. This has always been called the Totzke bridge. I had no idea why and did some research. Apparently CP Rail built towns every 10 miles along the track and they decided to name this one Totzke after a farmer in the area. The bridge is located about 1km from where the town was supposed to be built but it sort of never happened. Nobody ever moved there, the elevator was never built and now it is just a bridge over an empty rail bed in the middle of nowhere and a supposed town-site that is a grain field. the tracks were removed in 1995 and the “town” was removed from the official Saskatchewan road maps in 1999.

To get back on topic, Google earth is really good until you try printing something off.

A while ago I would have been very interested in that, as a lot of my routes seem to just cross the border from one map to another.

However, I’ve recently got Memory Map on my PC, which not only allows you to print whatever area of the map you want (although you’re limited to the size paper that your printer can do), but you can use it for roure planning, plotting, elevation calculation and all sorts. The maps can be downloaded to my PDA/phone, and routes and stuff can be transferred to a GPS unit.

Works great for me :smiley:


hey thats really quite cool, i’m quite impressed. Watch out for google to get onto it and destroy the service with like 5p maps or something.

I’ve got a select map centred on my house, just because it’s a nice thing to have around. I think they are quite expensive though?

I have OS maps and UK road maps on my phone, which are really handy for use when I forget to get a map, although I tend to buy an OS map still for places I’m going, they’re just nice to have.


Yeah, they seem to be about double the standard cost of an OS map - £15 rather than £7.

But they do seem pretty cool, especially if you are on the join of the normal ones (as opposed to being right in the middle of them, as Aberystwyth is the most notable place for miles around!).

Modern technology, eh? What will they think of next…


On those rare occasions when I get to ride, these days, I use a 3 dimensional 1:1 map, which constantly has my unicycle at the centre of it, and an actual reality head up display. Battery life is an estimated three score years and ten.

Sounds very impressive! Does this map fold up small for easy transport?

It certainly does; it’s always at the ride site on time, and ready when I arrive. Unfortunately, the operator folds up less small than when he was able to ride more often.

On private land, a bridleway or footpath is simply a right of way that the landholder cannot refuse to grant if you are using the appropriate method of locomotion. There is no law against using a footpath or bridleway with a different method of locomotion; that is at the discretion of the landowner. For example, many footpaths run along farm drives, and visitors to the farm may drive cars, tractors or trucks along them. So far I have never had a land owner refuse me access on a unicycle. (Or, indeed, a landowner on a unicycle refusing me access.)

I think I’ve seen Mikefule’s map - he just leaves it lying around outside sometimes. If I recall correctly, you just have to wait until a cartographer’s rendition of a lifesize farmer with a big dog and a shotgun arrives. He will then explain to you the nature of the right of way. Simple and effective! What will they think of next?


I wasn’t sure if I should make a new thread about this but I just found out that as of May 2007 the entire Canadian NTS catalogue is free to download off of ftp://ftp2.cits.rncan.gc.ca/pub/canmatrix/

It covers all areas mapped by Canada in 1:250 000 and 1:50 000 scale