Access OS Maps for Free to help your Landscape Photography
Landscape photographers often spend a lot of time out in the great outdoors while trying to photograph stunning scenes. Maps are an essential tool for me to make sure that I can stay safe, especially when I am out in the middle of Dartmoor or Exmoor with my camera and they should be for you too. They are also an essential research tool when looking for locations to photograph. There is no substitute for an up to date hard copy of the correct OS map for your location, but here is how you can access them for free from your computer and from your GPS capable smart phone, even without internet access.
Free OS maps on your computer
Many of you may already know this but if you don’t it is a valuable resource. In this case Bing has an advantage over Google. Did you know that Bing provide OS maps on their map service? I didn’t until recently and it has been my go to resource ever since for planning my photography trips. This is an invaluable resource, especially for people who like to wander around the UK’s national parks for example. I use it to look for small features and to plan how I get to spots to take photos. A good example is Dartmoor. Using Bings map service and the OS map view it is possible to locate all of the stone circles, rows and ruins or to find the name of all of the tors with ease. To view the OS maps click on the road option on the menu and the maps are a selectable option. – OS maps for free.
Free OS maps on your phone
Using Bing maps is ideal from home in tandem with the Photographer’s Ephemeris web app but when I am in the middle of Dartmoor this isn’t practical because you need to download the map from the internet to view it. All is not lost! You can get the OS maps to download for free to your phone with the Great Outdoors app for Apple and Android. You have to register to access the map but they don’t spam you or anything. Because the map is downloaded to your phone you can use it without internet access. I find it an invaluable tool when I am out with my camera.
It is important to stress that these are not a total replacement for a physical map but are a great resource if you are out and about and not somewhere where if your phone battery dies your safety could be put at risk.
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