We don’t know whether it’s a freak of topology or cartography, but wherever we seem to go (or indeed choose to live) appears to land right in one corner of the relevant OS map. This used to mean buying four maps instead of one, but OS has been doing individually-centred Landranger maps for a while. And now it’s expanded the service into the handy large-scale Explorer maps. They’re the orange 1:25000 scale ones with field boundaries and all sorts of other things marked on that are dead handy for, well, exploring.
OS are also pushing the centred maps as ideal for navigation and orienteering events, and it’s probably on to something there. Things like the Polaris Challenge tend to be held in areas that are already handily covered by a single map but it’s not unheard of for smaller local events to be based near an inconvenient edge.
They’re not cheap – the Explorers are £16.99 – but a lot handier than multiple maps. Getting them is easy – just visit www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/leisure/ and play with the groovy interactive OS Select thing to centre your map and decide what words to put on the front. They’re supplied folded (you can get flat ones for the wall too) although there’s no card cover – they come with a plastic wallet instead.
And if nothing else it’s worth checking out OS’s rather amusing promotional video at www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/theedge/. Well, it made us laugh.