As a keen walker and camper, I was excited when I spotted OutDoors – GB National Parks OS Maps in the App Store. Although at first glance you may think it’s quite expensive ($24.99 US), when you add together how much it would have cost to buy the physical versions of all the maps included, it’s actually a bargain. Plus you can never blame poor map reading again as with GPS, you’ve got no excuse for not knowing where you are!
OutDoors includes 1:50k maps for all of the National Parks in Great Britain, which are: Peak District, Lake District, Snowdonia, Dartmoor, Pembrokeshire Coast, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Exmoor, Northumberland, Brecon Beacons, The Broads, New Forest, South Downs, The Cairngorms and Loch Lomond. For the rest of Great Britain, you have 1:250k. So you’ve essentially got the entire UK at your fingertips!
The maps are stored on the iPhone, which naturally means the App has a large file size, but given there’s no guarantee of 3G signal when you’re out in the sticks, it’s better to have it there ready. I can see why it might be a problem for people with 8GB devices, but mine is 16GB so this isn’t really an issue. You could also uninstall it from your device when you’re not using it, then reinstall when you need it.
When you enter the App you’re presented with a view of the UK – with a blue flashing blob to indicate your current position. You can zoom in on this to see the area in more detail – a great deal of detail if you’re in one of the National Parks in question. From there, you can scroll and zoom around Great Britain, all from the palm of your hand. You’re able to search for places using their place name (providing it’s included on a regular OS map), OS Grid Reference, or Latitude/Longitude.
The App has also been integrated with a website called EveryTrail. You can download walks and bike rides that people have uploaded to the site for free, add them to the App and embark! You can also create your own walks, adding names, Waypoints and points of interest as you go. You can see the route on your device’s screen so you’ll know for sure that you’re going the right way – no more arguing about getting lost!
Overall, this is an excellent App for people whose hobbies include walking and cycling. I’d recommend buying a decent waterproof case for your iPhone if this is something you’re interested in – after all, the last thing you want is to be lost in the rain and not wanting to take your iPhone out in case you get it wet and break it! OutDoors is a very useful App and you can purchase whichever maps you require from the App Store – though it would be better if they were then added into the same App, rather than displaying separately.
The App will naturally use up your iPhone battery, but as long as you’ve fully charged it before leaving the house, you should be OK. After all, you’re not going to need to constantly have the phone at hand, you’d just need to consult it when unsure of your route. The UK is pretty good at waymarking its routes so you can find footpaths easily enough without the App. Just keep an eye on battery life, as you don’t want to end up stranded somewhere unfamiliar!
The OS maps that you’ve purchased are also covered by a lifetime licence, so if they’re updated, this will be fed down to your phone, too, making your purchase even better value for money. You wouldn’t get that promise with a physical map!
If you’ve been persuaded by this review – just bear in mind that you’re better off purchasing this App through iTunes on your computer and downloading it then transferring it to your phone. Because of the huge file size it would take a long time to download via WiFi! Other than that… knock yourself out and enjoy the outdoors!
|Title:||OutDoors – GB National Parks OS Maps 1:50k||Developer:||RoadTour|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.1||Min OS Req:||3.0|
|Price:||$24.99||App Size:||1017 MB|