Ordnance Survey maps are just a click away with Mapyx Quo 2 mapping software.
As with so many areas of daily life, Google now appears to have a stranglehold on navigation, with many people relying on finding places through Google Maps. If you need more than a route between A and B, however, you will quickly find its limitations, especially if you zoom in anywhere other than one of the main urban centres.
Mapyx Quo 2 is a very different proposition. As with applications such as Anquet and Tracklogs, Quo provides Ordnance Survey maps for the whole of the UK. The reader software is free to download, with a basic UK routefinder map included.
Other detailed maps are downloaded as and when you need them, for a fee that ranges from 99p for a single OS tile (10x10km) at 1:50 000 scale, to £95 for a 1:25 000 map of the whole Cairngorms.
Alternatively, you can have maps sent to you on a CD-ROM. Mapyx also sells high-resolution satellite images of the UK from partner company GetMapping.
Even when zoomed in at the highest resolution you can pan between areas easily (and to try it out you can download some time-limited demo tiles, to see what the resolution is like).
Mapyx Quo 2 is, however, fairly complex if all you're used to is basic road mapping software, or something like Google Maps. There are a number of powerful tools and options tucked away in various menus and dialogue windows.
This is, in part, due to the intended audience, who are likely to be outdoors enthusiasts or professionals who need a high-quality reference map for tasks such as marking waypoints on a route.
Once areas have been targeted in Mapyx Quo 2, the customised map can be exported as a file or printed in overlaid sections, creating a large foldable map that you can take with you. Print-outs can only be made to a maximum size of A4 though.
Although we weren't able to test it, if you have a mobile GPS device you can try plugging this in for real-time updates to your map.
One extra feature of Mapyx Quo 2 is a 3D render engine: this takes relief information from a map and converts it into a profile of the landscape, giving a good graphical view of the hills and troughs you're likely to encounter on the way.
It sounds like a great idea, but the rendered area is fairly low-resolution and more of a gimmick than genuinely useful (experienced orienteers are, in any case, going to get a good idea of this sort of information from the OS map itself). It's okay for a quick survey of what you'll be up against, but less valuable than the core maps.
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