Augmented reality to help people see beyond the map

Ever wondered what the name of that hill is in the distance? Or how far away a town is from the spot you are standing in? Well, all you need is a mobile phone or tablet and Ordnance Survey’s new augmented reality feature will do the rest!

The hugely popular OS Maps application, now includes a fantastic augmented reality (AR) feature which can call on over 200,000 locations throughout the UK. 

Using the phone or tablet’s camera view; hills, mountains, coastal features, lakes, settlements, transport hubs and woodland in the vicinity are identified and labelled. If a label is pressed and there is a data connection, a page of useful information about that location is displayed, including nearby walks, photos and places to stay.

“The aim is to improve people’s knowledge of their location by helping them see beyond the edge of the map”, explains Tim Newman, Digital Product Manager at Ordnance Survey. Newman continues: “At OS we help people to GetOutside more often through our passion to make outdoor activity more enjoyable, accessible and safe. This fantastic new feature really gives you a clear and accurate context of your environment. While we always recommend people carry a paper map when outside (they never run out of batteries!) we recognise that people are increasingly enjoying the benefits of using mobile phones for navigation. Mobiles can provide you with excellent knowledge of your immediate surroundings but you can lose the wider perspective on a small screen. The new augmented reality view helps address this by showing what is on the horizon. We hope people will find this fun and informative, as well as being a useful tool to help improve basic navigation skills.”

The new AR feature which is free to subscribers of OS Maps follows hot on the heels of the award-winning 3D map and route planning features launched earlier this year. The team are constantly improving OS Maps and more new features are planned in the coming months; with now more than 1.2 million routes in the app, and full country coverage of both Landranger and Explorer mapping there has never been a better excuse to GetOutside and explore! 

To find out more, and start your adventure, visit

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