New OS Maps website

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 BRoss 28 Oct 2021

I have a yearly OS subscription and use their website a lot to check 1:50000 and 1:25000 maps and print map areas of interest. Recently they have invited subscribers to go to the 'new home' for OS Maps. However on 27/10/21 when trying to print out sections of 1:50000 maps I ended up with a much poorer quality of print and an erroneous scale at 1.65-1.70cm/km, as opposed to 2.00cm/km. I filled out their customer feedback form the same day to highlight those issues but have received no reply. The condition appears to be the same this evening (28/10/21). Has anyone else found a problem with the new OS format?

In reply to BRoss:

Haven't tested it yet, but very end of Aug I printed what I thought was 1:25,000 (leisure) but it was actually 1:50,000 map rendered at 4cm per km. While scratching my head wondering why a dry stone wall wasn't showing on the map, the penny dropped. DOH!!!  

Hope their new site is better

 Baz P 29 Oct 2021
In reply to BRoss:

I don’t print out maps but I wonder if this is a printer instruction problem. I would try taking a screen shot and printing that.

 deepsoup 30 Oct 2021
In reply to Baz P:

It's a feature not a bug.  

They have the facility to print 'Explorer style' or 'Landranger style' maps at a variety of different scales so it's possible to print what would usually be the 1:50k map at a 1:25k scale - it is a wee bit confusing.  I generally find it's easier to 'print' to a pdf and have a look at it to make sure it's what I want before printing on to paper.  (Then I also keep the pdf so it's easy to print another identical copy in the future if I want one.)

I'm currently finding that the new version of the website prints with an annoyingly large border at A3 compared to the old one - it wastes some of the paper and produces a map that isn't quite as big as it could be.

In reply to BRoss:

I had the same experience back in June when they launched the new site  - awful print quality. Filled out the feedback form but they aren’t renowned for listening to customers. I wondered at the time if it was deliberate to improve loading speed at the cost of quality - if they still haven’t improved it that doesn’t bode well.

My subscription was coming up for renewal so I looked around and realised that the print quality has always been rubbish from their old site as well. I had always assumed it was my printer to blame for faint contours and such, but printing from anquet was so so much better. The OS app and site are better (apart from the print process) but being able to easily see contour lines without my glasses is more important to me so I left. 

 deepsoup 30 Oct 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> Filled out the feedback form but they aren’t renowned for listening to customers.

They aren't, but I filled in the form when the new website wasn't printing for me at all.  I was a bit surprised to get an email asking for more details and had a short friendly conversation about it with an actual human so it can happen.  It's improved since then, so they've clearly done some work on it.  Hopefully they're still working on it.  (I'm using a slightly obsolete browser running on a slightly out of date version of Linux, so that might be part of the problem at my end I guess.  I'll upgrade before I mither them again.)

In reply to deepsoup:

That’s good to hear. Although I can’t see myself returning to them. I’ve always had problems with their print quality and found the contours too low contrast to easily make out. It probably doesn’t help that I’m colour blind so others might not struggle so much with a moderate reduction in contrast or colour space. It’s like day and night comparing print outs from os and anquet. 

 deepsoup 30 Oct 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

Sounds interesting, can you print to scale on A3 paper? 
Do you have to use their software, or can you view/print the maps via a browser?

I don't struggle with the print quality with OS (it probably helps that I'm not colour blind, though the inevitable age-related presbyopia has well and truly arrived), but I do see what you mean about the contrast on the contours. 

It'd be a bit of a faff for me to use Windows software though, as I do almost everything else on Linux.  Except, funnily enough, that I have to reboot into Windows to use Memory Map - they seem to be the cheapest way by far to get access to printable Admiralty marine charts.

In reply to deepsoup:

I’ve not got an A3 printer to have ever tried, but I believe so. You do have to use their software though, which is a bit clunky. 

If I didn’t have problems seeing the contours I would probably stay with OS despite the lower quality prints tbh. The OS UI is way better, although anquet does have some cool features like showing stats for each leg of a route. 

 whenry 04 Nov 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> Sounds interesting, can you print to scale on A3 paper? 

You can. For some reason on my computer it defaulted to printing in 1:50,000, but a quick bit of fiddling with the settings sorted it.

 guffers_hump 19 Nov 2021
In reply to BRoss:

Only just printed some maps on the new website. Printed 1:25000 but the scale isn't even right. its about 3.75cm per square instead of 4cm.

It definitely had better printing quality on the old website.

Very disappointed with it.

Just did a side by side comparison with the same printer settings of my work printer on A3. The new website printing at about 3.75cm per square instead of 4cm actually makes a very obvious difference in quality. Also the colours printed a lot better from the old website. Having a much smaller border was great as well. Why do these companies whenever they update things always seem to go backwards.

Post edited at 12:05
 deepsoup 19 Nov 2021
In reply to guffers_hump:

I haven't printed anything off the new site yet, but that does sound disappointing.  It might be worth emailing to let them know.  They're not known for being responsive, but as I mentioned above I sent them an email and got a response from an actual human.  (After which they did improve things a bit, but not enough obviously.)

In reply to guffers_hump:

>  Why do these companies whenever they update things always seem to go backwards.


In reply to deepsoup:

I complained about the print quality and got this reply:

I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with the print quality of the OS Maps website.

The print quality of the OS Maps website is a known issue to us and we are working hard at resolving the issue. We are expecting an update in the coming weeks that should rectify the issue, however whilst this update is being implemented you can use the classic OS Maps website to print at a higher quality. 

I hope that this information has been helpful to you, If you require any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us by e-mail on or you can call us on 03456 050505 which is available Monday to Friday08.30-17:30.

In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

> The print quality of the OS Maps website is a known issue to us and we are working hard at resolving the issue

They really are incompetently amateurish at software. Consistently, across multiple platforms and products.

Why release a new system that is known to be worse than the existing one? Keep the existing one until you've sorted out the issues with the new.

Post edited at 21:02
 deepsoup 21 Nov 2021
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

That sounds quite encouraging then, albeit also a bit rubbish.  As long as they don't take the old site down until the new one is working at least as well (or, ideally, a bit better would be nice).

 Marek 21 Nov 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> They really are incompetently amateurish at software....

Pretty standard of most non-commercial (non-B2B) web software. No clear idea of requirements, poor implementation, no testing, no bug management, no change control... and no comeback.

 Baz P 21 Nov 2021
In reply to Marek:

Oh, have you got the new Microsoft Flightsim as well?

 guffers_hump 23 Nov 2021
In reply to Toerag:

Didn't know there was a word for that. Cool!

 guffers_hump 23 Nov 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

Its quite common to do that actually. Game manufacturers do it as well. If you let the masses use it then actually record the emails complaints, then do something about it, its like beta testing.

Post edited at 08:44
In reply to Marek:

Pretty standard for most commercial B2B web software too, I'm afraid. :-P

 Marek 23 Nov 2021
In reply to Alkis:

Depressing if that's how it is now. When I worked for a software startup many years ago we had a rule-of-thumb that there was at least one person doing system test for every person doing code development (developers were expected to do their own unit test). OK, it was system software rather than web software, but still...

Post edited at 11:22
In reply to Marek:

Only last week I was evaluating various ad mediation services and I got to a point of contemplating how good an idea the ending of Fight Club would be in real life.

In reply to BRoss:

Just got an email from OS Maps,

Hi ______

Sorry to hear of your reported issue printing from the new os explore site.

A fix went into the browser version on wednesday 16th which has resolved most printing issues. I am suprised therefore to see your email of 19th;  can you please provide details of the device, the browser used and the date you used the site last?  This will assist in researching what has happened in your case.

I look forward to hearing from you.

So at least they are looking into it. I have printed the same map into PDF from both sites and will send them the copies. Hopefully if enough of us complain/review the new site they will change it. As the new app works a lot better than the old one did. Shame if they don't change, as being able to print out a copy of my route is very helpful and of course is silly to go anywhere without a paper map.

What I have noticed is that with the A3 print from the old website as it is to scale (4cm a square) I fit less map on by about 1/4 of a square compared to the new print (3.65cm a square). Even though physically there is less map on the A3 page as it has a significantly bigger border.

The new OS maps page will print out an extra page with the date and what browser I used for some reason with nothing else on it.

Post edited at 17:50
In reply to BRoss:

I tried printing something from OS maps on Thursday last week. I needed it to show 1:25000/leisure features, not necessarily the exact scale but I needed to have features like dry stone walls showing. All I could get was a 1:50000 map rendered to 4cm per km. I specifically needed to locate something on the ground and I so needed the detail of the 1:25000. In the end I had to use Bing maps and print from screen

OS maps website was useless for me

 DaveHK 22:51 Wed
In reply to BRoss:

Still not working for me today. Asked it to print at1:50,000 got something like 1:57,000.

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