News Item

Paper map sales increase

Sales of OS paper maps increased in 2014 - and the increase is continuing.

In the past 10 years, Ordnance Survey (OS) paper map sales have fallen, in line with the rest of the publishing industry. But, in 2014, OS reversed this trend with sales in 2014 up by 3%, and figures for the financial year 2014-15 showing an impressive 7% increase.

The most popular Explorer (1:25,000) maps sold were:
- Snowdon
- English Lakes: south-eastern area
- Peak District: White Peak area

And the most popular Landranger (1:50,000):
- Snowdon
- Penrith & Keswick
- Ben Nevis

Nick Giles, MD of OS Leisure, comments: 'It's great to see that sales of paper maps are increasing. We understand that the increase isn't huge; however, the significant news is the downward trend has been reversed. There's an emotional attachment to OS paper maps. People love their iconic design and the feel of them in their hands. The detail contained in OS Explorer and OS Landranger maps gives users greater security and reassurance.'

Today, paper map sales only account for 5% of OS's annual revenue, but this hasn't prevented it from investing in paper maps. Recent developments include the Active range of weatherproof maps and the launch 2 years ago of the popular Custom Made maps - sales of which rose last year by 12%. Custom Made maps allow users to create a bespoke map of an area, complete with their own cover images.

Following OS's 2015 brand modernisation, over 600 of its paper map covers are being updated. Members of the public are invited to submit their photographs into OS Photofit – a competition to find new images for each cover.

Nick Giles concludes: 'It's clear to us that the paper map can work alongside digital mapping, playing an important role in creating adventures and helping users explore every inch of Great Britain. We are always looking at ways of improving all of our products and, as technology develops, it delivers new opportunities. There are lots of innovations, such as augmented reality, smart paper and new production technology, which have the potential to change the paper map market.'

Details from OS below . .

  • 13 February 2015
  • NOF

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