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Greater than 1 / 4 of Britons have never been taught to read a map

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Revealed: Greater than 1 / 4 of Britons have never been taught to read a map (and three-quarters do not know the symbol for a pub)

  • The findings are available a poll with over a 3rd stumped over the symbol for the john 
  • Greater than half (56 per cent) admit they have lost because they can not use a map
  • Thirty-nine per cent resort to calling friends, 26 per cent flag down help 

Greater than 1 / 4 (27 per cent) of Britons claim they’ve never been taught tips on how to read a map and even those that have, say they still do not know tips on how to read one (14 per cent).

These are findings from a poll by Ordnance Survey, which also found that walkers are stumped by probably the most basic of symbols – including a pub, a viewpoint and a bathroom.

Three-quarters (77 per cent) of those questioned couldn’t recognise the pub sign (denoted by a classic pint pot jug with a handle) – and greater than a 3rd (38 per cent) didn’t know what to search for in the event that they needed the john.

Greater than 1 / 4 (27 per cent) of Britons quizzed in an Ordnance Survey poll claim they’ve never been taught tips on how to read a map (stock image)

Three-quarters (77 per cent) of those questioned couldn't recognise the pub sign (above) More than a third (38 per cent) didn't know what to look for if they needed the loo (above)

Three-quarters (77 per cent) of those questioned couldn’t recognise the pub sign (left). Greater than a 3rd (38 per cent) didn’t know what to search for in the event that they needed the john (right)

Of the two,000 adults quizzed for the survey, carried out by One Poll, greater than half (56 per cent) admit they have lost because they can not use a map or follow an app appropriately, with 39 per cent resorting to calling family and friends, 26 per cent flagging down help, and 10 per cent reporting calling upon mountain or clifftop rescue to get home.

Even when they don’t seem to be actually getting lost on walks, 31 per cent of Brits are frightened they may.

Many adults say they’re cautious and far happier in the event that they’re walking with another person (46 per cent).

Despite all this, the pandemic has prompted Brits to go outdoors more and lots of are finding unexpected hidden gems. Around 1 / 4 (23 per cent) of people who find themselves out and about on walks found one just prior to now week.

OS GetOutside Ambassador Julia Bradbury said: ‘On the face of it, these results seem to indicate the British public have a insecurity regarding their map reading skills.

‘It is a shame, but something that could be quickly rectified. Knowing a couple of basics about tips on how to read maps, understanding map symbols, contour lines, and understanding grid references can transform how you’re feeling about getting outside safely.

‘Map reading skills provide you with self-assurance and ease the fear of getting lost. That knowledge can unlock the outside and result in wonderful adventures and discoveries within the British countryside.’

Of the 2,000 adults quizzed for the survey, more than half admit they've got lost because they can't use a map or follow an app correctly, with 39 per cent resorting to calling friends and family

Of the two,000 adults quizzed for the survey, greater than half admit they have lost because they can not use a map or follow an app appropriately, with 39 per cent resorting to calling family and friends

Ordnance Survey is launching National Map Reading Week on Monday, July 11, ‘to encourage people of all ages and interests to brush up on their map-reading skills so that they can explore, find adventures and make memories’.

OS’s MD for Leisure, Nick Giles, said: ‘One among the important thing reasons we run National Map Reading Week is to make the outside in Britain fun, accessible and protected.

‘We wish to encourage people to raised understand how good map skills, each paper and digital, can unlock and encourage people to soundly discover recent places and adventures.

‘We’ve a unbelievable set of map-reading resources on our GetOutside website, so if you would like to get out and explore this summer but feel apprehensive, take a while to look at our videos or read the blogs. These resources offers you the arrogance to avoid getting stressed and lost next time you explore outside.’

TOP TIPS FOR MAP READING 

Select the fitting map 

There are two options. First is the orange OS Explorer maps, that are 1 to 25,000 in scale. Because of this for each 4 centimetres on the map, you have got kilometre on the bottom in real life. They’re perfect for walking, general exploring, going out running, some sorts of kayaking and cycling. These are the paper maps with the best level of detail.

The choice is the pink OS Landranger maps. These are 1 to 50,000 in scale, which suggests that for each two centimetres on the map, you have got a kilometre in real life. They’re ideal should you are heading out on a National Trail corresponding to the Offa’s Dyke Path or the South Downs Way.

Understand map symbols

You can find the legend explaining what the map symbols are printed on every OS Explorer and Landranger map. Above is the symbol for a viewpoint

You will discover the legend explaining what the map symbols are printed on every OS Explorer and Landranger map. Above is the symbol for a viewpoint

You will discover the legend explaining what the map symbols are printed on every OS Explorer and Landranger map. These will assist your navigation.

Understand contour lines

When out and about it is beneficial to get a way of the form and height of the encompassing landscape. You try this on an OS map using contour lines, the faint reddish-brown lines that should you trace along with your finger will come to a number that shows height above sea level. On a shallow slope the contour lines will probably be far apart, but when a slope is far steeper, the lines are closer together on the map.

Find your four-figure grid reference

To mark a spot on the map, it’s essential to give a grid reference. Numbers running from left to right at the underside of the OS map are referred to as Eastings. Numbers running bottom to top along the perimeters are Northings. Pick the underside left-hand corner of a square on the map and take that number (e.g 24), then go from bottom to top of that square and find that number (10) and also you get your grid reference (24 10). Each map has its own two-letter prefix that tells you which of them a part of Britain you’re in (e.g SU 24 10). 

Source: Ordnance Survey 

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