DEATHWATCH: Maps made of paper

31 March 2014

Remember the lols when your Mum and Dad would have vicious map reading arguments in the front seats of the Austin Allegro? That paper map would obscure the windscreen, leading to the age old argument that women can’t read maps, then your Dad would say he was having an affair and your holiday to Bognor would be ruined.
map arguing

Well now, paper maps are as obsolete at the Austin Allegro, with the news that the Ordnance Survey’s sales have shrunk by a third as walkers, ramblers and drivers rely on Satnav and smartphone maps.

In response to the decline in sales, OS maps will only be available for popular walking areas like the Lake District – and even then you’ll only be able to get them in bookshops. And while the OS has a statutory responsibility to map the whole of Britain, if you want a map for another area you’ll have to order it online and download it.

‘Rather than stocking the whole country, we’ll have them on demand’ said an OS spokesman from his dusty cave. ‘But you won’t be able to walk into a shop and buy them.’


  • Noghar
    What's a bookshop?
  • Robert A.
    We'd like to state that this simply isn't true. We at Ordnance Survey are committed to maintaining a national series of paper maps for both OS Explorer and OS Landranger maps. Paper maps are used by millions of outdoor enthusiasts every year enabling people to explore and enjoy Great Britain. Our paper products remain an important part of Ordnance Survey with nearly 2 million sold over the last year. Users will continue to be able to purchase paper maps covering the whole of Great Britain from many outlets, including our own online Map Shop. You can read more here:
  • Rick G.
    Well that's rather silly, what on earth are we all to do in the event of the zombie apocalypse? We're going to need maps - it's a conspiracy i tell you.
  • Angie T.
    Yesterday OS strongly denied this to be true both on their blog (see the post here: and on a national level on Radio 4's World at One news programme.

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