UK, February 13, 2015: In what can be deemed as a reply to those who have in the past claimed that Ordnance Survey was planning to quit producing paper maps, Britain’s official mapping agency has issued a press statement citing an improvement in its revenue from paper maps.
In the past ten years Ordnance Survey paper map sales have fallen, in line with the rest of the publishing industry. Yet in 2014, Britain's mapping agency reversed this trend with sales in 2014 up by 3%, with figures for the financial year (2014-15) showing an even more impressive 7% increase, the statement read.
Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says: "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.
Today, paper map sales only account for 5% of OS's annual revenue, but this hasn't stopped the national map makers from investing in paper maps.
Recent developments include the Active range of weatherproof maps and the launch two 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.
OS is also exploring plans to bring new and old maps to life through augmented reality and continuing its development and experimentation with maps for the colour blind.
Nick added, “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.
"Since the turn of the century we have seen an explosion in the availability of mapping through the Internet and mobile devices. Internet mapping has been great at making maps a part of daily life, but too often it doesn't carry the detail our customers now demand. There are times when accurate geographic information is vital. This is especially true when exploring remote and rural areas, and in terms of safety and emergency situations," he concluded.
The statement also revealed that following OS's 2015 brand modernisation, over 600 of OS’ paper map covers are currently being updated. OS has invited public to submit their photographs into OS Photofit.
Source: Ordnance Survey