Map Download – you can download your subscription maps to your phone / computer and then use them without an active internet connection.
Map Streaming – allows you to view any of your maps when you have an active internet connection.
Why have both?
If all computers and phones had massive cheap storage capacities and everyone had amazingly quick internet connections at home, we would just use map download. You could then download all of your maps, have them locally on your device and use them without an internet connection.
If mobile internet was 100% reliable and cheaply accessible throughout Great Britain including up in the hills, we would just use map streaming. You would pull out your phone, and map tiles would be downloaded on demand to your phone as you needed them.
As neither of the above is yet a reality, we support both Map Download and Map Streaming to let our customers choose what mix of these technologies to use.
Our most popular map subscription is our OS Premium Plus. It includes over 80GB of map data, which in old money would fill up over 20 DVDs.
If your phone has the storage, and you want full Great Britain coverage in the palm of your hand, just set it all downloading.
SD Cards have fallen in price and we see quite a number of Android users who have phones with SD slots downloading our complete map datasets. If you have deep pockets and buy suitable Apple hardware you can do the same thing.
However, if you live in Scotland and don’t visit Cornwall, why take the time to download Cornwall and have it using the expensive storage on your phone?
You will for most walking in Great Britain want to download some mapping for offline use as we all know mobile internet connections can’t be trusted in the hills.
It is therefore for most people about forming a strategy of what mapping to download. We have a great article with a lot more detail on this subject: Strategies for downloading map data
Map Streaming simply downloads map tiles on demand as you need them. If you bring up an area where the mapping is not already available on the device you are using, it will simply download the required map tiles from the Anquet servers and then display them on the screen. As you scroll the map, more mapping will be downloaded. Its Achilles heel, and it’s a big one, is that it does need an active internet connection to work.
If you have a reliable internet connection, even if it’s quite slow, then Map Streaming is really good. The speed of the connection isn’t so important, as the system is only downloading a small amount of map tiles as you view them. As mapping tiles get downloaded, we save them to your device, and so the next time you visit that area it won’t need to be downloaded again. Very quickly, you will have the mapping you mainly view locally on your device available for quick access.
For a home-based device such as your main PC, Map Streaming works very nicely. For an iPad used around the house Map Streaming works great for sofa hill surfing.
Map Streaming is also great on your phone to access mapping you haven’t downloaded. For instance, you might have downloaded all of the Lake District and be spending a few days in the Lakes. You have a discussion with another walker about a similar ridge in Scotland and even though you didn’t download any Scottish maps before your trip, if you have an internet connection, you can view them using Map Streaming.