OS Explorer Map Issues




  • Tony Maynard-Smith


    Shame I only found this post after fretting over the problem and reinstalling the app to try and make it go away.  It coincided with deleting a load of old tiles from the database and I was afraid I had corrupted it.

    Hoping for a quick resolution.

    Regards, Tony

  • Angus Proud
    I am having this issue today too. BCN has been brilliant so far and tiles I have already saved work just fine. However, I am in a new area today and cannot download OS Explorer 1:25000 or 1:50000 maps. Bing Maps is still showing these, though, which is puzzling.

    I hope you find a solution. BCN is my favourite app and the reason I stick with android. Keep up the good work.

  • Nathan

    I have been away on some treks, so I haven't reported what I know so far.

    There are some updates to our style ids that we will make, but we don't believe it will solve all of the problem.

    I have looked for examples on the web using Ordnance survey. This is one:


    This is another.


    From what I can see, both are missing random portions of the detailed tiles. Perhaps an update of the imagery is in process at Bing and it will all fill in and be more up to date soon.

    I've tried with their same parameters and I am getting partial success, just like they are.


  • Nathan

    If you know of a website that is working, it may help to investigate the problem.


  • David Brennan

    Streetmap.co.uk looks like OS mapping and seems to be working fine.

  • Nathan

    I've posted a link with one alternative based on OpenData.



  • Kjprior76
    hi same thing happening with maverick pro (another os map program) all the maps are still there but bing have set up an api that has to have a matching key for it to work.

    backcountry need to sort a key and implement this to gain access to the maps.

    This work araound (although could be temp) is working on maverick pro
  • Kjprior76

    it seems this may have been solved on another mapping app maverick pro. 

    Bing now uses an Api and key for map requests.  a very clever user of maverick has tracked the requests to bing and made a key which is added to a text file in the maverick pro maps folder on your phone. 


    This seems to be working all the maps are still on bing but it needs the new api and key to access it. 


    it maybe a temp fix but at least someone has figured it won't.  back country needs to implement this for it it work. 

  • Tony Maynard-Smith


    I am afraid I don't understand your post on April 10, at 11:12.  Both these links seem to be working OK with a full set of OS tiles at all magnifications.  Certainly they are OK in my local area where BCN is showing the effect similar to the picture you posted (centred on Letchworth Garden City).  Ditto if I go somewhere I have never looked at with BCN before e.g. Edinburgh - the link works, BCN doesn't.

    Regards, Tony

  • Roddy Cameron

    I have noticed that the maps have lost all topographic detail

  • Nathan

    I am attaching a custom map source xml, that I am experimenting with.

    One of the reasons for doing so is that I believe I am getting different results for not being physically in the UK.

    Instructions for using Custom Map Sources are here:



  • Kjprior76
    nope not working still. downloading wrong maps. I emptied my folder to double check
  • Kjprior76

    I adapted your code to include this and it works as zoom 16+

    <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8' standalone='yes' ?><customMapSource><name>Custom OSM Mapnik</name><minZoom>0</minZoom><maxZoom>16</maxZoom><tileType>PNG</tileType><tileUpdate>IfNoneMatch</tileUpdate><url>http://ecn.t{SHASH}.tiles.virtualearth.net/tiles/r{quadtree}?g=3440&amp;lbl=l1&amp;productSet=mmOS&amp;key=AnS60-5iTIjpaqaKPvai6_2jtjwigT1al6iVDrbxDdz3h-VpgHvMkpK7qH2CaY5c</url><backgroundColor>#000000</backgroundColor><batchdownload>Yes</batchdownload></customMapSource>

  • Gareth Strack

    Tried the MmOSCustom.xml suggested, looked like the same results. Would a VPN app be of any use to get a UK IP address (have used Hola VPN in the past to get BBC iPlayer while outside UK)?

  • David

    I'm having the same -problem too. Let's hope you can fix it (or get it fixed), as the Explorer OS maps are the only maps that walkers etc use in the UK,(apart from Walkers maps fo0r mountain regiions)  and is the one reason that I bought a tablet!  Will there be an upate of progress in getting it fixed?

  • Nathan

    Yes, there will be, and there has been progress posted.

    Thank you for reporting what you see whether you understand it or not.

    I am trying to look for a solution that will not work just some of the time for some users. There are different views being shown to users of the UK, but that is not the entire picture.

    Based on user reports, a Bing Maps key may be required. They have the tiles, they make the rules.

    This is something that might work:

    1. Go to Bing and create your own key:


    Use your own favorite name as the application and choose Basic.

    Choose other Public Mobile App as the type.


    2. Place the file attached to this comment in the bcnav/custom folder.  See:

    See http://support.crittermap.com/entries/21926185-Custom-Map-Sources

    3. Customize the Url in it to replace "PLACEYOURKEYHERE" with the key that you got.

    I do not recommend, even though it might seem to work, some key that you find on the internet. At best, it may only work temporarily, and at worst, you are stealing from someone else who may be paying for those tiles, driving some small company you don't even know out of business.

    I am talking to someone from Bing about how to best do this. IE, if I got one key for the application, would I end up owing them a million dollars next year or so forth, or have to charge you all a subscription fee to cover it.




  • Pat Norton
    Thanks for your efforts, I rely on the OS maps weekly.
  • Tony Maynard-Smith


    I have just received an update of BCN by the usual auto-update mechanism, which seems to have fixed the problem.  That's great - thanks.

    Just one thing - I guess there is no straightforward way of getting rid of, or overwriting, the Bing default tiles which were downloaded in place of the OS tiles during the problem period - other than deleting everything and starting again?

    With thanks, Tony

  • Nathan

    There is no straightforward way, but I list a few crude methods above.

  • David

    I just saw the above comment and though my BCN hadn't updated automatically, I found a link to 'Update', so used that, and the updated version seems to have things back to normal. So thank you Nathan for your efforts (and success!) - I don't know what I'd do these days without my OS Explorer maps on BCN. I also had no problem deleting the errant files.


  • David

    I've just read the detailed info above (17th April), and comments about deleting errant tiles. I always use "Saved Map Folders" so deleting errant files was easy - just delete the Saved Map Folder. Just to confirm, it now seems to work fine. Incidentally the 'alternative' maps mentioned are in no way a substitute for the OS Explorer maps for walking /hiking which are the de facto mapping for outdoor activities in the UK.

  • Gus Pettitt-Wade
    This is back to being my favorite app! Thanks for resolving it.
    last update seems to have sorted it.
    I haven't needed to re-download any tiles to get the 1:25k layer.
    Also, selecting areas while zoomed out and downloading to maximum zoom of 15 is once again also downloading the 1:25k layer which it had stopped doing for a while (I was having to select areas on max zoom to get the additional layers which was tedious)
  • Keith Rose

    Thank you, Nathan, I'd be lost without BCN.

  • Ray Wilson

    I uninstalled BCN 5.6.? and installed 5.7.3 and the updated version seems to work fine Thank you.

  • Julianwbond

    Many thanks for your responses and efforts....since 5.7.2 and the file deletion procedure we are back to normal! I agree with David's comments above that : alternative' maps mentioned are in no way a substitute for the OS Explorer maps for walking /hiking which are the de facto mapping for outdoor activities in the UK.

    Thanks once again, was just about to try elsewhere but evaluating other Apps made me realise that you have the winner!

  • James Turner
    Easy way to clear the corrupt tiles is select are for download, then once you have the purple box around an area click the 3 dots in right hand corner, select delete. Zoom out then back into map and shud be back to o.s maps. Worked for the derbyshire and mansfield tiles missing. might work with full zoom out of uk select again then delete. I wawnt sure if app had auto updated but cant found manual update so this fixes it
  • Sam Smith
    Hi Nathan, I was having the same issue and was getting pretty irked by it. IMHO nothing comes close to the OS maps for their richness of content, so I'm really glad you've been able to fix this, thanks.
  • Chris Walker

    I've just created a personal key as shown above, and it now works fine, so I'm off to buy BCN Pro.

    I suspect that the issue is linked to the popularity of the map tiles in question in BCN.  The reason I say this is that the only part of the maps in my area without the detail was the Surrey Hills, which is by a country mile the area most likely to be downloaded for this sort of app....

  • Rogg

    Thanks to James Taylor - this worked a treat for Lancashire & the Wirral.

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