Attica – OS Interactive Atlas of GB review

what's where
Photo of Attica – OS Interactive Atlas of GB
£30

Unlike many other mapping programs available for the PC, this piece of software is not a route-planner. Instead, the Interactive Atlas of Great Britain contains digitised map information from Ordnance Survey, detailing over 45,000 places in the UK. The entire country is covered at 1:250,000 scale detail, while selected sections are also shown at 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scales. It’s basically a very large map of the UK stored on CDROM, making it easy to search for, and zoom into, a particular town or geographical feature. This third edition contains updated mapping information, plus the ability for users to add their own map pins linking to notes or Web site URLs.

OSIAGB, as we’ll call it for now, has a non-standard Windows interface, with control buttons popping up from the left-hand side of the map window. This is confusing initially, but the controls are actually quite logically arranged, so configuring the overlays or zooming in is pretty intuitive. Depending on the zoom level, features such as roads, rivers, canals, woodland and built-up areas can be shown, and there are plenty of other overlays for more specific searches, including tourist symbols.

You can print out any map screen or town plan from within the OSIAGB program, and that includes the street maps of 57 different city centres. In this respect, the best treatment is given to London, the map of which can be searched using street names or general areas. In addition, some of the sites of interest around the UK also feature photographs or even brief videos, providing more information to the curious. The program also includes data on the social and economic development of Great Britain, for those brave enough to read it.

Company: Attica

Contact: 01865 791346


Verdict
While not exceptionally useful as a route-planner, the OS Interactive Atlas of GB is a fascinating educational and geographical tool, showing detail that is virtually unmatched by any other PC mapping product. The street maps and town plans are particularly useful, especially for Londoners, and there are some useful snippets of information for would-be tourists, too.