Ordnance Survey has launched a new web-based service, consisting of free Ordnance Survey maps.

The service, called Get-a-map, allows users to search by place name, postcode and National Grid reference.

Users can zoom in and out from regional maps to local areas, move north or south, or east or west, to centre the map on a particular locality. Get-a-map also offers users a scale detail of up to 1:35,000 on screen, against the published 1:250,000 originals – no extra detail is available at this resolution. The required location is then indicated by a clear red circle, and the resultant image can be saved.

You can print off any number of maps, and use up to ten extracts from other web pages for no charge. However, users are not permitted to republish the map.

Ordnance Survey's director general Dr Geoff Robinson says: "Never before have we given away mapping, but I hope that over time, millions of people and thousands of businesses will take advantage of this new service."