For the love of maps!

Howardh

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17 May 2011
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Reading the messageboard, it seems all about satnav, geo-location and whatever these days, which to me is very sad as it takes away the need for maps (or does it?).

Give me and A-Z or an OS (Ordnance Survey) map any day over these false Gods! But as someone who left school when they were still giving out milk, can I ask anyone here who either teaches or has left school recently, do they still teach "how to read/use a map" including grid references?

Anyhow, OS maps are clearly my favourite paper maps, on-line I don't really have a favourite as different maps (eg google, openstreetmap, streetmap, topographic-map.com) each have their own qualities depending on what you are using them for.

Of course all you rail enthusiasts will know of and love the rail maps shown in http://www.projectmapping.co.uk and there are various other rail atlases out there.

So just starting a thread to answer the question above and to fight back against satnav and it's friends!!
 
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ANDREW_D_WEBB

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Teaching maps, grid references, longitude and latitude are still integral to the secondary school geography curriculum. I will be teaching my Year 7 classes the skills in the new term and they will be using the skills all the way through to A Level.
 

Howardh

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Teaching maps, grid references, longitude and latitude are still integral to the secondary school geography curriculum. I will be teaching my Year 7 classes the skills in the new term and they will be using the skills all the way through to A Level.
Wonderful!! So pleasing to read.
 

AM9

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Wonderful!! So pleasing to read.
I agree. Geography was my favourite subject at school and I enjoyed OS map rerading the most. Went for a week at Edale in Derbyshire in 1962 and had great fun getting around armed only with 2 1/2 inch and 6 inch maps. Even got across the top of Kinder Scout without compasses.
 
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DynamicSpirit

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Reading the messageboard, it seems all about satnav, geo-location and whatever these days, which to me is very sad as it takes away the need for maps (or does it?).

Give me and A-Z or an OS (Ordnance Survey) map any day over these false Gods! But as someone who left school when they were still giving out milk, can I ask anyone here who either teaches or has left school recently, do they still teach "how to read/use a map" including grid references?
Aesthetically, I find OS 1:50 000 maps very pleasant to look at. The Geographers streetmaps also had a pretty good design. To my mind, once you've learned how to read them, OS maps in particular are excellent at conveying information about a locality - far better than - for example, the diagrams you get on Google maps with satellite imagery turned off. Modern satellite maps are great for giving a perspective on what things look like, but to my mind not so good at conveying what things are actually there.

The only quibble I have with OS is the way they persist in showing light rail and tram lines as almost impossible-to-see thin lines - they really should be displayed in roughly the same way as heavy rail.

In terms of using maps generally. I have a number of friends who dislike reading (or have never learned how to read) maps, and tend to navigate using Google streetview or Satnav. I think what those people lose is the ability to understand the geographical layout of their localities. For example, you could be in a neighbouring street to where you want to go, and not be aware of how close you are to your destination because you've never looked at a map of the area. Whereas someone used to looking at maps won't have that problem - that has the practical effect that someone who navigates by reading maps will find it much easier to identify 'short cuts' or alternative routes to get somewhere
 

LMS 4F

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11 Aug 2019
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204
Taught to read maps by HM the Queen, actually officers in the Education Corps whilst a boy soldier I have had many years enjoyment from them as a result.
I now use online maps but still buy far too many OS maps for any area I am visiting. An OS map if understood is far superior to anything I have seen offered so far on line.
 

NoMorePacers

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Hull
I'll admit, I do like to spend a good half an hour looking at a map. I spent lots of time doing it when I was younger, which helped with my geography knowledge. :lol:
 

Cowley

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Devon
Reading the messageboard, it seems all about satnav, geo-location and whatever these days, which to me is very sad as it takes away the need for maps (or does it?).

Give me and A-Z or an OS (Ordnance Survey) map any day over these false Gods! But as someone who left school when they were still giving out milk, can I ask anyone here who either teaches or has left school recently, do they still teach "how to read/use a map" including grid references?

Anyhow, OS maps are clearly my favourite paper maps, on-line I don't really have a favourite as different maps (eg google, openstreetmap, streetmap, topographic-map.com) each have their own qualities depending on what you are using them for.

Of course all you rail enthusiasts will know of and love the rail maps shown in http://www.projectmapping.co.uk and there are various other rail atlases out there.

So just starting a thread to answer the question above and to fight back against satnav and it's friends!!
I absolutely adore maps.
This is part of my collection of Ordinance Survey ones that I’ve built up over the years:
7E33FD55-8C07-43CC-98E6-039BC082BA16.jpeg

I’ll happily spend a while picking one of an area I don’t know that well off the shelf and just try and get a feel for the place.
I’ve had driving jobs in past (before the days of satnavs and mobile phones), and I’ve also always gone wild camping in the various vans I’ve had over the years, and they’re absolutely essential for that.
 
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I sat Higher Geography fairly recently and we still covered how to read OS maps then (as well as at National 5). It was one of my favourite things at school - I find any map fascinating.
My sister is doing National 5 Geography this year so I’ll be asking her if they still cover mapwork - although I’d imagine they probably still do.
 

Baxenden Bank

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23 Oct 2013
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1,704
Love maps, can't get enough of them! I have a complete OS Explorer set from Lands End to beyond the central belt of Scotland ie Loch Lomond and across. One of my treats to myself.

As a good read I recommend 'Map Addict' by Mike Parker, published around 2010.

Also fed up of directing country walkers with their notsosmartapps on smartphones stuck up their noses showing just 100 yards of detail either side of where they are. Can't be done, buy the real thing, on paper. There is no Plan B.

My only gripe would be the incredibly thin paper OS maps are now printed on. A light shower and they dissolve. In contrast I have some near indestructable old 1-inchers which are cloth backed.

On-line resources such as the National Library of Scotland historical series are excellent and I make extensive use of Google etc on-line in the comfort of my armchair.
 

GusB

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This is part of my collection of Ordinance Survey ones that I’ve built up over the years:
Oh my. Cartowibble! That's certainly some collection of maps.

I mentioned in the satnav thread that I purchased an AA road atlas on my last long-ish road trip rather than having to deal with Google maps. I far prefer to see things on paper and get a broader view that a screen can't give me (without eliminating lots of detail). I'm not sure exactly what it is about paper maps that I love - maybe it's just looking at some of the odd place names.
 

Howardh

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My only gripe would be the incredibly thin paper OS maps are now printed on. A light shower and they dissolve. In contrast I have some near indestructable old 1-inchers which are cloth backed.
.
Yes, I suppose one could cut the map up and laminate, or even photocopy the area you are going to and laminate that. But really it's poor from the OS; I know maps aren't cheap but a few more pence for thicker paper?? Yes, I remember the old cloth ones too!!
 

Cowley

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Yes, I suppose one could cut the map up and laminate, or even photocopy the area you are going to and laminate that. But really it's poor from the OS; I know maps aren't cheap but a few more pence for thicker paper?? Yes, I remember the old cloth ones too!!
I’ve got quite a lot of the old cloth ones. They’re still in excellent condition considering how old they are.
They used to belong to my grandmother.
 

krus_aragon

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These bookcase photos are putting my little collection to shame!

I'm working toward having a 1:50k and a 1-inch to cover all of Wales and the border area. That's as well as various other maps, including some from visits overseas. The Greek ones are probably the poorest of the lot, as their equivalent of the OS witholds some of the more detailed maps for military use only.
 

High Dyke

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Personally I prefer to use physical maps where possible to plan a route to a destination, or navigate an area when visiting. The usual choice at home are Phillips Street Atlas books. admittedly there are some locations where that particular book is currently out of print, but on the whole they do the job we need. I also have a various smaller travel maps in the car for general navigation / route planning.

The internet can be a good source when it comes to route planning - just this morning I was checking the mileage and walking time for a planned canal walk. I need to tie it in with access to public transport.

I do have a sat-nav device in the drawer at home, but rarely use it these days. I needed it when driving coaches, trying to find places I'd never readily find on a map (schools etc.). Equally there is that 'alpha' male attitude in me when driving - 'well this road must go somewhere...!' And yes, I've taken a few wrong turns over the years.
 

swt_passenger

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Yes, I suppose one could cut the map up and laminate, or even photocopy the area you are going to and laminate that. But really it's poor from the OS; I know maps aren't cheap but a few more pence for thicker paper?? Yes, I remember the old cloth ones too!!
I have the £19.99 subscription to OS maps (link in post#5) and often print A3 or A4 disposable maps to carry around, which can cover a decent area. The phone display is usable but not a bit like having a real map in your hand.
 

Spamcan81

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12 Sep 2011
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609
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Bedfordshire
Reading the messageboard, it seems all about satnav, geo-location and whatever these days, which to me is very sad as it takes away the need for maps (or does it?).

Give me and A-Z or an OS (Ordnance Survey) map any day over these false Gods! But as someone who left school when they were still giving out milk, can I ask anyone here who either teaches or has left school recently, do they still teach "how to read/use a map" including grid references?

Anyhow, OS maps are clearly my favourite paper maps, on-line I don't really have a favourite as different maps (eg google, openstreetmap, streetmap, topographic-map.com) each have their own qualities depending on what you are using them for.

Of course all you rail enthusiasts will know of and love the rail maps shown in http://www.projectmapping.co.uk and there are various other rail atlases out there.

So just starting a thread to answer the question above and to fight back against satnav and it's friends!!
I love maps. Satnav is ok for navigating around towns and cities by car and getting to your destination but once I'm there I use OS maps for getting to photo locations etc. An OS map tells so much more that a satnav.
 

Spamcan81

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Bedfordshire
Love maps, can't get enough of them! I have a complete OS Explorer set from Lands End to beyond the central belt of Scotland ie Loch Lomond and across. One of my treats to myself.

As a good read I recommend 'Map Addict' by Mike Parker, published around 2010.

Also fed up of directing country walkers with their notsosmartapps on smartphones stuck up their noses showing just 100 yards of detail either side of where they are. Can't be done, buy the real thing, on paper. There is no Plan B.

My only gripe would be the incredibly thin paper OS maps are now printed on. A light shower and they dissolve. In contrast I have some near indestructable old 1-inchers which are cloth backed.

On-line resources such as the National Library of Scotland historical series are excellent and I make extensive use of Google etc on-line in the comfort of my armchair.
]

Try the German equivalent. They don't last long at all. Soon split and tear along the folds.
 

Baxenden Bank

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These bookcase photos are putting my little collection to shame!

I'm working toward having a 1:50k and a 1-inch to cover all of Wales and the border area. That's as well as various other maps, including some from visits overseas. The Greek ones are probably the poorest of the lot, as their equivalent of the OS witholds some of the more detailed maps for military use only.
It took me a long time to complete the Explorer set and I didn't buy them all new. If I were a rich man (ie BBC Radio 6 presenter annual salaries of £170k !), I would perhaps have a new complete set on a regular basis. There is/was a deal for such things from one of the on-line retailers. However I have what I have and they will probably not get replaced now.

Yes, I suppose one could cut the map up and laminate, or even photocopy the area you are going to and laminate that. But really it's poor from the OS; I know maps aren't cheap but a few more pence for thicker paper?? Yes, I remember the old cloth ones too!!
For regular walking areas I buy the laminated versions. They have a secondary use as an umbrella for short rain showers. Find that app on your smartphone!
 

Essan

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22 Feb 2017
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289
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Evesham / Lochailort
The thing with maps is that you can sit down and read them for hours, learning not just the lay of the land, but it's geology and history as well. And spreading several out across the floor is even better .... You can't do this on a computer screen, let alone a mobile phone. And as for relying in GPS and Satnav ......

Yes, I have shelves full of them too (mostly 1:50k) :D
 

AM9

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St Albans
... In terms of using maps generally. I have a number of friends who dislike reading (or have never learned how to read) maps, and tend to navigate using Google streetview or Satnav. I think what those people lose is the ability to understand the geographical layout of their localities. For example, you could be in a neighbouring street to where you want to go, and not be aware of how close you are to your destination because you've never looked at a map of the area. Whereas someone used to looking at maps won't have that problem - that has the practical effect that someone who navigates by reading maps will find it much easier to identify 'short cuts' or alternative routes to get somewhere
Agree with that absolutely, - my wife will slavishly follow instructions when driving, but doesn't have any sense of where places are wrt each other or even around her. Generally she doesn't cope well with poorly signposted one-way systems that I can tell how many degrees that I've turned round and where I'm still heading. Maps don't interest her much.
In my experience, very few people who can't read OS or other proper maps have any concept of the relief of a place before they get there. Before I drive somewhere far away, that I've not been to before, I normally take a quick glance at a map to confirm the last 5 or 10 miles of the route, and memorise it. I then check the rest for critical waypoints on Google maps Streetview, just so I know what to expect at junctions etc.. I might print the last few miles, - especially if it involves picking my way into a built-up area. Major road signs in the UK are pretty good and I think that I can do most of the non-local parts of journeys without even checking.
 
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Tetchytyke

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Major road signs in the UK are pretty good
They are until you get into the city centre, and then you're on your own. IME city centre road signage is appalling. Especially here in Newcastle where the road layouts were designed by a 3-year-old using crayons and some road signs have incorrect things on them, such as road numbers that are wrong or that don't actually exist.

I love maps, never saw the point of a SatNav. But then my new Nissan Qashqai came with an in-built one. And it's reminded me that the biggest problem with using a map to navigate when you're driving is that you can't drive and navigate at the same time.
 

AM9

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They are until you get into the city centre, and then you're on your own. IME city centre road signage is appalling. Especially here in Newcastle where the road layouts were designed by a 3-year-old using crayons and some road signs have incorrect things on them, such as road numbers that are wrong or that don't actually exist.

I love maps, never saw the point of a SatNav. But then my new Nissan Qashqai came with an in-built one. And it's reminded me that the biggest problem with using a map to navigate when you're driving is that you can't drive and navigate at the same time.
I generally wouldn't commit to driving in strage city centres, I'd rather park and deal with the last 1/2 mile on foot.
 

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