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Best guide features?

BeatriceKarjalainen

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
Today I have been reading The northern caminos and i really miss, distances, albergues , bars, fountains etc in the maps as JB do in his guides. I also miss town maps. Clear distances between places is really useful, should I stop here for a meal or is there something quite nearby.

I realized that I also prefer that the marked camino is in the same colour through the guide so you know if you follow that colour there will be arrows. In this guide I have to read and figure out if the recommended way is the marked way or not, sometimes the marked way is called the alternative, confusing.

I also prefer maps either running in the vertical way (start in the bottom of the page so the map is in the right direction when holding the book in front of me) or from left to right. I know I'll walk towards the west so the maps are more correct that way in the book but it doesn't make sense in my head, I see my self travelling from left to right as the text does that. (Contradicting my self when I previous said that I want the map from bottom to top :) )

Surface info in the maps, natural or pavement of some sort. Especially when there are variants to consider.

Scale on the maps and road numbers on the roads (especially if the text often refers to the road numbers).

I miss elevation maps, they make the planning so much easier. (I have them in my phone but I prefer them in the book).

Guide books to bring on the camino should be slim, several caminos in one book is therefor not a good option. I ripped out the pages I don't need. The book went from 350 to 203 g.

Another great feature is flaps on the cover to be able to use them as bookmarks.

Some white space in the margins for notes, love it!

Some sort of highlights in the text/map with warnings, easily missed turn, dangerous road etc.

Info about where to stock up due to long walk without food is a great feature.

When the text says "ignore an arrow calling for a right turn..." or similar, please tell me why. Is it for another route, is it because the authors thinks they know a better way or is the arrow an old arrow?

Updates on the web is a nice feature as well.

But at the same time i walked some of my caminos with just a simple text description and found my way (with some help of the GPS).

How do you want your guides?
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
This illustrates really well how difficult it is to produce a good guide book, and how impossible it is to name the best! I agree with much of what you say, but not all, so the trade-offs are so hard to make. For example, white space is great for making notes, but adds to the weight of paper!

There is a huge amount of data to organize and update. I like a fairly simple representation of some basics, and have my smart phone available for extra detail when the need arises.
 

BeatriceKarjalainen

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
This illustrates really well how difficult it is to produce a good guide book, and how impossible it is to name the best!
They have all their pros and cons. So there is no ultimate guide book :) I'm a map nerd so I prefer to look at the maps rather than reading text a map that doesn't guide me in some way (shows me turns etc) is quite useless in a guide I think. It just tells me the order of the towns I'll pass. But others prefer text and walk reading. I can keep a map in my head som much easier than text. But we are all different.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
I am following this thread with huge interest as I am typing busily on an English Guide to the Via Regia in Germany. One main problem with maps is that they can extremely expensive/work intensive to produce/license! Also the amount of detail you can display on smaller book pages isn't that great. Buen Camino, SY
 

BeatriceKarjalainen

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
I am following this thread with huge interest as I am typing busily on an English Guide to the Via Regia in Germany. One main problem with maps is that they can extremely expensive/work intensive to produce/license! Also the amount of detail you can display on smaller book pages isn't that great. Buen Camino, SY
Sounds fun!
I know about the problems with maps. I wish they could be more of a public domain.
 
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BeatriceKarjalainen

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
@BeatriceKarjalainen Do you read German? The recently updated Rother guide to the Küstenweg (Camino del Norte) has proper maps and a lot of symbols etc but the book itself is smaller than Brierley. Follow this link and you can see inside the book to check the layout.
Unfortunately not. Studied Spanish at school. Will look when I'm on a computer.

I'm leaving on Monday so no time to buy another book anyway. The one I have is oj. I just realised that I missed some things I like to have. But I understand that the rewrite will have other maps and elevation charts.

Hmm I saw that the book you linked to have updated GPS-routes that would be useful. But no thanks time to order. Well well the arrows will show the way :)
 

jayree

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to SdC 2012
Irun to Fisterra 2013
Shikoku 2015
CP 2016
I am reminded when I walked the CdN and came to a confusing juncture. Our multinational group each got out their guide. There were five different guides in four different languages. Ultimately we made a joint decision that proved correct. Interestingly, after sharing guidebooks each person thought another person's guide was better than his own even though he often didn't understand the language.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
... Interestingly, after sharing guidebooks each person thought another person's guide was better than his own even though he often didn't understand the language.

Case of - the grass is always greener on the other side? ;) Buen Camino, SY
 
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