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Maps: a Basic Skill

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I was a bit horrified at the statistic quoted here, but I suppose it must be an issue.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/04/15/many-people-cant-find-themselves-map-laments-alabama-meteorologist/?utm_term=.27d5fb3aec60
Are you comfortable with reading maps?
Peg was doing a small research study at a fast food restaurant where she asked people where they lived by having them point to a local map with labeled streets and with the restaurant clearly pointed out. About 10% couldn't do it. At least 10% she emphasizes.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I've often found that when I've held out a map, trying to get help in various countries, the person would seem to deliberately ignore my map. I came to realize that they could be illiterate (street names, etc., being a problem) or they couldn't handle the abstract spatial relations. They had to point me here or there. Since then, I don't push my map at strangers.

I noticed this long before google maps. I would think that map usage is greater now, when everyone has one on their phone.

Another observation is that when people ARE able to read maps, they ALWAYS take your paper map, unfold it and then re-fold it for themselves. It is like an orientation procedure that is necessary as they get organized to look at the precise location! This happens even when you have carefully folded it to the convenient size and location before you present it to them!
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I noticed this long before google maps. I would think that map usage is greater now, when everyone has one on their phone.
They may have them on their phones, but I think they aren't using them, except for step by step directions, a la gps.
 

Roland49

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
In School we were trained using maps and compass in physical training with the so called "Orientierungslauf", aka Orienteering, a 10km walk w/o initially knowing the startpoint nor the finish, just some rough informations about the compass directions and how much time to go and the pace.

The teacher had to pick up some of my schoolmates that got lost on the way. That was a time noone uses a cellphone nor knowing that somedays you will have such things as smartphones or gps-systems in your pocket.

Last time I used a map, me and my family were on vacation in southern france for the first time, my wife, riding shotgun, used a roadbook to navigate. She was trained using maps twice (grade 9 & 10) in a week-long military-style camp, mandantory for all students in higher education in the GDR.

I can't imagine that people do not know how to use a map.
 

gschmidl

sator arepo tenet opera rotas
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo (11/2018), Camino Sanabres (4/2019)
I'm going to bet right now that a majority of the people on this planet don't know how to use a map.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I was a bit horrified at the statistic quoted here, but I suppose it must be an issue.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/04/15/many-people-cant-find-themselves-map-laments-alabama-meteorologist/?utm_term=.27d5fb3aec60
Are you comfortable with reading maps?
The walking group I belong to hosts a map reading course once a year in order to encourage new walk leaders. It's always very well attended (it's held above a pub for the theory, then lunch, then the practical on a walk in the countryside) but generates only a few new leaders each time.
More and more often attendees arrive with their shiny new GPSr (we do electronic as well as paper mapping) so I take the batteries out, hand them back and ask the owners to show me how it works.
"But you took the batteries out . . . !"
"And? Let me introduce you to a piece of paper and a compass."

For our UK readers with an interest in maps can I point you towards the tremendous effort the National Library of Scotland have put into digitising old Ordnance Survey maps? They have a set up whereby you can view 19th century maps of the UK alongside present day satellite images:

55133

Boy were those surveyors accurate!

Play with it HERE
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I find maps fascinating. I spent a lot of my childhood and adolescence walking in rural and hill areas using Ordnance Survey maps. Then time with the mountaineering club at university spent walking in the Highlands of Scotland. My map reading skills were later given a quick refresher and some buffing-up by the kind ladies and gentlemen who instruct officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst - a hard crowd to please! For me one of the hardest lessons in walking the Caminos has been to let go of a lot of that experience and my own obsessive desire for microscopically detailed maps and instead just follow the arrows and the very simple sketch maps of my guide book (or more recently ones found online). Which is much easier to do knowing that if things go pear-shaped I can now fall back on Maps.me, Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, and billions of dollars worth of sophisticated satellite technology all freely available to me at the press of a button on a gadget that fits easily in my pocket :cool: I've often wondered what John Harrison would make of today's navigation tech. Takes all the fun out of it... :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I just remembered another case of what I am considering bad map reading although it could also be considered lack of geographical knowledge.

There was a map of the world, black borders on a white background and no labeling but six countries were colored in. Off to the side were the names of the six countries. These were not obscure ones either. I remember Japan being one for example. A relative could not find South Africa.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I was a bit horrified at the statistic quoted here, but I suppose it must be an issue.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/04/15/many-people-cant-find-themselves-map-laments-alabama-meteorologist/?utm_term=.27d5fb3aec60
Are you comfortable with reading maps?
Nothing surprises me anymore. It seems to me at least, that each successive generation is getting dumb and dumber...at least regarding what used to be called basic survival skill in life...you know, like cursive writing and basic life skills, like banking...and arranging for utilities, etc. Things like this used to be taught universally in the schools here in the US. Presently, not so much... sigh... but I digress...

Did you know that most all maps are printed with a northern orientation? That means that the TOP of the map, as you are looking at it right side up, is almost always to the north...

If this is not correct for the map you are looking at, there is most always a 'compass rose' showing the correct direction, and printed in a margin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Did you know that most all maps are printed with a northern orientation? That means that the TOP of the map, as you are looking at it right side up, is almost always to the north...

If this is not correct for the map you are looking at, there is most always a 'compass rose' showing the correct direction, and printed in a margin.
Think Brierley's guides.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
I am comfortable reading maps but not this one found in our last hour of walking from SJPdP to Muxia:
😂

If that's not a problem of colour fading, then maybe it was a problem of the funds running out before the map was finished. When you see the icon of a European Union flag, it doesn't want to tell you that you are in the EU. It means that the project was part-financed with EU money. In this case, through the Interreg programme.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way + voie de Tours + CF + Gulf of Biscay + English Channel)
I read the short article. While it is certainly true that many people can't read a map and would even find it difficult to say where East and West is when outside their home under a cloudless sunny sky, there is also the issue of points of reference as indicated in the article about weather maps. So perhaps we should ask: "Which points of reference do you use to find yourself on a map". I certainly don't use county lines or state lines. I use major cities (labelled) and roads as points of reference, or when walking, also church steeples, water reservoirs (great in France), hill tops, power lines etc.

I am aware of the basics of using a compass in connection with map reading but have never really bothered to learn the finer details of this technique and never really needed it.

I know that moss doesn't always grow on the north side of trees. 😃
 
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Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
at least regarding what used to be called basic survival skill in life...you know, like cursive writing and basic life skills, like banking...and arranging for utilities, etc. Things like this used to be taught universally in the schools here in the US.
I never learned banking and how to arrange utilities in school. Cursive writing, yes, but I'm not sure that it should be considered a basic life skill.

I don't think I learned "map-reading" in school either, although we learned about N-S-E-W and looked at maps of the world and our province. Is that "map reading"?

I'm going to bet right now that a majority of the people on this planet don't know how to use a map.
Ahaha! "Use a map" - that I can do. I have successfully found my way through many cities and countries, often with a help of a map. But not sure if I am up to the standards implied in this thread.
 

JacTx

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
?
I thought I was pretty good at reading maps until my daughter (she was about 7 or 8 yrs old at the time) taught me:
Never Eat Soggy Waffles.
North, East, South, West.
She had a really creative teacher that year and those kids thrived (and learned to read maps)!
-Jackie.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
I never learned banking and how to arrange utilities in school. Cursive writing, yes, but I'm not sure that it should be considered a basic life skill.

I don't think I learned "map-reading" in school either, although we learned about N-S-E-W and looked at maps of the world and our province. Is that "map reading"?


Ahaha! "Use a map" - that I can do. I have successfully found my way through many cities and countries, often with a help of a map. But not sure if I am up to the standards implied in this thread.
If you learned to use an old school, gas station road map, that counts. Back in the day, they used to be available at service stations in the US and Canada. They actually gave them away for free.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Are you comfortable with reading maps?
Way more comfortable than with a GPS.
But then I am edging up to the age when people are called 'old.'
"But you took the batteries out . . . !"
"And? Let me introduce you to a piece of paper and a compass."
Bwahahahaaaaaa. Totally love it.
A brain is often more accurate than a machine, and it doesn't require batteries either, just cafe con leche and a bit of tortilla every once in a while. You have to know how to use it, though.
But I digress into smugness. :oops:
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Nothing surprises me anymore. It seems to me at least, that each successive generation is getting dumb and dumber...at least regarding what used to be called basic survival skill in life...you know, like cursive writing and basic life skills, like banking...and arranging for utilities, etc. Things like this used to be taught universally in the schools here in the US. Presently, not so much... sigh... but I digress...

Did you know that most all maps are printed with a northern orientation? That means that the TOP of the map, as you are looking at it right side up, is almost always to the north...

If this is not correct for the map you are looking at, there is most always a 'compass rose' showing the correct direction, and printed in a margin.
That means that the TOP of the map, as you are looking at it right side up, is almost always to the north

Although it wasn't always so. In medieval Europe EAST was at the top of the map because that's where Jerusalem is (relative to Europe) and that's why we orient our maps - originally turn them so that the top of the map points east.

A few years back I was involved in designing the storm drainage system for the extension works on Jeddah Airport. The compass rose on our construction drawings had five points: North, East, South, West and . . . Mekkah! One of my colleagues even had a Quiblah Compass so he could face Mekkah for daily prayers.
 

James2019

James McCosh
Camino(s) past & future
Frances October 2019
That means that the TOP of the map, as you are looking at it right side up, is almost always to the north

Although it wasn't always so. In medieval Europe EAST was at the top of the map because that's where Jerusalem is (relative to Europe) and that's why we orient our maps - originally turn them so that the top of the map points east.

A few years back I was involved in designing the storm drainage system for the extension works on Jeddah Airport. The compass rose on our construction drawings had five points: North, East, South, West and . . . Mekkah! One of my colleagues even had a Quiblah Compass so he could face Mekkah for daily prayers.
Way more comfortable than with a GPS.
But then I am edging up to the age when people are called 'old.'
Bwahahahaaaaaa. Totally love it.
A brain is often more accurate than a machine, and it doesn't require batteries either, just cafe con leche and a bit of tortilla every once in a while. You have to know how to use it, though.
But I digress into smugness. :oops:
I love maps. I was very much into motor rallying in Southern Ireland in the 60s and 70s. We had Ordnance Survey maps of 1/2 inch to the mile - Ireland never had the 1 inch of the UK - navigating using them and a list of 6 figure map references was highly skilled and very much part of the competition. Coupled with the fact that as many as half of the roads marked no longer existed! So I am quite at home with any sufficiently detailed map, but now with a phone and GPS that skill is redundant. Oh well...
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Our Geography O-Level (UK exam at 16, now called something else) course required us to read and understand Ordnance Survey maps (probably the best in the world) and to carry out exercises such as detemining if point A was visible from point B by studying the contour lines.

I am comfortable with a map and compass and always carry a 1:25000 map when walking in the UK (or its equivalent in France) but I have recently acquired a GPS device in preparation for walking in Scotland where I cheerfully expect gale-force wind, driving rain and thick mist, all of which tend to militate against the use of paper maps!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Richard Feinman, a Nobel Physics prize winner when initiated into a fraternity was stuffed in a truck of a car with others and dropped off in the middle of the backwoods at night and they had to find their way out. They were stumped except for one guy who laughed and pointed out that whenever they got to a junction they only had to turn in the direction of the most electrical and telephone wires on the poles. No map needed.
 

Island

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP (2019)
Florida Trail
Appalachain Trail
I think there is a significant falloff in ability based in the type of map in question. For example, while friends can generally recognize a street map of their hometown with just the main thoroughfares shown, if the map of the same area includes all surface streets, comprehension drops considerably. If you present the same area as a topographic map, they are completely lost. Orienteering is a learned skill but it is not taught in the USA except for engineering, military and scouting.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
The walking group I belong to hosts a map reading course once a year in order to encourage new walk leaders. It's always very well attended (it's held above a pub for the theory, then lunch, then the practical on a walk in the countryside) but generates only a few new leaders each time.
More and more often attendees arrive with their shiny new GPSr (we do electronic as well as paper mapping) so I take the batteries out, hand them back and ask the owners to show me how it works.
"But you took the batteries out . . . !"
"And? Let me introduce you to a piece of paper and a compass."

For our UK readers with an interest in maps can I point you towards the tremendous effort the National Library of Scotland have put into digitising old Ordnance Survey maps? They have a set up whereby you can view 19th century maps of the UK alongside present day satellite images:

View attachment 55133

Boy were those surveyors accurate!

Play with it HERE
yay! Scotland! Dare I?

And God created.......

In the beginning, The Lord God Almighty, sitting on His throne on high, turned to His mate, the Archangel Gabriel and said "Gabby, today I'm going to create Scotland. I will make it a country of dark beautiful mountains, purple glens and rich green forests. I will give it clear swift flowing rivers and I will fill them with salmon. The land shall be lush and fertile, on which the people shall grow barley to brew into an amber nectar that will be much sought after the world over. Underneath the land I shall lay rich seams of coal.In the waters around the shores there will be an abundance of fish and beneath the sea bed there will be vast deposits of oil and gas".

"Excuse me Sire", interrupted the Archangel Gabriel, "Don't you think you are being a bit too generous to these Scots"?"Not really", replied the Lord, "wait 'til you see the neighbours I'm giving them".
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
yay! Scotland! Dare I?

And God created.......

In the beginning, The Lord God Almighty, sitting on His throne on high, turned to His mate, the Archangel Gabriel and said "Gabby, today I'm going to create Scotland. I will make it a country of dark beautiful mountains, purple glens and rich green forests. I will give it clear swift flowing rivers and I will fill them with salmon. The land shall be lush and fertile, on which the people shall grow barley to brew into an amber nectar that will be much sought after the world over. Underneath the land I shall lay rich seams of coal.In the waters around the shores there will be an abundance of fish and beneath the sea bed there will be vast deposits of oil and gas".

"Excuse me Sire", interrupted the Archangel Gabriel, "Don't you think you are being a bit too generous to these Scots"?"Not really", replied the Lord, "wait 'til you see the neighbours I'm giving them".
yay! Scotland! Dare I?

And God created.......

In the beginning, The Lord God Almighty, sitting on His throne on high, turned to His mate, the Archangel Gabriel and said "Gabby, today I'm going to create Scotland. I will make it a country of dark beautiful mountains, purple glens and rich green forests. I will give it clear swift flowing rivers and I will fill them with salmon. The land shall be lush and fertile, on which the people shall grow barley to brew into an amber nectar that will be much sought after the world over. Underneath the land I shall lay rich seams of coal.In the waters around the shores there will be an abundance of fish and beneath the sea bed there will be vast deposits of oil and gas".

"Excuse me Sire", interrupted the Archangel Gabriel, "Don't you think you are being a bit too generous to these Scots"?"Not really", replied the Lord, "wait 'til you see the neighbours I'm giving them".
You almost got it right except God was creating Canada at the time and you left out the part about Him introducing beaver all over the country to build dams here, there and everywhere - that's right, CANADA the best dammed country in the World . . . (Told to me by a Canadian in the early 1980s)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
You almost got it right except God was creating Canada at the time and you left out the part about Him introducing beaver all over the country to build dams here, there and everywhere - that's right, CANADA the best dammed country in the World . . . (Told to me by a Canadian in the early 1980s)
and you believed the Canadian? Really?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I love maps. I was very much into motor rallying in Southern Ireland in the 60s and 70s. We had Ordnance Survey maps of 1/2 inch to the mile - Ireland never had the 1 inch of the UK - navigating using them and a list of 6 figure map references was highly skilled and very much part of the competition. Coupled with the fact that as many as half of the roads marked no longer existed! So I am quite at home with any sufficiently detailed map, but now with a phone and GPS that skill is redundant. Oh well...
You are Paddy Hopkirk and I claim my pint of Murphy's Stout!
Was that the kind of rallying where you had a pig in the boot and "got lost" near the border? ;) 🐷

A few years ago I met up with a team from Ordnance Survey Ireland at a trade show in Dublin. They told me that a side benefit of the GFA was that cross border roads could be seamlessly mapped as some of the OSI and OSGB maps showed them misaligned.
I naively suggested that, when you went out on site, you could see the roads connected smoothly.
"Ah sure," the man said, "but it's not our roads that were wrong!"

If you go to the National Library of Scotland site I referred to above, specifically THIS BIT you can wallow in nostalgia as you compare modern satellite mapping with a paper map of the early 1940s. Covers the whole of Ireland: north, south, east and west! Use the cursor arrow on either side and the two maps move in tandem.

55231
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
You are Paddy Hopkirk and I claim my pint of Murphy's Stout!
Was that the kind of rallying where you had a pig in the boot and "got lost" near the border? ;)🐷

A few years ago I met up with a team from Ordnance Survey Ireland at a trade show in Dublin. They told me that a side benefit of the GFA was that cross border roads could be seamlessly mapped as some of the OSI and OSGB maps showed them misaligned.
I naively suggested that, when you went out on site, you could see the roads connected smoothly.
"Ah sure," the man said, "but it's not our roads that were wrong!"

If you go to the National Library of Scotland site I referred to above, specifically THIS BIT you can wallow in nostalgia as you compare modern satellite mapping with a paper map of the early 1940s. Covers the whole of Ireland: north, south, east and west! Use the cursor arrow on either side and the two maps move in tandem.

View attachment 55231
We are ra people... just joking. We are a' Jock Tampson's bairns... deo gratias.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
now with a phone and GPS that skill is redundant.
Well, it is redundant only until the batteries go flat. 😇

@kirkie...That first post - Hahahaaaa!
I know better than to step in the middle of a discussion about the relative merits of any country on earth. But there's only one country nicknamed "Godzone."
And it has a really big moat around it.;)
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Ah maps and kindly given instructions
Ok we learnt how to use a compass with a map to find our location and in which direction we would need to walk. So we practice, only at the very first stop left and right were mixed up and everybody walk according to instruction in the wrong direction.
So Roland this is for you.
Totally lost in the woods carrying my fellow pioneer on my back she could walk no more from exhaustion. I had it. I told the bunch you do what you want I go home now.
So since of lack of better idea they followed me I walk straight through everything and I mean everythink home with a very disheartened group. We all arrived save
because if I may say so myself my sense of orientation. And what was the thanks they complaint about the underbrush. I guess I should have left their sorry hides to contemplate about common sense and following instructions.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
I argued with my hubby when he got me a gps for the car. I said I had a map. Now I love it because if time permitted take frequent left instead of rights and let it figure out a way to get me somewhere it’s fun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
You are Paddy Hopkirk and I claim my pint of Murphy's Stout!
Was that the kind of rallying where you had a pig in the boot and "got lost" near the border? ;)🐷

A few years ago I met up with a team from Ordnance Survey Ireland at a trade show in Dublin. They told me that a side benefit of the GFA was that cross border roads could be seamlessly mapped as some of the OSI and OSGB maps showed them misaligned.
I naively suggested that, when you went out on site, you could see the roads connected smoothly.
"Ah sure," the man said, "but it's not our roads that were wrong!"

If you go to the National Library of Scotland site I referred to above, specifically THIS BIT you can wallow in nostalgia as you compare modern satellite mapping with a paper map of the early 1940s. Covers the whole of Ireland: north, south, east and west! Use the cursor arrow on either side and the two maps move in tandem.

View attachment 55231
Just hop over. The pint will be on me. Just try to make it around 10th or 11th July...
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do more than just exist.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
I just remembered another case of what I am considering bad map reading although it could also be considered lack of geographical knowledge.

There was a map of the world, black borders on a white background and no labeling but six countries were colored in. Off to the side were the names of the six countries. These were not obscure ones either. I remember Japan being one for example. A relative could not find South Africa.
Ask them where the low country's are .😉😅
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
You almost got it right except God was creating Canada at the time and you left out the part about Him introducing beaver all over the country to build dams here, there and everywhere - that's right, CANADA the best dammed country in the World . . . (Told to me by a Canadian in the early 1980s)
Let’s quote The Way: It’s not much if it’s not Dutch.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
My first posting in the Civil Service was to the Ordnance Survey. With Theodolite and Chain, Pop-eye (a device that let you view three point simultaneously in a 180 degree arc, Plan Board and a Rotring pen we put the UK of the 1970's back on the map. I did Basildon New Town and Milton Keynes and bits of the Brecon Beacons.

We made beautiful, detailed and superbly accurate maps. But our maps didn't have a little pulsing dot that told you where you were - you had to work that out yourself - though I think we worked with the assumption that if you were lost you would probably be able to work that out for yourself without our help :)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
We made beautiful, detailed and superbly accurate maps.
Back in the early 1990s I made a sponsored walk around quite a lot of Scotland to raise money for a church charitable fund. Parts of my route took me through areas where active forestry meant that what was on the ground and what was on paper were sometimes a little different. When I finished I wrote an article for a church newspaper which I titled "Lies, damned lies, and Ordnance Survey maps" :)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
My first posting in the Civil Service was to the Ordnance Survey. With Theodolite and Chain, Pop-eye (a device that let you view three point simultaneously in a 180 degree arc, Plan Board and a Rotring pen we put the UK of the 1970's back on the map. I did Basildon New Town and Milton Keynes and bits of the Brecon Beacons.

We made beautiful, detailed and superbly accurate maps. But our maps didn't have a little pulsing dot that told you where you were - you had to work that out yourself - though I think we worked with the assumption that if you were lost you would probably be able to work that out for yourself without our help :)
Never heard it called a Pop-eye before but I've got one upstairs! And "casting a chain", could never get that right. Got very confused in Canada when I was told to "go get the Transit" - which is a van right? No, it's a North American breed of Theodolite!
Proper mapmaking. Did you ever get to write your name on a cliff face?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Perhaps I should have said "We made beautiful, detailed and superbly accurate maps - of what was there on the day we surveyed it...". Once the Forestry Commission or Hovis Bomes have finished with a landscape we are all lost. There is a Trig Pillar ( looks a bit like a mojone) near Masham in Yorkshire that once provided a Surveyor with clear sight-lines to 17 triangulation points. Now all "OSsy" would see down his scope is trees.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
o_O I just surveyed the bloody thing. I do not recall hordes of native hauling baskets of sod. And anyway that was (reputed) to have occurred in1917 not 1970. Most of the OS was out in Flanders helping the Artillery re-arrange that landscape.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Most of the OS was out in Flanders helping the Artillery re-arrange that landscape.
That must have been frustrating. Just get the contours all neatly filled in and some silly sod goes and blows a 100m crater in the middle of your patch. I hope they were using pencil rather than ink....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Well, it is redundant only until the batteries go flat. 😇

@kirkie...That first post - Hahahaaaa!
I know better than to step in the middle of a discussion about the relative merits of any country on earth. But there's only one country nicknamed "Godzone."
And it has a really big moat around it.;)
ok, so the country from whence came my recently arrived trampers friend! Yeah! the capital city: Dunedin. Origin? Edinburgh.... or is my primary school memory beginning to fail me....
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Yes indeed. It's just not the capital. Very nice place though.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
We even have a Dunedin here in Florida. It is on the Gulf Coast, up the coast from Clearwater / Tampa.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I live in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands.
Oh , your not teasing. 😉
It wasn't until fairly recently that I found out you have a "South Holland" too.

There's a tale told thereabouts of a Wellington bomber that crash landed in WW2. All the airmen survived but, not sure of where they were but pretty sure they were still in mainland Europe, they sent one of the crew members out to scout around. He came across a farmhand and asked where they were: "'olland!" was his gruff reply.
The airman went back to the crash site and told his colleagues whereupon they burned their code books and smashed the bombsight.
Making their way to the nearest town they came upon a British policeman on a bike who was out looking for them.
Probably a myth but I like it!

I think ours was named after some Dutch engineers came over to help drain the land. We had them here in Kent too. There's a river crossing near me called "Pluck's Gutter" after a Dutchman named Ploeg (Mr Plough?). Gutter being a local word for a water or river channel.

So the old saying "God created the world but the Dutch created the Netherlands" should really be "God created the world but the Dutch created the Netherlands and then went on to create bits of England too . . "
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
o_O I just surveyed the bloody thing. I do not recall hordes of native hauling baskets of sod. And anyway that was (reputed) to have occurred in1917 not 1970. Most of the OS was out in Flanders helping the Artillery re-arrange that landscape.
So you just get the theodolite bubble set and an artillery salvo makes you start all over again!

Have a look at this one:

55297

In spite of all the Scottish names (Dunbarton Lakes, Stirling Castle, Inverness Copse) we're actually in Belgium!

Was recently reading about the role of the Pundit surveyors in the Great Trigonometric Survey of India - imagine trying to survey the whole subcontinent with not much more than a string of 100 "prayer" beads and a sextant. Get caught and you're literally for the chop. All part of Kipling's Great Game.
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
I always take a map even if i am in my locality. It's great for finding footpaths, pubs and level places to camp or park. I wouldn't consider going anywhere without one - or a pannier full...
In Thailand, Cambodia and Laos - I was at a loss as the maps were not large scale enough - so I used Maps.me and downloaded the countries i cycled thru - I was amazed how good it was - it was almost as good as a real map...;):p:rolleyes: but I will still load up with Ordnance Survey Explorer maps to cycle the Michael Mary Pilgrim Route from Cornwall this June!! (can't wait!)
 

BeatriceKarjalainen

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
Yes I feel comfortable to read and use a map. In school orienteering was mandatory and we learnt how to use map and compass. I hike alone in the mountains quite a lot and have to walk by maps there. And I love maps.
 

Moorwalker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
none yet
I love maps and I always buy maps of an area that I'm going to explore in detail. GPS and phone maps are fine, and are sometimes very useful especially for getting through towns but maps are special. Apart from anything else a big map gives you an overview that you just can't do on a tiny screen.

I learned to read maps at about the same time as I learned to read because my Dad loved maps too. I suspect that the ability to use maps is declining partly because GPS systems are now so common. I find that if I use the GPS in my car I have very little feel for where I have been, whereas if I use a map I have a kind of internal understanding of the relationship between the places.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I am comfortable reading maps but not this one found in our last hour of walking from SJPdP to Muxia:
“World’s worst map”. My goodness! Is that a gentle reminder to perigrinos of how little one really needs?
Seriously tho’ the vegetation around the map is beautiful; wish there was more of it in your pic. :)
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
“World’s worst map”
I saw a map board (I have a photo somewhere) that was totally blank/white except for a black circle and the words either "Ud. Está aqui" or "You are here". I can't remember which - good excuse to review a few thousand photos.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I saw a map board (I have a photo somewhere) that was totally blank/white except for a black circle and the words either "Ud. Está aqui" or "You are here". I can't remember which - good excuse to review a few thousand photos.
When you find it print out a copy and always carry it with you - you'll never be lost again!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I have no natural sense of direction, but a fairly complete set of detailed maps of the areas in the Canadian Rockies where I walk, or used to walk. I never did sort out how to use a compass. If the declination is so many degrees east (maybe 26 or so, and increasing so many minutes every so many years) then a basic compass will never be accurate unless you know how to set it. Something in me just knows that I would set it backwards and end up going 52 degrees in the wrong direction. Not a good idea. So I look at the maps as abstract pictures of the scenery. In the mountains, it is pretty dramatic. Those contour lines on the map seem to show the general shape of the mountain over there. So long as I can stay on the trail, I am unlikely to get lost, unless I get completely turned around and end up walking north when I should be going south (it has happened, you meet some great people this way, but at the rate of one every few days, and only if you can stay on a trail). My favourite bit of mountain scenery is lakes. In the mountains you can see the shape of them on a map, and by comparing the lines on the map with your location on a trail, have a fairly good idea of where you are. At one such lake last summer I saw a sign ordering me to turn around and go back, because the herd of bison which had just been released needed the area to itself. So I shall return this summer, maps in hand, and restart the walk from Banff to Lake Louise that I had to cut short last summer. Wish me luck.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
26 degrees? WOW! Where I am (SE corner of England) magnetic declination is just +0° 11' - so not really worth worrying about.
Back in the 1970s I stayed in a motel in NW Ontario for 6 weeks (we were surveying for a new road) and they had a poster sized picture of a lake on the wall on the dining room. It looked stunning and I asked where it was and how I could get there.
"She's called Lake Louise and she's 'bout 1000 miles that way" (jerking thumb to the west).
Asked why they had a picture of an Albertan lake on a wall in Ontario they just said it was there when they bought the place . . . and it looked pretty so they kept it.
As an aside, can I just compliment you on the correct use of bison? Lewis and Clark have a lot to answer for!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
26 degrees? WOW! Where I am (SE corner of England) magnetic declination is just +0° 11' - so not really worth worrying about.
Back in the 1970s I stayed in a motel in NW Ontario for 6 weeks (we were surveying for a new road) and they had a poster sized picture of a lake on the wall on the dining room. It looked stunning and I asked where it was and how I could get there.
"She's called Lake Louise and she's 'bout 1000 miles that way" (jerking thumb to the west).
Asked why they had a picture of an Albertan lake on a wall in Ontario they just said it was there when they bought the place . . . and it looked pretty so they kept it.
As an aside, can I just compliment you on the correct use of bison? Lewis and Clark have a lot to answer for!
@Jeff Crawley
So I have discovered, by a quick look at some of the maps from various years in my map collection, that the magnetic declination varies greatly. Maps from the mid 1980's generally identify a declination of about 22 degrees east. One larger map, of the whole of Jasper National Park, points out that the declination is 22 degrees east on the eastern edge of the map and 23 degrees on the western edge. And the declination is decreasing, not increasing. But the whole issue is much too complicated for me. All maps have three directions indicated for north: magnetic north, grid north, and true north. I must assume that the only the first of these changes. I am very glad that I do not try to find my way around using a compass with maps. Actually, I think that my way of getting oriented is quite traditional, and involves, in the mountains, following a series of river valleys, streams, and passes. Preferably places where I have walked before, so I get lost less frequently over time. But after the last major flood changed the topography I got lost for two days on my next walk through: no yellow arrows.
 

Isobeljc

Still walking
Camino(s) past & future
Frances “2017”
Aragones “2018”
Portuguese “2018”
D2648FC2-9D59-4E1C-A10D-45EE00B45CE4.jpeg15D26377-E6E5-476C-8DC9-CE154B622036.jpegOn a lighter note we got very confused with the same sign at either side of Villar De Mazarife 🤔🤔
Check out the “you are here” arrow 😂😂
 
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