Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Link: Nifty Article On Map Reading

It is amazing to me how many people cannot read a map - even a basic highway map.  We have become so dependent on Google Maps, GPS, and our smart phones that most people never bother learning how to read a map.

I grew up in the pre-GPS/smart phone era, and I learned to read maps.   My grandfather had an excellent sense of direction, and usually only had to read a map once to remember a route.  It was uncanny.   I travel through seven or eight counties in my home state regularly for my employer, and after a decade on the job I know at least two or three ways to get to my destination by memory.   I still keep a highway map and a topographic map with a compass in my car, just in case. 

There is a blog web site, Atlas and Boots, with a great basic post on how to read a map and compass. It's a good primer for those wishing to learn the skill.  Most of the time you will have GPS and phone service, but there are certain terrain types - an urban setting filled with high rise buildings, forests, or hilly, mountainous terrain - where cell phone and GPS signals can be blocked by line of sight hindrances.  Kills trump gear.  Grab a cheap compass and map of your local area and learn how to navigate.

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