AuthorTopic: How to Read a Map  (Read 1405 times)

Offline azozeo

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How to Read a Map
« on: July 24, 2019, 04:46:45 PM »

 “Once you’re outdoors, you can’t rely on technology anymore,” says Christiaan Adams, developer advocate for Google Earth. Being able to read a good old-fashioned paper map is one of the most fundamental outdoor skills. In case you never learned or need a refresher, here are the basics.

(Want to learn how to take this knowledge to the next level, and take advantage of the full capabilities of 21st century mapping tools?)
Types of Maps

Google Maps can be considered a basic street map: an accurate two-dimensional portrayal of the world that includes the locations of roads, cities, parks, and other features. Maps like these do nothing to illustrate elevation.

That’s where topographic (usually just “topo”) maps come in. These have lines at set elevation distances that trace the contours of the terrain. By representing topography, they allow you to see the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional piece of paper. Topo maps are the only map you should use if you’re trying to navigate outdoors and will be the subject of most of this article.

There are also oversimplified trail maps—think stylized theme-park maps—that may loosely represent the location of a trail and points of interest in relation to each other. Avoid these at all costs, as they lack the necessary topographic data that will allow you to find your way if lost.

You can find nationwide topo maps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). They’re the gold standard and the basis of many other commercially available maps.
Understanding the Legend
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind


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