41 votes
Accepted

What advantage does the what3words coordinate system have over other, traditional systems?

They don't really pitch it as a replacement for lat/long, but more postcodes and street addresses. A building number and postcode can (and has, IME) have an entrance on a different street, under a ...
Darren's user avatar
  • 2,433
30 votes

Why would one choose to use a Harvey map rather than an Ordnance Survey map?

Well, if you've ever tried walking in countries like Spain or Italy, we should celebrate the fact that we are spoiled for choice. You can always get by with an OS, so why would you ever choose Harvey? ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
29 votes

"Official" providers of topographic maps per country

Europe Austria: The Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen (BEV, "Federal bureau for metrology and surveying") publishes the ÖK50 series in scale 1:50000, covering the whole country. ...
22 votes
Accepted

How can I know what a road will be like?

But does that mean it's a decent dirt road that an ordinary car can handle, or is high clearance and/or 4x4 need? How would I go about finding out? You ask locals. It's the only way. No map will ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
17 votes
Accepted

Difference between a "path" and a "footpath"?

A path indication on the map means that when the mapper mapped it there was physically a path on the ground. It gives no indication as to who is or is not allowed to use that path. The brown ...
Peter Green's user avatar
15 votes

Would there be any practical uses of a geological map for a hiker/backpacker?

I thought about this for a while, but to be honest I can't see many immediate uses for backpackers that wouldn't be covered by other means and sources more effectively. For example, if the only ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 13k
15 votes
Accepted

Maps showing forest type

OpenStreetMap OpenStreetMap provides information about the type of forest. The information is stored in the tag leaf_type, which has the following values: broadleaved needleleaved mixed leafless ...
nrainer's user avatar
  • 266
13 votes

Why would one choose to use a Harvey map rather than an Ordnance Survey map?

I've used OS 1:25k and 1:50k extensively in the UK. I also have a little experience of using 1:40k Harveys maps (Lake district, for mountain marathons). I have been impressed with the Harveys: in ...
aucuparia's user avatar
  • 2,320
13 votes
Accepted

OS Map Symbols - Black Dots

According to the Ordnance Survey legend, those are BOUNDARIES Civil Parish (CP); England or Community (C); Wales See page 6 of the legend under boundaries. There are no other small black dots on the ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
13 votes

Austria: 1:25000 paper and other maps

The official Austrian topographic office Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen does not generally have true 1:25,000 maps. It does sell maps at those scales, but those are actually ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
12 votes
Accepted

Is Gaia GPS inaccurate for distances?

GPS is simply not a good way to measure trail distance. This is because the raw GPS fixes have a lot of noise on them. If you take them literally, then you get a much longer distance than you ...
Olin Lathrop's user avatar
  • 21.4k
12 votes

When using a compass, why not follow a degree mark without rotation?

The old style pocket compasses worked just like that. The problem: If you use a compass without using that arrow -- just using the degree marking on the dial, your error will about triple. If ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

What is dead reckoning when navigating with a map and compass?

What is dead reckoning? Dead reckoning is the skill of moving along a specific bearing for a specific distance - eg, to walk 350 meters on a 25 degree bearing - without reference to any major feature ...
Tullochgorum's user avatar
  • 11.7k
11 votes

How is elevation gain and change measured for hiking trails?

There are three different ways of describing elevation gain/change for hikes. The least useful – and sadly a very common – method is simply to subtract the starting elevation from the ...
Martin F's user avatar
  • 4,107
11 votes

How can I know what a road will be like?

The easiest way is to just drive it. You need a "certain tolerance" for minor wear and tear and bumps to your car and some cars are better suited than others, but with a bit of patience and ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
10 votes

Would there be any practical uses of a geological map for a hiker/backpacker?

It may not be relevant in too many places, but… Hot springs! I'm heading to Iceland again this year and I will carry a colourful jarðfræðikort (geologic map) with me: Source: ISOR (available ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
10 votes

What advantage does the what3words coordinate system have over other, traditional systems?

Another use of What3words are outdoor scavenger hunts or geocaching riddles. It is much easier to make riddles that have certain words as a solution rather than numbers. You can use it for a ...
izlin's user avatar
  • 209
9 votes

Difference between a "path" and a "footpath"?

On Ordnance Survey maps in England and Wales, the brown background shows access land: see this legend. On such access land, access on foot is permitted anywhere. You cannot cycle here. A path is a ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
8 votes

Is Gaia GPS inaccurate for distances?

There are two main things that can go wrong with gps accuracy. The first is the quality of the signal, which can be less than for a dedicated gps unit (less space for an antenna and other design ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
8 votes

What is dead reckoning when navigating with a map and compass?

Basically, it is using compass headings and distance traveled to navigate to points without intermediate known locations. For instance if you were to start from camp and travel directly east for 4 ...
Charlie Brumbaugh's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

With what unit are river flow speeds indicated on the Genshtab Soviet military maps?

It's meter per second. See the more detailed legend explanation at this huge pdf The text means "Arrows that show rivers' flow direction (0.2 is a speed of the flow in m/s)"
Usurer's user avatar
  • 1,478
8 votes

Italy: recommended paper maps for hiking in Trentino and Alto Adige

Short answer 4LAND is the best bet for the areas around Riva del Garda and Trento, but as of January 2023 they still lack coverage for parts of Alto Adige / Südtirol north of Brixen / Bressanone. ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
7 votes

Would there be any practical uses of a geological map for a hiker/backpacker?

Disclaimer: I have no idea how to read the map above :) For me it would seem important in the case of longer time camping. After 10+ years of scout camp experience, I can tell that if you want to dig ...
Akabelle's user avatar
  • 2,832
7 votes

How can I know what a road will be like?

Has the road been mapped by Street-view? If not does Street-view go along an intersecting road? If so you might be able to get some pictures of the start or all of the road respectively. You can also ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 10.4k
7 votes
Accepted

Is this a valid method from taking a bearing from a map?

You don't need to orient the map at all, this can all be worked out irrespective of where actual North is. You would generally only need to use this method if planning a route or for triangulation to ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 10.4k
6 votes

Why would one choose to use a Harvey map rather than an Ordnance Survey map?

I know several people who recommend the Harvey maps, so they're obviously not terrible. The main advantage is the 1:40,000 scale which offers most of the detail of a 1:25,000 map while covering a ...
nivag's user avatar
  • 7,079
6 votes
Accepted

How do you access the back of a large paper map?

Unfold the map when you are home and then re-fold so the part you need is on the outside. If you need to access both sides while out on the one trip, you may find a way to fold so that both parts are ...
Willeke's user avatar
  • 4,078
6 votes

How do you access the back of a large paper map?

The laminated OS maps at least won't get damaged, but they're still troublesome in the wind. When I used to go to Dartmoor a lot, I had 2 maps, one folded to north sheet, and one to south. That's ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 26.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Free online UK maps

Yes, go to https://www.bing.com/maps/ and select "Ordnance Survey" in the drop-down in the top right corner. The zoom level you select will show either the 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 map you will see.
MJH's user avatar
  • 282

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