Hot answers tagged

39

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 flyover, or any number of ways that make it difficult to actually find the entrance to a building. W3W can target a building entrance or location that doesn't have ...


29

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? First, you should understand that they offer two main series - the SuperWalker maps at 1:25k and mainly centered on popular mountains, and the newer BMC ...


26

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. Each map has a four-digit code, and for each (blue) ÖK50 map, there are two (green) ÖK25 maps in 1:25000 for the east and west half carrying the same number (XXXX-...


18

Prerequisites: A Topographical Map for the area you are in. Ordnance Survey's Landranger series cover all of the UK. A compass suitable for the task. (I use the Silva Expedition 54) Knowledge of your current location on the map. Step 1: Taking Bearing. Point your compass at the distant peak. (This is done without a map, by physically looking at the ...


16

There are several ways to determine true north, especially when you have a map and compass: Competent maps, like most intended for backcountry hiking, will have the magnetic declination marked. This is usually in one of the corners. Take a look at any USGS topo map, for example. The compass will tell you the direction to magnetic north, and the map tells ...


16

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 background indicates "access land". You can walk on this land subject to some restrictions. This applies regardless of whether there happens to be a path. "access land" ...


15

The USGS Fort Collins Science Center published the following map of the conterminous United States in 2005: It has been published as a factsheet with a PDF (that can be zoomed for more detail): Watts, R.D., R.W. Compton, J.H. McCammon, C.L. Rich, and S.M. Wright. 2005. Distance to the nearest road in the conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey ...


15

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 source you have about a region is such a geological map it might allow you, to some limited degree, to guesstimate the terrain, and maybe even fauna/flora. This ...


13

What you describe is exactly how it was done: Accurate measurement of distances and angles Obviously, measuring distances on flat ground is relatively straightforward: you use a known length measurement (perhaps a robe marked at known intervals); and to measure the distance to a distant point, use two points and a bit of geometry (Pythagoras is helpful ...


13

While Rory Alsop's answer points exactly to the method followed by cartographers and geologists before the invention of GPS and other modern techniques, I'd like to make a point that it was done with an assumption that they knew what altitude they are at and when you stand at planar location located from a mountain at a known distance and you can figure out ...


13

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 detail as well as scale they sit nicely in between the two OS scales. So you get very detailed contours (nearly as much as the OS 1:25k), but less of the clutter ...


13

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 legend.


12

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 actually moved. If you low pass filter them too much, you cut off corners and get a shorter distance. The usual algorithm is to apply some low pass filtering, but ...


12

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 you hold a compass at waist level look down at it, and look up, you won't be looking the same direction. You can increase the accuracy by first pivoting your ...


11

Of course, there are many long-distance hiking trails without any available maps. As far as I'm aware, none of the European long-distance trails have dedicated end-to-end maps, unless you count Openstreetmap or a collection of several hundred topographic maps. In some places they're well-mapped, e.g. when passing through Switzerland, Germany, or France, ...


11

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 in the landscape. When is dead reckoning required? The foundation of land navigation is the attack point, a term borrowed from orienteering. Basically, this ...


11

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 children/teenager birthday partys, where they need to solve riddles and the 3 words are pointing to the place where the next riddle is hidden.


10

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 ending elevation. This should be called the net elevation gain and mathematically is identical to the sum of the gains, 1000m in your example, minus the sum of ...


9

Yes, you can. I have managed to trek long up to a week with a set of satellite images. For that, I needed some skill in orientation, tracing down a trail and then setting the position in accordance with the satellite image. It does require skills in Navigation because, in most of the cases where people complain about Satellite Images not being good enough, ...


9

Google maps is free as in beer but doesn't usually show hiking trails. Open Street Maps is a free and open source site that works sort of like Wikipedia, and it often has good coverage of hiking trails, but the coverage may be somewhat hit-or-miss. For example, I've put in some trails for specific areas in California that are near my house or that I've ...


9

The topics of navigation and cartography are two sides of the same coin, and there are entire books written about each. It is interesting to study the history of cartography because it very graphically shows the corresponding improvements in navigation over time. In order to make an accurate map, you need to know first where you are making your ...


9

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 geographic feature. A public right of way is just that, a right. It may be on a road, a track, a path, or simply through a field. If you look carefully, you ...


9

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 online here). The topographic map does not list hot springs. The tourist map only lists some of them, in particular the ones with tourist infrastructure. But the ...


8

That's actually a very difficult question to answer, since there's a lot of ambiguity about what's a "road," etc. Some geographers in Alaska tried to tackle a similar question here, in an Alaska Dispatch article.


8

I would consider using OSM as they are available for garmin devices.


8

Ignoring the difficulties of travel (in summer you may need a boat, in winter, skis), then the current weather will make more difference then the season. Given the correct time and standard navigation tables, you can get the latitude by measuring the angle from the horizon to the limb of the sun, the limb of the moon, or to a bright star. Winter might allow ...


8

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 compromises). Of course the question of how you carry it comes into play here (a low pocket isn't very good and this may be worse than with a dedicated unit ...


8

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 hours in the middle of the night at a pace of 2 miles per hour, then you could look at a map and say that you are now 8 miles directly east of camp. From that ...


7

Spain is mediocre when it comes to topographic maps. Certainly beats Italy, but you won't find the quality of France, Switzerland, Germany, or northern Europe. They're not too old — you can find maps less than 10 years old in the new digital series, at scales down to 1:25,000. In general, what's on the map exists and is accurate. Unfortunately: most ...


7

The easiest option is to use this website: Garmin.Openstreetmap.nl It has an option to select just the map tiles you want, so you can get a map for a fairly small area if you want. To do this, choose the option for "Enable manual tile selection", then click on the tiles to select them. Then enter your email address, and click the button for "Build my map". ...


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