The Age Old Art Of Reading Maps


Maps have existed ever since the dawn of civilization. In the past, they have been a traveler’s best friend. Maps have helped carve out the world. But up till recently, there had been a decline with the use of maps. This is most likely due to the fact that computers have taken over the world and how GPS has become the main guiding platform of travelers and drivers worldwide. Add in also the fact that people have become obsessed with Google Earth and prefer tech-savvy maps instead.

But if your GPS seems to be malfunctioning when you are in the middle of getting from point A to point B, know that hope isn’t lost yet. You can still pull out that dusty old map that you long kept hidden. But if you fear that you wouldn’t be able to read the lines, symbols and the directions, you can check these effective map reading tips below.

  1. Choose a map. Know that there are many different kinds of maps. There are road maps, tourist maps, sectional maps and there are map illustrations. All you need to do is find one that can fill your needs.
  2. Understand the map. Most maps are drawn with north at the top but it would still do you good if you know the map’s orientation. Also, you would need to understand the scale of the map as well as learning to read contour lines. It is also important that you take note of the latitude, longitude and the legend.
  3. Find out where you are in the map. You would have to figure out your location in the map and you can do this by looking at common features in the real world and finding them in the map. You can also use a compass to align your direction with that of the map.
  4. Find your destination. After finding out where you are, you would then need to locate the place you are heading to.
  5. Make a plot route. Plan how you are going to get to your destination. Take into account the number of places you will be visiting. If you are only visiting a single location, then it would do you good to make a single plot route. If you are planning to visit a number of places, head to the place where you are near the most.
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