Jun. 16th, 2017 05:57 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyofastolat
I have a well-worn map rant. I will put it behind a cut, since it is so well-worn that everyone has probably heard it before.

In summary:

1:50,000 OS maps (pink) are useless for walking, since they don't show field boundaries.

1:25,000 OS maps (orange) are great, but the orange map for the Isle of Wight is double-sided. Fully unfolding and reversing an OS map is like wrestling an octopus at the best of times, and doing it on a windy hillside is worse. Yes, I do appreciate their efforts to put the whole island on one map, to avoid that irritating situation when your walk goes over two or more maps... but the thing is, I possess an older 1:25,000 map (a yellow Outdoor Leisure map) which fits the whole island on a single side, so it IS possible, and they KNOW it's possible.

Therefore I cling to my old, battered, falling-apart yellow map, but it's getting increasingly inaccurate, due to coastal erosion, new housing estates and changing rights of way. Several traumas have resulted, but I refuse to change over to the stupid double-sided map. Instead, I get lost, and rant.

Well, yesterday I bought an orange 1:25,000 map of the Winchester area... and discover that once you've bought a map, you can now get a free electronic download of the same map. This is excellent news! You see, the other problem with printed maps is the need to actually carry the printed map. Carrying it in your hand is inconvenient and awkward. I've got one of those plastic map holders that you dangle around your neck, but they're horrid and annoying and flap around, and the slightest breath of wind causes them to leap around like a demented terrier and try to strangle you with its lead. So if I'm walking on a path I more or less know, or a path I expect to be well signed, I leave my map in my rucksack, ready to consult it only when needed. But extricating both myself and the map from the rucksack is a hassle, so when Doubt begins to strike, I tend to put off the awful moment of actually checking the map, and carry on doggedly, hoping that everything will turn out well. This does not always end well.

But when walking, I carry my phone in a belt pouch, so it will be the easiest thing in the world to pull it out and check the map. This is excellent! I'll still carry the printed map in my rucksack just in case, and for when I want to quickly view a wide area, but I'll have an easily-accessible version, too. Now I can buy a new orange map of the island and have an up-to-date map on my phone, without needing to wrestle with any octopuses! I am quite ridiculously thrilled by this. :-D

By the way, I noticed that although 1:25,000 maps are now available for the whole country, only some of these maps have been designated an Outdoor Leisure map. Aren't you allowed to do outdoor leisurey things in an area that hasn't been designated thus? I notice that I'm allowed to do outdoor leisure anywhere on the south coast between Eastbourne and Weymouth. Most of Hampshire and West Sussex are joyous, leisure-filled places, but in Dorset, leisure only goes as far north as Dorchester. Somerset and Wiltshire are Right Out, and here I must be sober and industrious.
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