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  #1  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Thumbs up Who else loves maps?

With the recent slagging guidebooks are getting in another thread, it came to my notice there seems to be nothing but love for the venerable map.

A friend of mine insists that given enough time (and ) all really great conversations will eventually involve getting out a map.

I find maps can be really inspirational bits of paper, I can get more fired up looking at the right map than I would at an 'old master'. Old ones, worn at the folds and stained from the road, are my favourite souvenirs.

Do you have a favourite map? Mine is either my battered IGN of Morocco that has made the trip twice now, or an old and now seriously out of date map of glencoe which I covered with sticky back plastic that was meant to go on the outside of my 'O' Grade maths book...

I am aware this thread may mark me out as a cartography geek and am quite prepared to pull it if I get nothing but a slagging!

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #2  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Great thread...
I love maps too... I used to work a a security guard at Covent Garden, just around the corner was Stanfords.
I spent many happy lunch breaks there, and not much money...

I now collect maps and Atlases...
Old and used are best. My personal favourites are the 1988 Michelin Maps of Africa which I used for my 1st Trans Africa. I also have a nice series from India for the same period.
I have a wall with maps of Africa from the 1500's to present... just lovely. Our visitors often comment on them...

So we are not unique...

Graham
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  #3  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Smith View Post
I have a wall with maps of Africa from the 1500's to present... just lovely. Our visitors often comment on them...


Graham
Sounds nice!

On the wall of my 'study' (box room) I have a map I bought while still at school. On it I have drawn all the routes I've taken on my travels. Flights in one colour, boats another and overland, yet another. The great thing is noting how much the world has changed. This map still has the 'Soviet Union' etc. But I'm happy with that. Eventually, when I'm an old man I can look at all the travels I've done and wonder at how much the world has changed since I started travelling.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #4  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Over the last 48 years I have had three longish periods of being a very active (and moderatly successful) car rally navigator - competing mainly throughout the UK.

While competing I was following and calling every inch as we sped on, picking up much additional information which could possibly assist the driver - such as anticipating road surface changes on parish or district boundries. My regret with motorcycling (as much as driving) is that one cannot follow them so closely in 'real time'.

I have kept every map and the intended purpose of any trip to the attic is invariably abandoned when I get to the huge pile of 1 inch and 1:50,000 Ordinance Survey maps. I can, and do, spend endless hours pouring over them.

Sad?
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  #5  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Yep,

My ex got frustrated me spending more time with maps then with her. And now I'm in the map making business.

The Michelin 741 for sure is my favourite map. I also like the russian topo maps when printed.

;-)
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  #6  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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A friend of mine is a distant descendant, and shares the surname, of John Speed, the mapmaker (John Speed Map Plates). He's also into cartography and the walls of their house are filled with antique maps, organised by region. Most look extremely valuable, so I'd better not say exactly where I live!
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  #7  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Thumbs up

I love a map -

the best being (for me) British Ordinance Survey or Michelin maps. They are objects of beauty and I love them to bits. I worked in the Fisherfield Forest north of Loch Maree in NW Scotland in the late 70's and nothing gives me more pleasure than to pore over a map of where I took my ponies each day. These were deerstalking ponies, for carrying the carcasses of the red deer off the mountain; we culled around 10% per autumn, around 100 stags, and then more hinds in winter. I also used many other area maps, such as Glencoe, Loch Lomond area, Ben Alder, Rannoch Moor etc etc. Maps were my dreams when enduring a week in shipyards or oil rigs -the thought of doing a big walk kept you going through the week. To say nothing of nursing an old BSA up over Rannoch on a winter Friday, with crap lights and brakes, and no certainty of reaching the (wild) campsite that night.

Now I also get pleasure from the Michelin maps and I think of North Africa in particular. In fact, these different maps trace the changes in my life.

I am not yet won over to GPS use, as I find the map a pleasure.
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  #8  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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This thread should be in the navigation forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
With the recent slagging guidebooks are getting in another thread, it came to my notice there seems to be nothing but love for the venerable map.

I am aware this thread may mark me out as a cartography geek and am quite prepared to pull it if I get nothing but a slagging!

Matt

Matt,
An excellent thread that does not deserve to be "relegated" to the slagheap of the HU bar: you may be surprised already at the positive answers you have received.

I am one more horder of maps: no idea of how many there are, but I have always tried to get hold of a map of anywhere that I have ever visited. Doesn't matter what scale it is.
It is the only souvenir that I must have from travelling.

I have also picked up things like old atlases from second hand book shops that show the world as it used to be: great stuff for comparing with modern maps of the world (my, how many countries have changed names and, my, how many new countries there are in existance).

ps I also like to understand the flags of countries, but I don't collect them - they always have something to say about the nation.
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  #9  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Great thread Matt.

Yes the Michelin series and north Africa in particular really do it for me - such beautiful colors and inspirational places. But it's an area of the World I still have to really explore.

I would love to get some antique maps - it's great to see the old British Empire and see how the World map looked 100 years ago. It's truly fascinating how the World is still changing but I guess that we won't see any major change in mapping for the distant future as we did with the break up of the USSR.

What about globes? I've got a great 18" floor globe that seems to always stop on Africa when spun!

Then there are the map facts. How long can you look at a map before figuring out something amazing like Afghanistan - the only country name with three consecutive letters of the alphabet or the only place where four countries meet......
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  #10  
Old 17 Apr 2008
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Map fanatic here too- I read 'em on the toilet, before falling asleep at night and have them stacked around at work and home. I've saved them all, topo, road, country, world, and National Geographic.

Careful map study has led me to places in Alaska, Peru, Mexico and Europe as well as throughout the US and my own backyard I never would have found in a guidebook. And when I get there I have a better feel for the lay of the land and almost feel as if I've been there already.

“A road map always tells you everything except how to refold it” - anon
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  #11  
Old 18 Apr 2008
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So many maps --- so little time.

Maps - roads maps from even 20 years ago have old roads on them that are no longer on the main maps .. very usefull .. keep your old maps .. they will tell of 'roads' that others don't use .. because they don't know they exist..

I hate to think of the numbers of maps I have ..
What I do now is scan them - print them out for a short trip and write notes as I go along .. very usefull for making electronic maps (both raster and vector).. with added detail! Yep I'm collecting the electronic ones too .. they take less room, don't get dusty nor 'fox' like paper.
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Old 18 Apr 2008
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I love them to I dont know how many I have. Stare at them all the time trying to find a reason Im not going there. Like Im broke and need money, Its snowing, I promised to get this job done before I go off. Some are old and so out dated Id never use them on a trip.

My favorites are from National Geographic ones with roads and history's on them. I like to use my older road atlas on trips ripping out pages of the places Im going more of an overview of places I may want to go to and drop my planed route. I alwas have more at the end of a trip than when I stared. I dont even plan far enof to know where I end up. Most are riped up and stained.

I dont have a GPS I like the idea of them but more for the logging of I have been than where Im going. I can do that with a map and save the cash.
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Old 18 Apr 2008
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Smile On the other hand....

Graham Greene wrote a book titles "Journey without maps". This set me thinking how interesting it might be to bike say, to Istanbul from the UK without any map at all, and see what happened. This would replicate the way of the medieval traveller who had to ask often and hope that the directions were right. Of course, asking for directions to Turkey in France would not be helpful, as most of us know our local region only. I certainly couldnt tell anyone, even in a common language, how to get to a faraway country.

It would also bring us into closer contact with the people we meet, as we would need them more.

This concept would revolutionise how we travel. We'd need more time, for a start. If you excluded the use of a compass, then it really would be different....
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Old 18 Apr 2008
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Quote:
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If you excluded the use of a compass, then it really would be different....
Let's really go for it - travelling only when cloudy or dark.

Nice idea Caminando.
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  #15  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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A Late friend from New Zealand used to say he traveled the world by studying maps.

Myself I like to keep all my maps and they are covered with scribbles of places I camped and good tracks and routes I took.

They also include all the mishaps like were me and the CCM ended up at the bottom of a gorge in spain lucky for me a moutain biker helped me manhandle the beast back to a track.

Even better than real maps are the scrawls people draw when directing you when youre lost sometimes they make perfect sense and sometimes they are strange doodles that allow you to find new and interesting places that you never knew existed. (this is all getting a bit heavy I better go do some work)
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