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Tubewalker: The Tube, on Foot

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simon

Subject: maps
Posted: 28 May 2011 7:36 am


hi, I am planning a walk across Europe (Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland) however im finding it difficult obtaining maps.could you please give me some advice
many thanks

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Mark Moxon

Subject: European maps
Posted: 31 May 2011 12:47 pm


Hi Simon.

Actually, I'm afraid I can't - sorry! I've never walked in mainland Europe, only the UK and various far-flung countries. I guess you never explore your own backyard quite as much...

I do know that in France (not one of the countries you mention, but bear with me), the IGN is regarded as producing the best maps for walkers; they're the French equivalent of the Ordnance Survey in the UK. I would guess that the likes of Belgium, Holland, Germany and Poland have national equivalents, which might be worth checking out. I've done a quick Google search but didn't come up with much, but there must be information on this out there somewhere.

If you're near London, then I'd pop in to Stanfords - www.stanfords.co.uk - as they have maps for most of the known world.

Anyway, sorry I can't answer your question directly, but good luck in tracking them down...

Best wishes,

Mark

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Daryl May

Subject: Maps darn maps
Posted: 10 Jul 2011 1:38 am


Simon,

Maps are a subject in themselves. Yes, pretty well every country has large-scale topographical maps. Search the web and you will find. The problems, though, for a longdistance hiker are cost, and (for paper maps) bulk and weight.

If you want paper maps, I'd extend Mark's mention of IGN, etc., to suggest you buy any paper maps from the country's mapping agency (such as IGN if you were walking in France), and be careful not to just grab at commercial maps which may charge more and deliver less. The minimum scale you need for off-road hiking is 1:50,000 but some prefer 1:25,000 though this pretty well doubles the number of maps you'll need.

BUT I've preferred and used electronic maps that can be stored and presented in conjunction with a GPS position on numerous devices these days, including PDAs, standalone GPSs, and mobile phones. The cost of "going electronic" may seem high initially, but by the time you've made use of their other capabilities (like web access, phone and text), and enjoyed their compactness, you might find yourself ahead. For a multi-country hike, I'd take a hard look at what Google Maps will give you for free, thus avoiding the work of buying paper maps from multiple sources. Start using Google Maps on your desktop computer, if you haven't already. If you like them, explore how to access Google Maps enroute, and in this way entirely bypass the cost of maps from the map publishers. It's possible to use their "My Maps" feature to mark your route. It's even possible ahead of time (but a clumsy solution) to take screenshots of a whole series of these maps, and save them as photo- or pdf- files, or even print them out.

Sorry that this isn't a direct answer to your question.

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Mark Moxon

Subject: Maps
Posted: 11 Jul 2011 10:21 am


As ever, excellent advice from Daryl (thanks Daryl!) - electronic maps are indeed the future, and for a lot of LEJOG walkers, they're the present (Daryl is a good example, as is Gary the Milkman - see my 'Useful Links' page for links to their blogs). I did exactly what Daryl suggests for my tubewalk - see www.tubewalker.com - and it worked really well, so I can vouch for the digital approach.

There is one odd thing, though: I am absolutely delighted that I did my LEJOG using old-fashioned Ordnance Survey maps. Yes, they did cost me a significant amount - at today's prices, the 54 maps would cost me a little over 430 new - but for that investment I have a fascinating and very detailed map of every single step that I took, marked out in blue highlighter, and I can pull out a map and see where I walked, all within the context of the surrounding countryside. There's something wonderfully tactile about paper maps, especially knowing that they made the trip with me and got rained on and sun-baked in the same way... and they look great on the shelf.

So, would I go digital if I was setting out on a LEJOG today? Definitely, because it makes so much more sense than lugging loads of heavy maps around, and allows you to analyse your walk much more accurately than with bits of paper. But then I'd miss out on one of my favourite bits of nostalgia - my collection of maps from my own personal LEJOG - which is hard to beat, really. I'd gladly pay 430 for such an atmospheric memento today, and as my route is also digitised, I have the best of both worlds.

Just a thought, anyway - I guess what I'm saying is that you can't go wrong either way! Smile

Mark

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Steve

Subject: GetaMap
Posted: 12 Jul 2011 5:57 am


I recently subscribed to O/S's "GetaMap" service for only 18/year. At the moment I'm uploading all of the GPS tracks from last year's LEJOG but I look forward to using this tool to plan some future walks.

In addition to plotting your route (like you can with "Where's the Path") it also plots POI's such as Accommodation and Pubs. I don't imagine it's a complete list but it is pretty cool to be able to plot a route and see where the greatest concentration of beds (and pints) are. Best of all subscribers can print out their routes on paper or to a PDF for later viewing.

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Mark Moxon

Subject: Getamap
Posted: 13 Jul 2011 5:15 pm


I've been trying to try out Getamap for some time, but when I visit it either sits there whirring, or gives me an error message about connection failure (which is what it's doing now). It's a pity, as it sounds great!

Here's the URL I visit, and clicking on the button gets me nowhere:

www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/getamap/

I managed to build OS maps into the maps on my LEJOG and Tubewalker sites, so I know a thing or two about the API behind Getamap, but so far no succes. Your post will make me keep on trying, though, Steve!

Mark

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Steve

Subject: alternate URL
Posted: 14 Jul 2011 3:32 am


Hi Mark,

Try this link:

http://www.getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk/

This one works pretty well for me although I wonder if I have an advantage due to my time zone (GMT -8 hours). While I'm plotting away Britain sleeps ... that's sounds rather sinister doesn't it! Very Happy

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Mark Moxon

Subject: No Getamap
Posted: 14 Jul 2011 12:25 pm


That's the link I was trying - I just get a completely blank screen in both Safari and Firefox. I wonder if it's incompatible with Macs?

Ah well, maybe I'll try it from my PC at work at some point. It looks pretty nifty...

Mark

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Steve

Subject: GetaMap
Posted: 14 Jul 2011 2:28 pm


I use a Mac too so it's not that. However GetaMap does require the Silverlight plug-in which I had to install before it would work.

I use Google Chrome for my browser but I tried it in Firefox and it worked there as well (once Silverlight was installed).

The only other thing I can think of is that there is something in your browser cache that is hanging up the app ... perhaps trying clearing it?

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Mark Moxon

Subject: Silverlight required
Posted: 14 Jul 2011 3:40 pm


Aha - I installed Silverlight and it's running now. I wonder why it didn't tell me that; ah well.

Anyway, it looks good! Something for me to play with when I have a spare moment. Thanks for the pointer, Steve...

Mark

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