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Map Reading Skills: An Introduction to Map Reading and Basic Navigation.


Map Reading Skills: An Introduction to Map Reading and Basic Navigation by Terry Marsh Jarrold Publishing, pb, pp96, 10.99 [pounds sterling]

You know where you are with a map. That's the idea, anyway, but if you don't know how to read it, it can only take you so far. Which is where this handy guide comes in, covering everything from how scale works to the difference between a spot height and a trig pillar to what magnetic variation is, and how to allow for it when using a compass (keep your elbows tucked in). Marsh mourns the fact that contours appear only on maps, but explains how to read them correctly and demonstrates that map-reading is essentially the business of making the connection between these imaginary lines and the actual landscape.

If he writes like a matey geography teacher, hovering on just the wrong side of patronising--cartographers are 'those remarkably clever people who make maps'--once he gets into his stride, he delivers a lot of information with little fuss, and without losing sight of the destination: 'if you spend all your time looking at the map, you won't see anything'.

No symbol is left unclarified in this useful, bordering on indispensable, little volume if it included a diagram showing how to fold the damn things, it would cover everything--and next time I go hiking, I'll take it with me. Apart from anything else, I'm sure I recognise the landscape in the introductory photo. I think I've been lost there before.

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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Comment:Map Reading Skills: An Introduction to Map Reading and Basic Navigation.
Author:Herron, Mick
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2007
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