Today’s world has better mapping resources than ever before. There still comes that sometimes vague but aghast look over people’s faces when you ask them to look at a map. We live in a world of SatNavs, and, perversely perhaps, such resources have the effect of creating a whole generation of people who seem to have no idea where they are.
I do have a little sympathy. When young, I was at university in London. I went everywhere by the tube. When going anywhere you worked out where you were going by its nearest tube station. My vision of London, therefore, was that it was shaped in accordance with the underground map (not strictly a map, but . .)
In any event, here in the UK, we have the Ordnance Survey Map system. Over the globe we now additionally have Open Source Mapping.
This will build to be a list of resources helpful to those planning running routes. Some plan, some wander, and some explore. I like to mix them all.
- Google Maps – biggest and best coverage.
- Streetview – I am regularly amazed at the extent of streetmap’s coverage. It is particularly useful when planning to leave a road onto a trail, to have a look so that the turn will later be recognised.
- Bing Maps – (https://www.bing.com/maps) Very well worth a visit. It has particular assets
- OS Map – Ordnance Survey – we are very fortunate to have one of the very best mapping systems in the world in the UK – the Ordnance Survey. Bing Maps has the option of see the OS map and at the necessary best 1:25,000 scale. The ordnance survey system is reliableand definitive. That said, I can list several local
- Lat/Long – Latitude and Longitude are thefigures which guarantee to let you know exat where you are anywhere on the planet. Just two numbers are all you need. Right click anywhere on a Bing Map screen to produce a box which, at the bottom shows the two figures with a button for you to copy them to memory.
- OSM – Open Source Mapping
- Open Source maps are ones created by lay cartographers across the world to agreed standards. The coverage can be patchy, but when it has been done thoroughly, it can be very effective. It is particularly good when footpaths are identified in a way which allows automatice routing sytems to use them. This faciliy is not available
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