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Tuesday, 7 November 2006

MAPPING SOFTWARE, GENERAL PLANNING

The 1:50,000 mapping arrived at the weekend from Anquet (bought from Mapkiosk at a very reasonable £125) for the whole of Great Britain. I already had an earlier version of their software covering 'Great Britain North' but this was useless without the southern bit. The new version of southern Britain is not compatible with the old northern software, and so I had to bite the bullet & buy the whole thing new.

Last night's job was installing it on the laptop - it took me ages and I lost all my old routes on the old version, which was a bit of a pig!

Anyway, I am now having to learn how to use the new stuff - not so wildly different, but it is tripping me up a bit. This at least will give me enough information to plan the walk, and break it down into daily chunks. This way I can estimate when I will be where, as I have made a few commitments to various people who wish to walk with me over a day or so.

Of course this is also vitally important as I also need to tie this walk into my taking part in the Rab TGO Challenge 2007, which is starting on the West Coast of Scotland on Friday 11th May. All my planning centres on this date! Usually LEJOG walkers start in the balmier days of late April or May in Cornwall, but the TGO Challenge demands that I start at the beginning of March, when it will be colder, darker and windier!

I shall be printing all my routes out onto A4 colour laserjet printed bits of paper, so I shall need to carry something like 100 bits of paper with me over the durationof the walk, printing on both sides of the page! However, that's not the end of it - for some sections, notably the bits in Southern England (up to the Pennine Way) and then through the central belt of Scotland, I am going to need mapping at 1:25,000 otherwise I can see myself getting wonderfully lost! This is because the majority of my walk will be on footpaths and bridleways and I need to be able to see the field boundaries, which are not shown on 1:50's. In hill country it is far easier to see where you are supposed to be, so the 1:50's are fine for that.

Looking at the cost of these larger scale maps it appears that there is no way I can afford the electronic versions - so it looks like I will be buying paper maps and cutting them up - rather than carrying all the bits I don't need. If I do walk off the side of these strip-maps I can then always fall back onto my 1:50's print-outs.

If anyone has the ear of anyone at Anquet, see if you can twist their arm and get me a loan set of their 1:25's? That would be a wonderful bonus as it going to break my heart having to cut up maps! I adore maps - I read them like books and to cut them up seems sacrilegious- but there is no way I can carry tons of paper with me on such a long haul.

5 comments:

  1. I reckon you should be able to break it down a bit depending on the route. For example, you won't need 1:25s for Offas Dyke. I guess the worst bits will be around major cities with all of those leisure walks. I find it's possible to walk across Scotland with less navigational problems than I can get on a day out in Warwickshire!

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  2. I totally agree Andy.

    I will have the Offa's Dyke handbooks with me that already have the mapping at 1:25's and so they, coupled with my 1:50 print-outs should get me through. Same goes for the Pennine Way. The tricky bits are the South West up to the Severn Bridge, and the bit between Prestatyn and Edale and then through the Glasgow/ Edinburgh belt. After that, the route finding should be a whole lot easier.

    The cost of the 1:25's electronic mapping is quite incredible when compared to the mapping costs of the 1:50's. I cannot for the life of me fathom why? At four times the detail I would have expected it to be perhaps £500 for the whole of Great Britain given the 1:50 price of £125 from Mapkiosk.

    Ho Hum - I will go & sharpen the scissors...

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  3. Swapped from Anquet GB north to whole Britain DVD myself 6m ago. It is rather different and some aspects I still don't like as much as the old system. If you are having probs drop me a line. I might be able to help.
    Not much help now, but if you had of contacted Anquet direct they would have taken your old GB north and given you a 25% discount on the new DVD - though it might still have been only slightly cheaper as you got a good deal.

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  4. Is it me? Whenever I have tried to get hold of Anquet (the company) they do not return my emails.

    I saw that they were replacing their old products for new at half price, but it wasn't apparent to me that I could change my 'North' for 'GB' and still get a discount.
    No matter - as in the end it didn't make that much of a difference.

    It does seem strange that they don't even answer my requests by email though - I will have another go...

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