Maps

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
rjb
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Re: Maps

Postby rjb » 18 Feb 2012, 10:12pm

I find these maps excellent for cycling. Unfortunately only available for Devon & Cornwall so far. The walking maps are also very good. :D
http://www.croydecycle.co.uk/mapsandguides.htm
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

reohn2
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Re: Maps

Postby reohn2 » 18 Feb 2012, 11:42pm

gaz wrote:
eileithyia wrote:Horizon the roads we were on were lanes that had certainly been around aeons... and certainly before the Barts had been printed :lol: :lol:

I've had similar experiences of Barts maps but I grew up with OS Landrangers. Using anything else just doesn't feel right.


Yep,Landrangers for me too :)
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horizon
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Re: Maps

Postby horizon » 19 Feb 2012, 1:23am

I don't think there's any argument that the OSMs 1:50000 are brilliant, there is simply so much detail and it's very clear mapping - I use them myself. What makes 1:100000 possibly preferable for cycling though is that one fold of an OSM in a bar bag gives you only about 4 - 5 miles before having to turn it over. The sheer quantity of maps required (around 4 maps every hundred miles) also makes them less practical for cyclists. It's also harder at that scale to get an overview of a route without having to look at yet another, smaller scale, map.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of Barts maps except to say they were in fact based on the Ordnance Survey maps (and as far as I know all Ordnance Survey mapping was until recently vastly better than that in other countries). The later and indeed last Barts were enlarged up from half inch to 1:100000 which makes them a bit easier to read. What I am saying therefore is that it isn't that Barts are better or worse than OSMs, only that Ordnance Survey left this segment of the market to Barts after the Second World War, so the choice is scale not make.

My point on my previous post was that, whether or not you prefer OSMs, your preference reflects the shifting pattern of cycling. At one time you would have avoided muddy lanes and kept to the well metalled main roads. Now the main roads are avoided like the plague and vastly more detailed maps are required to find the way down back lanes. And for motorists the half inch map was too large scale for the longer distances then possible so basically it disappeared in the 1990s.

Note: I'm sitting here looking at a 1931 Ordnance Survey half inch road map of Devon and comparing it to a 1934 Barts half inch map of North Lancashire (Preston was easy to cycle through in those days!). There's little to choose between them, both beautifully coloured.

I've said on here before that I often venture out with just a 1970s 1:50000 - it's possible to interpret the map to get the best routes for cyclists. I wouldn't ignore the 1:100000 scale. I've no idea what you see on a GPS system but I would be interested to know what scale is seen/available/preferred by those who do use GPS mapping or indeed whether that is the way it works at all.
Last edited by horizon on 19 Feb 2012, 9:02pm, edited 1 time in total.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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horizon
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Re: Maps

Postby horizon » 19 Feb 2012, 1:37am

karlt wrote:
ANTONISH wrote:The Bartholomew map was excellent for touring. It gave almost as much detail as the old OS 1" = 1mile but at 1/2" scale one map would cover a whole county. A sad loss. I suppose eventually we will all be expected to become "sat nav" users and map reading will become a lost art.


I wouldn't fret. A few hundred years ago people doubtless bemoaned the fact that we were all expected to become "map" users and that navigating by the stars and moss on trees would become a lost art.


Well, they're trying to put that right!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012yq4v
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

ANTONISH
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Re: Maps

Postby ANTONISH » 19 Feb 2012, 10:53am

horizon wrote:Well, they're trying to put that right!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012yq4v

I don't think I'll try that when I'm next leading the club run. It's difficult enough persuading them that I'm not lost as it is.:(
Like many audax riders the solution is a cheap road atlas - I buy two so that I can make the sections into area maps.
Not as good as the old Bartholomew though.

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meic
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Re: Maps

Postby meic » 19 Feb 2012, 11:40am

The ideal cycling map for my area is the OS Tour11, which is 1:175,000.

It shows all the roads that exist and does give an idea of heights through shading and height points.
One map covers all of my area and I couldnt easily leave the map and get home in a day's cycling.

Unfortunately the Tour series doesnt cover the whole of the British land mass and each map is different in scale. So it really is pot luck.

eg Tour8 of the Cotswolds is 1: 100,000 and looks like a child's map. This doesnt fill you with much confidence but does give you a very easy to use map with adequate detail. Though I think it would have been better at 150,000 and covering a greater area.

These maps dont show residential streets, they only show through roads. With some cycle path info thrown in as an afterthought.
Yma o Hyd

GrahamMC
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Re: Maps

Postby GrahamMC » 19 Feb 2012, 12:58pm

I was also let down by Bart's half-inch map, a few years ago now, and swore not to use them again. On a tour of Cornwall and Devon a road on the Bart's map turned into a track (an overgrown one at that) and we had to re-trace our steps and approach a different way. We were very late for lunch - most annoying. Our maps were new at the time.

Perhaps I'm not doing the vast mileages that others on the forum are doing but I find OS Landrangers pretty perfect. You can cover thirty miles or so across the map (unless you're cycling as the crow flies :wink: ) and more so diagonally or in a loop.

For me the beauty of touring is in that detail of the countryside which can't be appreciated by car. A brief stop to check the route or adjust mapping on view is a small price to pay. In any case I'll often spend time during or after a ride browsing the 'toured' area.

For a long ride that's in a new area, I'll photocopy sections of the journey to view whilst riding along. There's also the OS Select map for which you can specify the area required.

Barts or half-inch versus Landranger - no contest.

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horizon
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Re: Maps

Postby horizon » 19 Feb 2012, 6:32pm

GrahamMC wrote:I was also let down by Bart's half-inch map, a few years ago now, and swore not to use them again. On a tour of Cornwall and Devon a road on the Bart's map turned into a track (an overgrown one at that) and we had to re-trace our steps and approach a different way. We were very late for lunch - most annoying. Our maps were new at the time.

Barts or half-inch versus Landranger - no contest.


Graham: the maps might have been new but the mapping probably wasn't. Barts would probably have started to become inaccurate long before you bought the map in question which could have been NOS. I'm not trying to defend Barts but we are talking about very old maps - the question IMV is really about preferred scale.

Landrangers are a very up to date map and at 1:50000 are even larger scale than the one inch that they replaced. The question is really: would you have chosen a 1:100000 OSM had they existed? And don't forget that the Barts was based on the Ordnance Survey mapping. The point I make over and over again is that cyclists have been pushed off the main roads and therefore the maps are no longer needed and the choice is no longer there. I personally always use OSMs but I would like to think that the kind of cycling that made Barts useful was still possible and that a cycle ride didn't have to involve the sort of navigating down a smelly, glass strewn back alley that requires a large scale map. (I know, there are nice roads too, just thought I would get that in. :D)
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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Chris Jeggo
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Re: Maps

Postby Chris Jeggo » 20 Feb 2012, 4:25pm

The bottom line IS at the bottom, if you want to skip the following discursions of a map "anorak".

There are three issues here - scale, accuracy and the representation of relief.

Possibly the most important aspect of accuracy is the representation of roads (I am not considering off-road cycling here) and in particular whether they are metalled. The OS 1:50000 maps (and their predecessors, 1:63360 or 1"=1 mile) show all tarmac roads in yellow, while their "white" roads could be anything from a tarmac private drive to an atrocious, rutted and overgrown tractor track. The OS 1:250000 maps show all tarmac roads - if it's on the map it's tarmac, and if it's not it's not. Both of those systems are acceptable. However, Bartholomew's "white" roads might be tarmac or might not, and you never knew until you got there, so this was not satisfactory.

Bart's maps may originally have been based on OS mapping, but when I became keen on cycle touring and joined the CTC in 1974, W Surrey DA had a Map Officer whose job it was to collate members' corrections to Bart's maps and submit them to the publishers for incorporation in later revisions. OS revisions did not automatically appear on Bart's maps, which as a result gradually became more and more inaccurate. So although I was very pleased, as a schoolboy in the early 1960's, with the first map I ever bought, a Barts "half-inch" of my local area "Vale of Trent", by 1974 the Bart's 1:100000 sheet "Surrey" was simply not accurate enough, and ever since then I have used OS maps. I use 1:50000 maps most of the time. On the other hand, 1:250000 is very good for planning and for long tours - they were great for LEJOG - and layer tinting is a great way to represent relief. I was very sorry to discover recently that they are no longer published.

The mid-1970's were also when UK mapping went metric. The OS went from "one inch to one mile" to 1:50000, and Barts brought out their 1:100000 National Map Series using the same sheet lines as their former "half inch to one mile" maps. Both organisations chose this time to make their maps "clearer", which would have been achieved anyway simply by the change of scale, but they both reduced the amount of information provided, by too much in my opinion. For example, OS stopped distinguishing between different types of woodland. Barts, previously, had shown inns, but not all watering holes appeared and some that did were long closed. Bart's solution to this problem was simply to stop showing inns, instantly making their maps less useful. Since then, OS has restored some detail in response to user feedback, while Barts simply died.

For the representation of relief, contour lines are most precise while layer tinting is very good for rapid visualisation of the lie of the land. Contour lines must not merge (but they are allowed to disappear at cliffs and quarries) so they are further apart vertically on smaller scale maps. The contours that are the boundaries between tint layers need to have an even greater vertical interval. However, the two systems can be, and often are, combined. Bart's layer tinting used to be superb, and OS's was too back in the 70's, but they have since reduced the number of layers and reduced the saturation of the colours, making it difficult, except in good light, to distinguish between some layers.

In my opinion a scale of around 1:100000 is ideal for road cycling. You need too many maps at 1:50000, and there is not enough detail at 1:250000. If Barts had solved their accuracy and "clarity" problems they would still be the maps of choice. It should be feasible to include off-road sections of official cycle routes (e.g. Sustrans NCN), but it is not realistic to expect much more at this scale. The OS "Tour" series at around the same scale is dying because OS aimed them at motorists (who buy atlases rather than maps) and missed the chance to optimise a product for the users who are most interested in that scale. I bought the "Tour" map of Surrey when it came out, and realised as soon as I studied it in detail at home that I had wasted my money. The representation of roads and relief is exactly the same as on the 1:250000 maps - it's just printed bigger. What's the point of that?

Interestingly, I have an OS Half-inch Tourist Map of Snowdonia published in 1979. It is brilliant! The representation of roads is good, and the more important walking routes are shown too. Contours are at 100ft vertical interval and are combined with superb layer tinting. OS can do it! So why don't they?

It is interesting to compare UK mapping with French. The French equivalent of OS, IGN, publishes topographical maps at 1:25000, which are excellent for walking, and 1:100000, which are excellent for cycling, so they don't bother with 1:50000. Both series show relief by contours. The best maps for the next smaller scale are the Michelin 1:200000 ones. They are distinctly poor at showing relief but are very good otherwise; I certainly like the green side-lining of scenic/picturesque roads. So when touring in France I carry either Michelin maps or pages torn from Michelin road atlases in addition to the IGN maps.

As for which maps to buy, I cannot do without the 1:50000 Landranger series. For smaller scales many turn to road maps or road atlases, which mostly do not portray relief. The main exception is the Philips atlases, which are based on OS mapping. One is at 1:200000 based on 1:250000 OS mapping while their "Navigator" is mainly at 1:100000 and based on larger scale OS mapping. I have just checked the preceding information on the internet and was surprised to find that Philips also sell "Navigator" regional and county maps at 1:100000, £3.99 per sheet at Stanfords. I had never heard of them, so I shall investigate them as soon as I can.

Tasker
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Re: Maps

Postby Tasker » 21 Feb 2012, 7:53pm

Thanks to all for the interesting replies.

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Re: Maps

Postby CTC London » 22 Feb 2012, 12:36am

Chris Jeggo wrote:The bottom line IS at the bottom, if you want to skip the following discursions of a map "anorak".

On the other hand, 1:250000 is very good for planning and for long tours - they were great for LEJOG - and layer tinting is a great way to represent relief. I was very sorry to discover recently that they are no longer published. But you can download or obtain them on a cd from OS


It is interesting to compare UK mapping with French. The French equivalent of OS, IGN, publishes topographical maps at 1:25000, which are excellent for walking, and 1:100000, which are excellent for cycling, so they don't bother with 1:50000.
NO they do sell 1to 50,000 I have used them and they can be obtained from Stanford in central London

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PW
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Re: Maps

Postby PW » 22 Feb 2012, 1:03am

If you use the Phillips Atlas pages for long distance touring it's worth while to do your homework beforehand. Cafes, steep hills etc I mark on beforehand and the chosen route I go over with a highlighter pen. There's no point carrying OS maps on an 800m tour, simply too much bulk, though I might take an IGN 1/100,000 if I'm going to somewhere such as Brittany. A plastic polypocket slipped inside the barbag mapcase is 2 layers of rainproofing, it worked ok everywhere from JOG to a run alongside Offas Dyke, both of which had a fair share of the wet stuff.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

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Chris Jeggo
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Re: Maps

Postby Chris Jeggo » 22 Feb 2012, 9:23am

I visited W H Smith yesterday afternoon. The Philips 'Navigator' road atlases do not show relief (apart from a few spot heights and steep gradient arrows), even though they are at a larger scale than the Philips 1:200000 road atlases which do have coarse layer tinting. They did not have any 'Navigator' sheet maps, but if they don't show relief I'm not interested. W H Smith did have a couple of cycling maps by Goldeneye:

http://www.goldeneyeguides.co.uk/cyclin ... uides.html

These are good (1:100000 to 1:126720, contours and layer tinting, laminated) but only cover a few areas of the country.

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horizon
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Re: Maps

Postby horizon » 22 Feb 2012, 11:32am

chris jeggo: just to say Chris that I enjoyed your earlier post and appreciated the effort you went to.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Ayesha
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Re: Maps

Postby Ayesha » 22 Feb 2012, 12:52pm

The map graphic on The Met Office's website has coloured relief.

You keep away from the yellow and brown bits. :D