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PuterMan
2012-04-06 09:39:00
Maps Consultation
“Ordnance Survey of Ireland are running a consultation on 1:25,000 paper maps, Tues Apr 17th, 6pm
These are maps of specific areas in the Republic, such as the Brandon Mountains, the McGillycuddy Reeks and the Aran Islands. OSi are looking for informed opinion on these maps at a consultation in Dublin, on the value of paper maps in general and on whether the future is digital.”

I would not be able to attend in Dublin but I should just like to comment on the value of paper maps.

I firmly believe that both versions are required based on the following reasoning.

Digital maps using GPS are fine for for a quick 'fix' or for people who have not learnt how to read a map properly and wish to depend on technology to steer them on the right path, These persons have a need for digital maps.

My own feelings on the matter are that digital maps are an addition to paper maps and not a substitution. This is not because I learnt to read maps 45 years ago and am an old stick in the mud but because technology is all well and good until it fails. Digital maps can fail you because of comms problems, and because of something so simple as a handset failure or batteries running out. Yes you should always carry batteries but, if the handset fails it will be of no use to you to have spare batteries.

On the other hand if the handset fails and you have a map you are no longer without the means to navigate. The basic equipment for mountain walking, in addition to the correct attire, is a map and a compass. Without both of these you are best advised not to proceed. A GPS map system is an enhancement but not a substitute in my opinion.

There is also the matter of cost. A map is considerably less outlay and will, if properly looked after, outlast any GPS technology neither does it require to be fed with batteries. I can afford an occasional map or upgraded map, but I cannot afford a GPS device.

I would also add that you cannot guarantee the integrity of the GPS system. By that I mean that these GPS satellites are up in space and controlled by other countries than Ireland. There are many reasons why the service may suffer discontinuity or even termination amongst which could be the outbreak of war or a massive CME from the Sun. Neither are beyond the bounds of possibility although the risk may be extremely small.

I would rather be carrying my maps if it is all the same to you!
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