Author Topic: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own  (Read 1652769 times)

Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25475 on: September 17, 2020, 08:55:08 am »
I must admit that I’ve stopped using a paper road atlas and heavily rely on the satnav when going to new areas. I do however generally research the new route and area on various electronic maps, including OS before travelling. Ditto with trail walking, but I’d not go into the hills or more remote areas without a proper, most likely manual, backup. Being an IT professional I understand the value of reliable redundancy and when I’m in the hills I don’t want to be carrying the weight required to ensure that a battery powered solution would be reliable.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25476 on: September 17, 2020, 09:25:33 am »
We walk with OS maps but the phone is useful for when something goes screwy and you need a GPS placement. You sir, are in the middle of the wrong field.

Never bother with in-car sat nav, we just use Apple or Google, depending on which of the two fesses up the best route (Apple mostly wins out these days). Every in-car satnav I've seen has been awful.

I love proper maps though. I used to plan my road trips in the US with a massive table-sized all-US road atlas. Those trips were made more interesting by the fact I bought it from a thrift store and it had been published around 1966.
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Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25477 on: September 17, 2020, 09:26:44 am »
Even with lifetime map updates, things still go wrong - witness the TomTom telling me to turn right, where such a manoeuvre would have involved driving through the steel fence dividing the dual carriageway.  But yes, they update faster.

My latest car has Apple CarPlay, so I have access to Google maps, Apple maps, Waze etc. on the dash display should I need. Not sure about Bing maps although they are available for IOS.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25478 on: September 17, 2020, 09:49:10 am »
I’m sure I’ve told this story before but... on a hiking trip in Snowdonia in the 1980s we came down the wrong side of a mountain because the map we were using was from the 1960s. Turned our 12 mile loop into >20 miles.

We had a compass but it was too foggy to be useful.
Eh? Are you saying the compass was fogged up? Fog/cloud is exactly when a compass is useful...

A friend of mine, having climbed all the 3000 foot hills in Scotland, went to the Lake District to climb Scafell Pike. He was a bit blase about his navigation, thinking "I'll just go down here and pick up that massive path". When the path didn't appear, he had a look at his compass, which appeared to be wrong. Then (I quote) "The cloud cleared and the mountain appeared in the wrong place..."
I think he went back up hill and descended on the correct side.
If in doubt, take a bearing... Always trust the compass!

Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25479 on: September 17, 2020, 10:16:23 am »
I have just discovered (well, a friend told me) that Bing maps have an OS map overlay option. Yes, full OS map data.

I have also discovered that I can't access Bing maps on my phone. Locked out from Android.

Google, you suck. Just licence the sodding OS map data you skinflints.

Streetmap.co.uk has OS Explorer and Landranger layers; the interface works better on a computer rather than a smartphone, but it's useful for checking tracks and bridleways etc.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25480 on: September 17, 2020, 10:27:43 am »
We had a compass but it was too foggy to be useful.
Eh? Are you saying the compass was fogged up?

It = the weather.

Quote
Fog/cloud is exactly when a compass is useful...
...
If in doubt, take a bearing... Always trust the compass!

How do you take a bearing in thick fog? They never taught me that in the scouts! (I'm sure it's possible, just wasn't knowledge that I was armed with at the time.)

It's such a long time ago, my memory is a bit hazy but I vaguely recall that we realised long before we got to the bottom that we were off route, but felt it would be better to keep following the trail we were on rather than go back up the mountain, thinking we'd be bound to end up back in civilisation* sooner or later. I mean, it was Snowdonia, not the Australian Outback.


*For Welsh values of...
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25481 on: September 17, 2020, 10:31:19 am »
I didn't know Bing has OS – that's pretty cool (I currently use a nice app that has the free, but incomplete, OS layers). As far as I can tell, it's browser-only and even on iOS only works if you force the desktop version and lacks the GPS placement.
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Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25482 on: September 17, 2020, 11:59:23 am »
Quote
Fog/cloud is exactly when a compass is useful...
...
If in doubt, take a bearing... Always trust the compass!
How do you take a bearing in thick fog? They never taught me that in the scouts! (I'm sure it's possible, just wasn't knowledge that I was armed with at the time.)
....
You take a bearing off the paper map that you are also carrying (and which is in a waterproof case to protect it from any weather that might occur) and you use that information to navigate.
This has good pictures (but doesn't cover how to walk on a bearing):
https://www.thistletrekking.co.uk/articles/how-to-take-a-bearing-using-a-map-and-compass/
This has more words (and videos which I haven't watched), and also includes walking on the bearing once you have it.
https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/blog/2015/11/map-reading-skills-how-to-use-a-compass-2/

Edited to add: I've been a bit anti-GPS in the past (for the battery etc reasons listed above) but the ViewRanger app on my phone is very useful and I now reckon that GPS is a useful addition to all the other map and ground reading skills one should have - so long as you can cope if/when the battery goes flat!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25483 on: September 17, 2020, 12:23:07 pm »
trying to read the road signs in central birmingham

It's a trap!

(Though not as much as Leeds)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25484 on: September 17, 2020, 12:29:40 pm »
Quote
Fog/cloud is exactly when a compass is useful...
...
If in doubt, take a bearing... Always trust the compass!
How do you take a bearing in thick fog? They never taught me that in the scouts! (I'm sure it's possible, just wasn't knowledge that I was armed with at the time.)
....
You take a bearing off the paper map that you are also carrying (and which is in a waterproof case to protect it from any weather that might occur) and you use that information to navigate.
This has good pictures (but doesn't cover how to walk on a bearing):
https://www.thistletrekking.co.uk/articles/how-to-take-a-bearing-using-a-map-and-compass/
This has more words (and videos which I haven't watched), and also includes walking on the bearing once you have it.
https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/blog/2015/11/map-reading-skills-how-to-use-a-compass-2/

Edited to add: I've been a bit anti-GPS in the past (for the battery etc reasons listed above) but the ViewRanger app on my phone is very useful and I now reckon that GPS is a useful addition to all the other map and ground reading skills one should have - so long as you can cope if/when the battery goes flat!
Send a mug willing volunteer in front of you to the limit of your visibility, while you stay still. Shout left/right to them to keep them in the right direction of your bearing. Get them to stop before you lose saight of them. Walk to where they are, rinse and repeat.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Mr Larrington

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Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25485 on: September 17, 2020, 12:31:01 pm »
trying to read the road signs in central birmingham

It's a trap!

(Though not as much as Leeds)

Or Fort Worth.  Fort Worth has an æxcellent set of signpost-free urban freeways, or will have if they ever finish it. This is why it took me three attempts and forty extra miles to find US-287 N and may also be why a confuzzled fellow in my hotel in Phoenix last year was asking the receptionist for directions to another hotel. In Fort Worth. A thousand miles away.

“Stoopid phone says I'm in Phoenix!”

“You ARE in Phoenix!”
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25486 on: September 17, 2020, 12:32:05 pm »
Edited to add: I've been a bit anti-GPS in the past (for the battery etc reasons listed above) but the ViewRanger app on my phone is very useful and I now reckon that GPS is a useful addition to all the other map and ground reading skills one should have - so long as you can cope if/when the battery goes flat!

The battery going flat on a GPS receiver is like ending up off the edge of a paper map.  It renders both useless (until you can acquire another map or more batteries), but if you're remotely competent at the planning stage, it should basically never happen.

Sure, GPS receivers can fail in other ways, but so can paper maps.  The only real solution is to have a backup, and as they both have strengths and weakness they make excellent redundancy for each other.

Personally, I think that instead of arguing about their relative merits, people would be better off developing the skills to use both maps and GPS receivers effectively.  Unsurprisingly, they're mostly the same skills.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25487 on: September 17, 2020, 12:34:53 pm »
trying to read the road signs in central birmingham

It's a trap!

(Though not as much as Leeds)

Or Fort Worth.  Fort Worth has an æxcellent set of signpost-free urban freeways, or will have if they ever finish it. This is why it took me three attempts and forty extra miles to find US-287 N and may also be why a confuzzled fellow in my hotel in Phoenix last year was asking the receptionist for directions to another hotel. In Fort Worth. A thousand miles away.

“Stoopid phone says I'm in Phoenix!”

“You ARE in Phoenix!”

If you are in Fort Worth, it's already Too Late.

It's officially the 'Less Interesting than Dallas." They should put a sign up for that.

WELCOME TO FORT WORTH - It's less Interesting than Dallas!
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Mr Larrington

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Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25488 on: September 17, 2020, 12:42:40 pm »
I'd already been through Dallas – without really noticing – and was looking for, and failing to find, The Road To Amarillo.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25489 on: September 17, 2020, 12:52:18 pm »
To be fair, it does have a small historical downtown and a nice botanical garden, but it's mostly large nondescript buildings, like being eaten and slowly digested by a giant version of Canary Wharf. The entire Texas schtick is a bit tiring. Even the Mexicans beat you, losers. And then the Union made you dance like a monkey.

Also, it's not Houston. Which is worse than everywhere. Even Phoenix.
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Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25490 on: September 17, 2020, 01:00:44 pm »
I have just discovered (well, a friend told me) that Bing maps have an OS map overlay option. Yes, full OS map data.

I have also discovered that I can't access Bing maps on my phone. Locked out from Android.

Google, you suck. Just licence the sodding OS map data you skinflints.

Streetmap.co.uk has OS Explorer and Landranger layers; the interface works better on a computer rather than a smartphone, but it's useful for checking tracks and bridleways etc.

Thanks, that is useful to know.

Using that interface on a phone is like having dentistry work done. Not quite as bad as a root canal.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25491 on: September 17, 2020, 01:07:20 pm »
You take a bearing off the paper map that you are also carrying...

As already mentioned, the reason we got lost in the first place was because the map was out of date.

"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25492 on: September 17, 2020, 01:14:34 pm »
Doesn't everyone have the super cheap OS app on their phone??

(Paper maps are more fun, but the you are here is Occasionally Quite Handy)

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25493 on: September 17, 2020, 01:27:57 pm »
trying to read the road signs in central birmingham

It's a trap!

(Though not as much as Leeds)

Or Fort Worth.  Fort Worth has an æxcellent set of signpost-free urban freeways, or will have if they ever finish it. This is why it took me three attempts and forty extra miles to find US-287 N and may also be why a confuzzled fellow in my hotel in Phoenix last year was asking the receptionist for directions to another hotel. In Fort Worth. A thousand miles away.

“Stoopid phone says I'm in Phoenix!”

“You ARE in Phoenix!”

Did that myself earlier this year in London.  Walked into hotel lobby
"hello, checking in please"
"Hmm, can't seem to find you, are you sure"
"yes, I think so, check your system, I've been here before"
"No, sorry, are you sure it was here and not [other brand owned by same company] just up the road there?"
"Thanks, IGMC"
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25494 on: September 17, 2020, 02:05:00 pm »
Quote from: Ham
... Likewise, those that stick to paper maps eschewing the benefits of satnav.
Not having got lost yet, despite my continued reliance on, sometimes quite out of date, bits of printed paper, I shall continue to not bother spending my money on landfill electronics.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25495 on: September 17, 2020, 02:20:36 pm »
trying to read the road signs in central birmingham

It's a trap!

(Though not as much as Leeds)

Liverpool was stolen one night. The police are looking for Leeds.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25496 on: September 17, 2020, 03:08:59 pm »
trying to read the road signs in central birmingham

It's a trap!

(Though not as much as Leeds)

Or Fort Worth.  Fort Worth has an æxcellent set of signpost-free urban freeways, or will have if they ever finish it. This is why it took me three attempts and forty extra miles to find US-287 N and may also be why a confuzzled fellow in my hotel in Phoenix last year was asking the receptionist for directions to another hotel. In Fort Worth. A thousand miles away.

“Stoopid phone says I'm in Phoenix!”

“You ARE in Phoenix!”

Did that myself earlier this year in London.  Walked into hotel lobby
"hello, checking in please"
"Hmm, can't seem to find you, are you sure"
"yes, I think so, check your system, I've been here before"
"No, sorry, are you sure it was here and not [other brand owned by same company] just up the road there?"
"Thanks, IGMC"

This, as I'm sure I've mentioned, once happened to me in San Antonio. I'm standing there in the lobby of the Marriott while the staff puzzle over the screens. Are you sure, sir? Well, I was less sure after standing there for fifteen minutes of them trying and failing to find my reservation. But I wave my phone at them: there, it says Marriott, San Antonio. Everyone agrees, but still no reservation. Cur five minutes more of squinting at the screen and furrowing of brows.

Then the receptionist suggests 'perhaps you're booked in at the other Marriott?' But no, I protest, look at the address, it's on this very street. 'Yes,' she agrees and points out through the door, 'but so is the other Marriott.'

Which was exactly opposite, on the other side of the street.

Quite why they didn't suggest this obvious source of confusion, and I don't think I can have been the first, somewhat earlier in proceedings is still a mystery. I think this is how they get their kicks. I reckon the taxi drivers are in on it too.
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citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25497 on: September 17, 2020, 03:41:24 pm »
I did the same in Liege. Two budget hotels next door to each other, and at 2am with over 400km in my legs and barely able to stay awake, I really couldn't remember which one I'd booked with... I guessed wrong.

At least my Garmin had led me to the right location though.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25498 on: September 17, 2020, 05:26:38 pm »
To be fair, it does have a small historical downtown and a nice botanical garden, but it's mostly large nondescript buildings, like being eaten and slowly digested by a giant version of Canary Wharf. The entire Texas schtick is a bit tiring. Even the Mexicans beat you, losers. And then the Union made you dance like a monkey.

Also, it's not Houston. Which is worse than everywhere. Even Phoenix.

I nearly started my annual Leftpondian perambulations in Houston once but Thee Panel talked me into going via Denver instead. The day I would’ve arrived in Houston a hurricane showed up instead.  I've been to the one in BRITISH Columbia, though.  It has a giant fly-fishing rod.  Look, see:


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Mrs Pingu

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Re: A random thread for small things that don't really warrant a thread of their own
« Reply #25499 on: September 17, 2020, 06:02:56 pm »
This brings back memories of driving through Belgium from Zeebrugge south and all the roadworks and big orange signs with 'GPS' with a big cross through it.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.