Digital Mapping - Planning a Route
Written by Graham Hughes
In the second of four articles Graham Hughes of Anquet Maps gives a brief overview of how a route can be effectively planned using Anquet Maps.
For a quick overview of the Anquet Maps system, please view the video introduction on the home page of our website at www.anquet.com.
Effective route planning using Anquet Maps can not only be safer, more accurate and quicker than traditional methods, but also furnish the user with more relevant information. For instance, when I consider a route using a paper map, for the estimate of distance, I count grid squares, and I assess gradient changes and altitude gain by looking at and counting the contours. With Anquet, I simply click a button to instantly view the distance, total ascent, estimated time and other statistics. A further click of the mouse brings up the route profile in a graphical form for easy viewing.
Find your desired walk location on the map
To start to plot your route, you obviously need to locate the correct mapping. You can do this in Anquet by either entering a grid reference or searching the gazetteer. The find place gazetteer contains over 250,000 items, so you can search for even the smallest of features such as hill or farm names.
Once at your location, you can now utilise the different map types available in Anquet. For instance, you may decide to view Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 scale mapping whilst surveying a larger area whilst deciding where to walk. However, the map of choice for walkers in Great Britain is the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale mapping and it is this data that you are most likely to plot your route on.
If you don't have the mapping you require, you can purchase it from within the Anquet software, download it, and start using it straight away.
Plotting the route
Plotting a route is extremely simple. Right click on the map where you wish to start the route, and select 'Start Route'. This creates the first waypoint on the map. Now simply move the mouse to the first major change of direction of your route, and left click - this will position a second waypoint on the route. Simply continue this until you reach the end of your route, where you right click once more and select 'End Route'.
You can use the same method to plot escape routes along your route, should you need to head for lower ground earlier than planned.
Assessing your route
It is at this point in the process where you start to really see the power of Anquet over typical paper maps. Clicking the information button brings up a box that contains a wealth of information, including total distance, total ascent, maximum and minimum altitudes and an estimated time. The estimated time makes allowances for ascent and descent and can be tailored to individual walkers.
It is very simple to edit routes in Anquet to tailor the walk to your requirements.
Printing your route
Anquet has a powerful print system allowing you to print the map as you would like to view it with the route you have plotted superimposed on it.
Out onto the hill
Although Anquet can be great fun to use, its primary function is to facilitate easier and safer route planning so that you can spend more time in the hills.
For those who navigate using a compass, with your newly printed map you are all set for your walk.
For those who use a GPS, or Pocket Anquet on a Pocket PC or Smartphone, then Anquet can easily transfer the data you have plotted to the device to be taken out into the field. The use of these devices is the subject of the next article.
Anquet is free to try. You can download the software and sample maps from www.anquet.com with no obligation.
The majority of our maps are now purchased by download (prices start from £10), but we still produce CD products for those who would prefer the physical item.
Our sales team are available 9am-5pm Mon-Fri on 0800 033 7030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graham Hughes, Managing Director, Anquet Technology, April 2009.