<VV> Headlamps (now maps)

Jim Simpson simpson661 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 17:07:52 EDT 2020

Hugo -- the "A to Z" maps (and other British road maps) benefit from the
government Ordnance Survey maps that were first done centuries and are
regularly updated.  They are truly excellent.  Few, if any, other countries
have ever surveyed their nation to that degree.  Apparently the Ordnance
Survey maps are either freely or cheaply available to the commercial map
making companies and they take advantage of them.

There are excellent maps in the US done by the US Geologic Survey, but
there seems to be something of a disconnect between them and the US
commercial map makers.  I've found the best commercial maps here to be the
ones from the American Automobile Association.  Not perfect, but generally
accurate and legible.  In general, US maps are good at the Interstate, US
Highway and major state route level.  As they get down to the smaller
roads, they become less reliable.

Keep in mind as well the size of the area you are considering.  The entire
UK has a surface area of about 93,000 sq miles.  By comparison, Florida is
about 65,000 sq miles and the entire US is 3.8,000,000 sq miles.  To get
the to same detail as the UK's "A to Z" maps, you would have to buy one for
each state.  (I have an "A to Z" map book somewhere but can't put my hands
on it right now, but if I recall correctly, it is roughly 1" thick.  A
similar book for just the state of Texas would be about 3" thick and a full
set for the US about 3.4 feet thick.)

GPS devices work well, but do depend upon an accurate map base.  Google's
map base seems to be the more accurate and up-to-date of those available
right now.  And if you are navigating using them, you do have to use a
little common sense.  Regarding large trucks (lorries) getting stuck, there
are specialized GPS databases designed to route large vehicles.  They
generally keep trucks from trying to go under low overpasses, cross
inadequate bridges and presumably go down inappropriate roads.  (Of course,
there are always situations where someone is trying to deliver some very
large load to a remote rural location...)

Bottom line is to be adaptable, use whatever aids you have (maps, gps) and
use some common sense.

Jim Simpson
Group Corvair

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