Travel Advice - How to search a map to determine where you are
We think you can make these tasks easier to perform if you realize that maps are not reality but miniaturized representations of reality. Not everything you can see while walking or driving can be shown on the map. As a consequence, you have to be very careful when trying to match where you are in the real world with the symbols shown on the map.
Using a map to determine where you are located is a task influenced by the scale of the map you use.
Finding locations in cities while using good quality street maps
Finding you location in a city using a "road map" is very difficult since these smaller scaled maps do not include detailed street mapping of cities. The inset maps showing cities that you find on road maps are designed to function only as "in and out" maps, getting you into the city and back out again.
If you will be touring a city, you may need to purchase a detailed city street map to find your way.
Determining your location
Finding location or positions while using good quality road maps
Large areas are symbolized with limited detail on road or highway maps and locating your position on the map may be difficult. The map index is your best aid for finding town locations
If you think you are lost, on the wrong road, do not know the name of the road that you are on, or cannot find anybody to ask, continue driving until you notice landmarks or road signs that can help you determine your location. Finding a real world location on the map will help you determine your position.
Road signs contain the route number and, often show the name of the jurisdiction (e.g. city, county, state) containing this segment of the road. Use these signs to help identify the road and your generalized location on it. If the road sign contains names that you cannot find on the map, look for the name in the map index. Then, use the map grid to locate these places on the map.
Remember, not every place or feature is located on every map. We advise you to buy good quality maps with a detailed road network because these are the products that will contain more information of use when trying to orient yourself (see Our Map Table listing of good quality map publishers)
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