If you have a love of surveying and maps, perhaps you should try your hand at amateur cartography. A few simple tools might be all that you need to create maps of your favorite spots around the globe. It could be as simple as mapping out your favorite trails at a local natural area or creating cool fun maps of your town. While you could use a handy computer program to create your maps, this takes away some of the fun and challenge of cartography.
There are many different types of maps that you can make, so before purchasing tools such as a surveyor’s compass and a compass tripod or perhaps a Jacob staff, think about your mapping goals. Do you wish to create physical map that identifies various natural features such as creeks, rivers, lakes and mountains? Would you prefer a thematic map that identifies various points of interest within your community or another town? Another option might be a physical map that identifies boundaries. Any of these options can be a fun challenge for the amateur cartographer to consider.
When dealing with physical maps as well as political maps, accuracy might be paramount and you probably should use your surveyor’s compass and other tools, such as the Jacob’s staff. This is especially a concern if other people will be using your map for directions, such as on a complicated or advanced hiking trail. However, if you just want to have fun and not invest in tools, a thematic map can be a great way to go. Pick a theme that is interesting to you and draw a map that showcases the general area of places such as pubs, historic building, unique landmarks, special types of shops or whatever you imagine can conjure.
If you are unfamiliar with surveying tools and cartographer tools, it is a good idea to learn about them and to use them. For instance, let’s begin with the surveyor’s compass. Some people also call this device a circumferentor and it is used to measure horizontal angles. This was the tool of choice for surveyors for many centuries; although today’s professional surveyors are more likely to use a device known as a theodolite. Still, a theodolite is bulky, so it is much easier to carry the surveyor’s compass.
You can mount a surveyor’s compass on a special pole known as a Jacob staff or perhaps use a compass tripod. These make it easier for your take measurements. Other types of compasses also might be helpful for your map-making endeavors. If you don’t wish to make calculations yourself, using online maps can help you create your own hand-drawn accurate maps.
For those who wish to truly create their own unique maps, it also will be important for you to invest in quality drawing equipment and perhaps some drafting tools. Items such as a protractor or compass can be helpful, and you also might want to purchase high-quality paper or parchment for your final map designs.
Carey Bourdier enjoys writing about precision scientific instruments. For more information about surveying products like a surveyor compass, or to find other alignment instruments, check out the Warren Knight website today.