Books about Map Reading

Most of the books about map and compass I have found are aimed at Orienteering and wilderness travel. What photographers need are methods that work in the city and scenic locations where we can usually see what we are shooting. These are the best books I found available in the US. In other countries there are map and compass books available in many languages. Some GPS books might be better because they deal in finding one's location.

LAND NAVIGATION HANDBOOK, W.S.Kals, Sierra Club Books. A good book about "Land Navigation". A lot more than we need to know. The book explains well reading topos, the 3 norths, magnetic compass problems, basic sun position finding, and other back woods skills. I found this at

GPS LAND NAVIGATION, Michael Ferguson, Glassford Publishing, Boise Idaho. If you are interested in GPS, (we don't really need it if we can read a map), this a very good book on all the above skills plus GPS use. I found this book at Their reviews were correct. (I don't know when writers and their friends salt on-line book reviews with glowing reviews of their own books.)

In the US I can't recommend "Map and Compass" books and any courses for our purposes. They are generally aimed at orienteering and use a lot of different terms and skills we don't need. In other countries they may be all that is available.

I found a good German book: KART AND KOMPASS, by Edwin Kaufmann, Ott Verlag Thun. I can't read German, but liked the approach.

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