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Organizing maps

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Organizing maps

Postby hikerduane » Wed May 30, 2007 7:35 pm

How are your maps stored to allow quick retrieval of them? As I have gathered maps over the years they were just put in a pile on a shelf in my spare bedroom. Then one winter, for something to do one day, I put some extra shelves up in the closet and claimed 3/4 of it for bp gear and put my folded up maps in a few piles for different areas of CA that I bp in. One for Yosemite and Mammoth area, Tahoe, Lassen etc. Problem is, some of the piles are on shelves higher than I can see over and it still isn't easy to quickly grab a map and head out to where there is good light and trying to remember what areas are combined for the amount of allocated space. Some maps are just folded in half to allow them to fit on a shelf flat. Any ideas? A box, pendaflex (lots of those at work in use), box with labeled folders? If you have them filed, how are they organized, region, area, alpha? I don't have a program for a computer and if I did, I would still have to print out a map for a trip. Plus, I don't have a printer so that is out anyway.

Thanks,
Duane
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Postby dave54 » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:53 pm

Not organized at all.

They all are in tupperware storage containers that slide under the bed. Looking for a particular map involves rummaging through both containers until I find the ones I want.

The wife wants me to get rid of some of them. She says it is silly to have 3 or four editions of the same map (I tell her often old unused trails are shown on the older editions and get left off the newer editions. Those are worth an exploration trip. :D ).

Somehow, the same philosophy does not apply to her massive collection of cookbooks. Just how many meatloaf recipes does one need, anyway...
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Postby hikerduane » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:39 pm

Thanks a lot.:)
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Postby SSSdave » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:57 pm

I have a disgusting number of topographic maps. Certainly conveniently living a half an hour drive from the USGS offices in Menlo Park is part of the reason. Quite a pile of old 15 minute maps and earlier versions of 7.5 minute maps when they were in preliminary status. And lots of special maps of various national parks and other areas. The majority of my 7.5 minute Sierra maps have been handled, folded, and used in the field so much they have become rather mutilated, needing considerable amounts of clear tape on all the inevitable tears and fold wear points. Of course years ago maps were dirt cheap. I'm guessing the high quality 7.5 minute maps first were just $2 each. Now the cost is $6 a sheet and the reason I tend to use maps till they fall apart or become unreadable before replacement. These days I'm more likely to print small letter size map areas out on my computer than buy new USGS replacements.

For the last couple decades I've used large size bank clips to combine similar maps together. Metal bank clips of various sizes are sold in stationary stores and are used to clip stacks of money bills together. They do a decent job of holding together as many as about two dozen stacked maps. I put a code on each bank clip with about 20 categories for the Sierra dependent on location regions. Made an index listing for the 20 categories though have memorized which stack a map belongs in without looking it up. Because I enjoy looking at maps, there is often a messy "in use" stack in my living room. For most Sierra maps, while thumbing through a tall stack, I can tell which map I'm looking at by simply looking at a small corner by familliarity alone. Out of season maps occasionally are sorted and put back into the bank clips. I tend to keep all my maps because of all the cryptic notes written with disgustingly lazy poor handwriting on them. The white back side of many of my USGS maps have writings I made long ago during evenings while laying in my sleeping bag with headlamp on in the backcountry. ...David
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:08 am

Thanks Dave, I think I know the type of clips you are talking about, we use them at work for contracts, titles etc. at some stage before they are filed away. My trouble is, I don't have the space for them to be unfurled. Some are the vicinity maps you can pick up for a specific area and come neatly folded already, those are neat but don't interact too well with all the older topo maps. Maybe this coming winter will be a cold snowy one and I'll find time to do something with them. Enjoy all your planned trips, I'm envious.
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