How to use a paper map and compass?


Map compass cameraAlthough we live in the age of satellite positioning systems and Google Maps, every GeoGeek should have basic analog navigation skills and for centuries a paper map and a compass were the simplest, most reliable and most effective way to find your location and navigate from A to B.

Today many of us have lost that skill but no worries… It’s fairly simple. We’ve decided to gather for you the best YouTube tutorials on that topic.

The first video comes from Silva – Swedish manufacturer of most likely the best compasses out there:

The second one is a series of 8 Ordnance Survey tutorials. It’s totally awesome and easy to follow. Check it out:

Ok. After watching these videos the most important thing is to buy a topographic map, a compass and go outdoor to practice. Going for a walk or a hike the analog way is much cooler than catching Pokemons around the city;).

I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.


  1. actually using updated info is more important than using a compass or a old map. crowd sourced maps like OpenStreetMap or street view photos like Mapillary is more accurate and offers richer information.

  2. Another suggestion is to search out your local orienteering club if you are looking to add some “sport” into your map reading skills.


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