The trend of using Google Earth, Bing and other maps for a variety of applications within climbing is on the up - from planning expedition routes to seeking out new, well-concealed crags with the aid of a bird's-eye perspective on the chosen terrain. Coupled with drones and overly-intelligent phones, the possibilities for exploration and development are endless.
We got in touch with some virtual globetrotters who were willing to tell us about their experiences of mapping tools and share some hints and tips.
The website Dan cited is Geograph.org.uk, as opposed to geography.or.uk.
The Environment Agency hold a huge reserve of LIDAR data which they are considering making public. Even with the lower resolution in the uplands, this would be absolutely invaluable for truthing what you may have seen on google maps or marked on the os map before the long plod across the moor. Fingers crossed!
Brilliant. Didn't know about the ability to overlay. That could be useful.
Have used those Soviet maps before and they're surprisingly good (at least in the Kokshaal-Too).
On a side note, there was minimal glacial retreat evident from the Soviet map to 2012 as well.
Recently I've been using a sat nav program to navigate road trips from one place to another. Pretty amazing technology with lots of advantages over a map. For instance if a road is blocked with traffic you can just go a different way and the computer automatically works out a new route for you.
But what I've noticed is that you can just plug thing in and listen to the directions oblivious to to where you really are. The map is very close up so you don't get any sense of where you're heading. You can end up making a long journey without having much of a clue as to where you are in the country. So I think that is definitely a loss, as are the skills of route planning and map reading.