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Making a Base Map

Making a map is an essential part of the design process. It is your starting point, the base template for which you will be able to overlay your design. It gives you a place to record our observations, interpretations of the site. Here you can envision concepts and layer details onto your design.

The map needs to be a scale drawing. It is import to include a scale bar on your map so that people can easily see or calculate how far things would be apart, in real life, on the ground. The more accurate that you can create your map the better. When choosing your scale it is best to try to go as large as you can, this is pretty much determined by the size of paper and overlays you use.

It is also import to orientate your map, this is usually done to the north, with north being top of your page (though not necessarily.)

The map should also show all key elements, i.e. an immovable or permanent object that have to be considered when laying out your plan. You should, however, keep to the important features, it does not require every detail, these can perhaps be included in the overlays. Your basic map can then be used to create many different overlays, where more details can be included.

Once a base map has been produced it can be copied, this reduces the time we have to spend redrawing the permanent elements of the site. The copies can be taken to the field to record observations, as a base for creating the transparent overlays, to test ideas and to build the final design.

How to create your base map.

There are a few of ways you can make a base map.

1. Trilateration is the process of determining the locations of points by measurement of distances, using the geometry of circles and triangles. It is a method of surveying in which the lengths of the sides of a triangle are measured and from this information, angles are computed. By constructing a series of triangles adjacent to one another, a surveyor can obtain other distances and angles that would not otherwise be measurable. Trilateration is an easy way to survey a small parcels of land or a back garden they are not so useful over large area, where triangulation is the better method.

2. Using google maps, or tracing an aerial photo

Using the internet and a projector, one of the quickest ways is to project a satellite image or aerial photo onto paper so that you can draw in the key features. Or you can take an online snap shot and print it off as an image that you can then trace. you must however, ensure you know the scale.

3. Triangulation - In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a points using two known points as a reference. The angle and distance between the two known points is recorded with reference to North then angles from both these points a new un mapped reference points is chosen and angles are measure . these angle can be marked on the map from the known positions and where the lines created from the measured angles cross over is the location of the reference point is found. For mapping to be done accurately this way very good measurements of angles must be made.

Further blogs to come to better describe how to do these processes.

So that all there is to your base map.

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