The art of outdoor navigation

Whilst practical navigation from the comfort of your living room may seem like a strange idea this cd rom does actually fit the bill. The Art of Outdoor Navigation has a whole host of excellent features and some superb graphics to take you through step-by step tutorials. To make the most of it it’s worth looking at the introductory section first which explains about the cd rom and some of the special features that it contains, like the virtual compass for instance. You can move the virtual compass around the map and rotate the bezel to take bearings just like you would with a regular compass. It does take a little bit of getting used to but once you have got the hang of using this one then a real compass will be a piece of cake.

Once through the intro you can go through step by step tutorials which will explain about maps, how landforms are represented using contours, measuring distance, taking bearings etc etc. On the whole the graphics are excellent and the imagery used works really well with some excellent 360Þ panoramas that you can scroll around – either to enjoy the view as part of your journey or to take a bearing on a landmark as part of one of the interactive exercises. There are also excellent sections on what to do if you get lost and on hazards that may be encountered during winter which will determine your choice of route and how to travel safely. On the whole the cd rom flows well from one subject matter to another, it is easy to navigate around (no pun intended) and is fairly fast considering the complexity of the animations and graphics that are used. I did get locked out a couple of times and wasn’t able to close some of the pop up windows but apart from that the cd worked well. The only thing that I would like to have seen as an extra would be the possibility of printing off some of the pages so that you would be able to use them as cribs whilst practising out on the hill.

Basically this is a great tool for anyone to use and it will lend itself as much to the classroom as it will to the outdoor enthusiast. And don’t forget to check out the OTE propaganda which will almost certainly encourage you to get a copy of Hard Grit if you haven’t done so already.

Tim Mosedale, 01 May 2001