Archive | Maps

Dominican Republic Maps

The Dominican Republic does have maps but they are not massively detailed but they are still good for navigating your way around the country. There is a wide range of Dominican Republic maps but I feel that the National Geographic – Dominican Republic Adventure Map, is the most detailed one and will provide you with the biggest gain when you visit the country. All of the Dominican Republic Maps can be found over in our store…

Google Maps

The extensive mapping done by google is making its Dominican Republics maps more and more up to date by the day. Ok, they haven’t uploaded these to there actual Google Map site but they can be found on there Google Map Maker. You may be asking why that is, well, in the maps there are still some mistakes but in General, them maps are completely revolutionary for the Dominican Republic. These are by far the most detailed maps the Dominican Republic has to offer. The Dominican Republic maps that are currently on the market are outdated but they outline the major roads needed to travel to the majority of the major cities.


This is the first Dominican Republic map on a GPS, granted, it is not a whole map of the Dominican Republic but only a GPS map of the capital (Santo Domingo). From personal use of this device, it is a must have if you are going to the Dominican Republic and you are looking for a map of the capital. It has everything you need on it, restaurants, movies, easy to direct, voice commands and much more. After using this for a week, i feel like i know the city that much more and has helped me to learn my way around Santo Domingo. The great thing is the map it self can be plugged into any Garmin device and can then be used in the Dominican Republic.

You now have the map, how do you read it?

We have you covered on this, through out the site there are numerous documents which provide useful information for you to learn the skills it takes to read a map or a GPS. Also it goes further then just a simple road map, maybe you want more, like hiking, we also have you covered there. Check out the links bellow to see the information.

How to read a map
How to use a compass
How to use a GPS
How to Geocache

How to read a map


A map will always have a scale, especially if it is a navigational map, this scale can usually be found in one of the corners. This scale can then be used to give you a approximate distance for your journey. How you measure this is by getting a ruler or some sort of measuring device and placing it between the starting point of your journey and where you want to end your journey at. For example if you have a scale which says 1cm = 10km and you measure a 10cm road, that means you will be driving 100km. Maps can also be in inches but the same rule applies, if it says 1inch = 10km then you will still be driving for 100km.


Each map will have a compass on it, this will give you the directions for; north, south, east and west. All you have to do to find out what direction you are going in is find the end point of you journey. Then imagine putting your compass on your starting point of the map and looking at the direction the end point is from your starting position and that will roughly tell you the direction you will be going in. For example, if it looks slightly right from the north, that would be going north north-east.

Map Key

A lot of maps, especially road maps will have some sort of key on them, these keys are then used to tell you what type of road it might be or where a river and ocean is. Also they give you some of the major land marks, for example an air port will be marked with a plane and a hospital will be marked with a cross. An example of one of these keys can be seen below.

Longitude and Latitude


When you look at a map of the world you may see lines which are going round the earth at a horizontal angle, these are known as  the latitude lines, they are also known as parallels. They are known as parallels because they are an equal distance apart, each line is approximately 69 miles apart. Try to imagine a ring around the earth, the one in the middle is the equator, this lies at 0° degrees, then they go all the way up to the North Pole which is 90° degrees and all the way down to the South Pole which is also at a 90° degree angle. The equator divides our planet into the northern and southern hemisphere.


Longitude is like latitude but longitude goes vertically down the planet at a 180° degree angle. Once again, the middle of the longitude lines are at 0° degrees and they go East to West becoming 180° degrees. The middle line runs through Greenwich (England) this allows for time-zones to be made.

How to use a compass

The first thing you need to know about a compass is how to read the compass. All compasses have N,E,S,W on them, these abbreviations mean…

N = North
E = East
S = South
W = West

These 4 directions are used when navigating with a compass, for example, if you was facing north and got told to go south, you would turn 180 degrees and walk straight.

If you read a compass and it said NE that means you would be going in this direction…

You would be going at a 45 degree angle between north and east, so it would be a diagonal upwards line. NE stands for North East, this can be figured out by putting the N and the E together.

You also might read, ENE, SSE or a direction with three letters being used. That direction looks like this on a compass.

WSW is West South-West, that means you would be going at a 22.5 degrees angle between West and South-West position of the compass.

How to use a compass with a map?

1.)  Hold your map in a horizontal position so the face of the map is facing up then place your compass onto the map.

2.) Choose your starting position (Point A) and your end position (Point B). Mark these positions with a red pen. Place the edge of the ruler on your starting position (Point A) and measure to your end position (Point B). This will help you work out the distance between the starting point and ending point.

Note: If the compass is to small to reach from point A to point B, then mark the end of you ruler on the map, Slide the 0 end of the ruler to the point marked and make sure the end part hits point B. If it does not reach, once again repeat the steps above. Add the 2 measurements together, look at the map scale and do the conversion to determine the distance.

3.)  Then, make sure the orienting lines and arrow of the compass are parallel with the map’s north to south coordinate lines. The North to South coordinate lines are the perpendicular and parallel grid lines overlapping your map.

4.)  Keep the compass on your map, rotate the map and the compass at the same time, until the magnetic line points North.

5.)  Follow the travel arrow making sure that the orienting arrow is still in line with the compass housing.

Tip: Pick 2-3 landmarks in the distance that you will remember and make sure they are in the direction you are traveling. These will help you to stay on track through out you journey. Once you reach the landmarks, pick new ones to help you along the way.

What is cartography?

Cartography is how a map is made, the given name for  amap maker is  aCartographers. Humans have been using maps for 1000’s of years, the only thing which has improved is the quality of the map. A good example of this is, it used to show only one road on a map, now there is the whole world mapped out. Some might think this profession is now dead,  as technology has come so far, but  No, there is still a frequent need for cartographers, this is brought on by the constant geological changes the earth makes and the constant political efforts to strive for a better map.
Going way back when maps were first created, they referenced it between 2 points, for example, a lighthouse and a telephone pillion, so they would make a map between them 2 land marks and that is how they made maps back in old days. But if we compare them with the modern maps, you will find that modern maps use geographical co-ordinates, longitude and latitude to map out the existing terrain.

Cartography is not an easy job, it is a very highly skilled job which relies a lot on the use of mathematics and a good knowledge of  numbers. Also you will need a good science background,  science is used for describing and understanding geological features. Depending on what map you are making, you might need to know more, especially if you are doing a map of the ocean, then you would have to know about Oceanology.

There are two types of maps which Cartographers create, one is just a map, the other is a Topographical map, a Topographical map is one which follows the landscape. It normally  includes such features as elevations , major geographical features and other orient features. The great thing about these types of  maps is the longevity of them, they can last decades, unless some unexpected land movement happens, like an earth quake.