Anatomy of a Trail Map
- MAIN MAP
Most important map element that draws the user’s attention first. Should be placed in the visual center.
- INSET MAPS
Help orient the reader.
- NORTH ARROW / SCALE
Orients the user to north; keep design simple. Scale helps user measure approximate distance; not more than 1/3 the width of the map.
No standard placement. Should be carefully worded.
Explains the symbology of the map. Should match main map.
- GRIDS / GRATICULES
Usually UTM and/or latitude and longitude. Useful in estimating location on the ground. Common with topographic maps.
Useful additions may include temperature and precipitation charts or elevation profile.
Common for online maps, images provide a window into the trail experience.
Written cues for trail navigation.
Balances empty space. Doesn’t distract from map focus. Options include satellite images, shaded releif and photography.
Credit to contributing organizations, including local sponsors and land managers.
- RULES OF THE TRAIL
IMBA's Rules of the Trail offer helpful guidance for managing trail user relations