Why Use an Accordion Map Fold For Bike Trails?

Why Use an Accordion Map Fold For Bike Trails?

Jan 28th, 2016 by Mark at PocketMaps
  • Folding Maps
  • City Wayfinding
  • Wayfinding on Trails

Map layouts are necessary to consider, especially when you're anticipating the map in the hands of someone like a biker. Which type of map will be natural for a biker to use, especially if they're out on a trail?

Map layouts are necessary to consider, especially when you're anticipating the map in the hands of someone like a biker. Which type of map will be natural for a biker to use, especially if they're out on a trail? We recommend the accordion map fold as a great alternative to more extensive, expanded map territories. Here's when and why the accordion map has an advantage over other folds.

First of all, the folded lengths and proportions of the accordion map can help with navigation. It presents a relatively straight trail or loop in an easy-to-read orientation. If you're mapping out a trail that goes along a particular axis or forms a narrow loop, an accordion map fold can help by visually translating the direction of the trail. Whether the map gets turned upside down or not, navigators can find their way according to the points on the map. In contrast, an expanded fold that includes more land area than necessary can make it confusing for the user. Overall, the narrower map can help designers focus on the more critical details and land markers, especially if the trail is small.

An accordion map is also easier to collapse and fold according to the user's needs. The more panels you add to expand your map, the harder it is to collapse it or fold out at a whim. With an accordion map that has one row but multiple columns, it's a lot easier for the biker to fold down half of the map and concentrate on the trail ahead, versus needing to fold the map out all the way.

Overall, an accordion map is a perfect map layout for particular trails, but it's best to consult a team of mapmakers to help you find the best types of designs and folds for your needs. To get help with your map, contact us.

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