Map layouts are important to consider, especially when you're anticipating the map in the hands of someone like a biker. Which type of map will be easy for a biker to use, especially if they're out on a trail? We recommend the accordion map fold as a great alternative to larger, 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 a 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 important 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 layouts and folds for your needs. To get help with your map, contact us.
January 28th, 2016
by Mark Minoff