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acey

Men and maps

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A corny old cliche (doubtless untrue) says that women can't read maps, whereas men, of course, can. So why is it that when many men take up astronomy they suddenly plead themselves unable to read a star map? They look for books that will explain the dark art of "star hopping", or else - terrified at the thought of unfolding a piece of paper and actually figuring out which way to hold it - they decide they can't possibly survive without GOTO, GPS or some fancy app that will drive their scope to exactly the place they want.

What's the reason for this sudden helplessness? Is it just an excuse to spend even more money on even more gear? :smiley:

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Wow,bit sexist!!! :D

im a man,i can read star charts and im trying to find all the messiers without goto.then the caldwrlls and herschel 400 without.bit of a broad generalisation as most people buy the books abd goto for as much info as possible and to make the most of limited time :)

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Lack of practice - a tendency to spend more time looking up than purposefully honing map skills?

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I became interested in mapping at a very early age when my father brought maps home from the Ordnance Survey, years went by and I got into orienteering,maps and running, then came kayaking and sailing, here I learnt to use Polaris for direction and the Sun with watch for time. Nowadays I now dabble in astronomy and when I look at a star map I am lost, the sky moves!!! To ensure I get to the target I want to see I use a goto mount, easy and no hassle, that with a laptop and camera I can take photos, and with a couple of other gadgets I can enjoy the pastime. Maps, what are they :D

Jim

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Hmmmm is this another anti goto thread? Haven't seen one for a while! :hiding:

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I think acey has his tongue in cheek here...:)

He's not far wrong is he! Stick most blokes in the middle of nowhere and give them a map and a compass and they will find their way around. Give us the chance to have a bit of gadgetry and our senses fail at its 'brilliance' :D

Goto is like a sat nav and we conquered the earth without those.

I have both goto and push to and there is a place for both of them although I think my star charts are much better to look at than my handset..glasses9.gif

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Hmmmm is this another anti goto thread?

lol, could you image the pro's doing without goto ;) .. left a bit, right a bit, up a bit, other way!!!

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I think acey has his tongue in cheek here... :)glasses9.gif

Glad someone noticed. :smiley:

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Not sure about this being sexist, but if my wife is anything to go by, it's factually correct - when I was driving around Paris with my wife navigating, she may as well have been holding a star-chart, we may have got home quicker. This was before the 'go-to' option of sat-nav was available, otherwise I would have grabbed it with both hands.

Phil

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I have some beautifull star maps which I love looking at (eg Sky Atlas 2000). I rarely use them to find objects as imaging time is too precious in the UK. But once the scope is working away I will be looking at the atlas for my next target for the night.

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Wow,bit sexist!!! :D

Saying nothing :rolleyes: but all the blokes I have ever asked to read a map have been disasters - maybe I should choose my men more carefully :grin: I am definitely the map reader in our house & usually the driver too which can be interesting. OH seems to think that a brain is pointless if there's a gadget to do it for him so has satnav, sky apps etc. The last straw was when he said "look this is so clever, it can tell me what the weather's like here." yup so can I, windows are great for that :rolleyes:

I'll get off my soapbox now :grin:

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No it is (generally, with exeptions) true. Women are better communicators, men have better spacial awareness but are more prone to type 2 errors.

Maps are fantastic. Ancient, new, celestial and terestrial - but the best maps are on my SatMap! :grin:

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Not sure that all males have an inbuilt sense of direction , took me half an hour the other evening to convince three neighbours that North was "over there" and that Jupiter was not the North Star . . .

When asked the simple 'where does the Sun rise ' question they just stood looking blankly at each other.

Had to get out a compass and small scope to kinda convince them ,

Found it rather amusing and sad in equal measures ,

Steve.

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Why would I want to use old technology, I have a GPS on my bike, satnav in the car and a GOTO scope. :grin:

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Acey - Generally, as "they" say, men are good at reading maps (why men never ask for directions and women do) but those are road maps. Take away the roads and most men are lost. And since road maps cover a much smaller area (no need to know LAT/LONG), they are easier to learn to use. But with DEC/RA, that's when all bets are off! Take away the colors of road maps and men get more confused.

So a star map is as alien to men as can be and so may explain men's inability to navigate by them :grin:

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I'm a girl, I can read a map very well actually, have navigated my way around snowdonia but... Star maps get me sometimes, my girlfriend is the same, she's awesome at navigation, give her a star map and she's a big lost lol. X

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men don't read maps they are too busy driving. I guess it's the same with telescopes :eek:

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I think most of this man/woman can do this can't do that thing is social conditioning anyway Claire, boys/girls get segregated and taught different things (consciously or not) from the moment we are born.

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I think most of this man/woman can do this can't do that thing is social conditioning anyway Claire, boys/girls get segregated and taught different things (consciously or not) from the moment we are born.

Yes I agree, when I was little it was you girl you play with dolls, fortunately I didn't listen so I can now put a shelf up, wire a plug and read a map lol. My daughter is only two and I refuse to make her play with girls toys etc, she even asked for a train set for Xmas :-)

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Maybe it comes through reading all those novels as a child Travels With a Donkey n' other Robert Louis Stevenson, Tolkien etc, but yeah I love maps. I have shelves full of battered OS maps. I still do a good job though from time to time, whether with an OS map or sky chart at getting muddled and loosing my way a bit though, all part of the fun.

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I love maps, I've got loads of them. Don't read though, just look at the pictures..

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