zyzzyva980
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The combination that we found to work better than that was to have one person work exclusively with topographic maps and one person work exclusively with highway maps. That way, each was able to study their portion more in-depth, and, unless the tests have dramatically changed since I did the event (oh so long ago) to diminish the highway map portion, the two should be about even.
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JonnyL
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Can someone explain UTM, azimuths, and PLSS to me? I just don't get it.

syo_astro
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Can someone explain UTM, azimuths, and PLSS to me? I just don't get it.
Have you taken a look at the wiki?

It does cover stuff on UTM, azimuth, and PLSS (at least in summary). I have no idea how PLSS works since I don't think it even exists in NYS >.<.

For UTM, I would recommend going on youtube to find videos, there's a few good websites online from various sources, though. It's the Universal Transverse Mercator system. It's a map projection that approximates a grid and turns the world into multiple 6 degree zones. You usually find it on quadrangles, and you can use its system of easting and northing (remember, read right, read up, that's how you write your coordinates) to locate points on maps. You can also use it to calculate distance and bearing/azimuth between points.

Azimuth (which is related to bearing) just tells you an angle relative to north you go from one point to view another. There's better summaries online I'd bet you could find.

Hope that helps!
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silentsage
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Can someone explain UTM, azimuths, and PLSS to me? I just don't get it.
PLSS stands for Public Land Survey System. And syo is right, its starting point is in East Liverpool Ohio, and yes, I have been there. It is a way to organize parcels of land, and really isn't way too significant in the modern age. An area, designated by state, is given a set of axes. x is the base line, y is the principal meridian. The axes are then given units of Range and Township, respectively, and each is six miles long. Each sector divided by one unit of T and R is 36 sq. mi., therefore. On the map drawing which is required for most tests, one of these square miles is what you are drawing, labeled 1-36.
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sunlim
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What is a map sector?

EastStroudsburg13
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In what context are you referring to a "map sector"? There are map sections in PLSS, but I'm not entirely sure what you mean by sector.
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Voltage
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sunlim, by map are you referring to a topographical map?

In that case, there are 9 sectors in a topo map. They are all the same size and are rectangles/squares that fill up the map in a grid pattern. There is a NW sector, a N sector, a NE sector, an E sector, a center sector, a W sector, a SW sector, a S sector, and a SE sector. The sectors can also be numbered, with 1 as NW, 2 as N, 3 as NE, 4 as E, 5 as center, 6 as W, 7 as SW, 8 as S, and 9 as SE.

You can figure out the boundaries of sectors by using graticule tick marks. If you go along the side of a topo map you'll find a place where the latitude or longitude is marked. Move into the map from there are you'll eventually find a little cross hair that is a graticule tick mark. That tick mark is one corner of 4 sectors.

Sectors help you find stuff. For example, if I were to ask you a question that involved Cheeseman park on the Englewood quad, you would have to search the whole map looking for that park. Whereas, if I were to ask you a question that involved Cheesman park, sector 1 on the Englewood quad, you would only have to search 1/9 of the map.
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I'm going to join this event next year, Is there anything I should know for starting?
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zyzzyva980
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The Road Scholar Wiki has lots of great information to get started, and a lot of specific questions you might have have probably been asked and answered in this thread, so I'd suggested reading over those two to start off.
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HeavyHitter406
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I'm going to join this event next year, Is there anything I should know for starting?
I would recommend reading road maps for fun or right before you go to bed. It has been a favorite pastime of mine for several years, even before I got onto Road Scholar. It can be pretty fun, or maybe I am just saying this because I enjoy doing it. I do think that it can be pretty fun. Get a big atlas for the entire US, so you can be prepared for any state they give you. I have reached the point that I can answer questions about physical features in each stats wight even looking at the map because I have looked at maps for fun for a long time.
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