Sunday, January 3, 2010

Review: DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer

In today's world of GPS navigation, iPhones Apps and Google Earth, you would almost think that paper maps are antiques from the tech-stone-age.  I'm a pretty internet based guy for a lot of things, but I tell ya what...when I make a road trip I have my DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer right on my consol.  I also use it when planning birding trips.  My trip to Idaho's City of Rocks was greatly enhanced by my DeLorme Atlas, as were my birding trips in Arizona.

I love that their maps show the backroads and creeks.  Where there is water, there are bugs and plants which means there are birds!  You don't realize how much water there is just a short side-trip from the routes you regularly drive, so it opens up a whole new world of birding locations for you.

This atlas has a lot of great tools besides the maps...the gazetteer!  The good folks at DeLorme have not yet created a page specifically for birdwatching (hint hint!) but they must work closely with Fish & Wildlife Services because there is a load of information for hunters and anglers.  Good hunting and fishing sites are often great birding locations.  Info the gazetteer contains about National and State Parks, hiking trails, camp grounds, and scenic drives should be part of the birder's arsenal.  For less than $20, it is worth it!

If anyone from DeLorme happens to read this, I think it would be a great idea to add birding trail symbols to your atlas.  Most states have an official birding trail with designated sites, like Idaho's which can be seen here.  You could get the info from the same people you get your hunting and fishing info.
Thanks to the Birdfreak for his post in November 2009 about using the DeLorme Atlas as a birding tool that reminded me how much I use mine!

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