Using a Map and Compass

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Using a Map and Compass

Using a map
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and compass
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are two essential skills that can save your life both in game and in real life. Whenever you find a map, compass or watch take it! You can even use a watch
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as a compass, click here to learn now.


Map

Features

A map is graphical representation of an area showing physical features such as cities, roads, forests etc... Maps can also show you the elevation of the terrain, the distance between two points and allow you to tell others your exact position or allow you get to a position based on coordinates which will be handy when you do missions.

Lets look at features we can see on the in game map. We can see roads marked as yellow lines, dark yellow lines are main roads and light yellow lines are side roads. We can see city and area names, names of rivers and lakes, red lines which represent railway tracks. Various symbols showing landmarks such as water towers, churches, petrol stations etc... There are also green areas which show dense forests, blue areas that show water etc...

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You can also see your current position on the map as well as the last known positions of cars and other players you recently saw.

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Elevation

Understanding elevation is very important as you can become ill if you move through highly elevated areas without adequate protection which can lead to your eventual death. Avoiding those areas can save your life. You can also use elevations when you plan to attack enemy bases. You can use low areas as cover and high areas to attack.

Elevations are marked by lines on the map that look like this (see image below).

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The closer they are together the more steep that elevation is. You can tell if it is a high or low elevation as there will be a dot on the highest/lowest point of that area telling you the elevation in meters above sea level. So if the number is 50 and all the other areas around have a peak of 200 you know this is an area with a lower elevation. If areas nearby show 50 meters above sea level and the peak of the area you are looking at shows 500 you know that that is a very tall mountain/elevated area.

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Coordinates

Another key feature of maps are coordinates which allow you to tell others your exact position on the map or find locations on the map based on coordinates. The coordinates for each square are displayed on the sides of the map. The horizontal sides of the map (top and bottom side) is the X-Axis where as the vertical sides (left the right side) are the Y-Axis. Both sides show the same number and refer to the same square.

When you are zoomed out you will only see big squares which represent 1km² on the map. (We will talk about this in the next section). The coordinates of these squares consist of a pair of two digits:

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As you zoom in the big squares will be divided in to 10 smaller squares representing 100m² on the map. The coordinates of those squares consist of a pair of three digits: 000,000. You should always send other players you coordinates in three digits. When others send you coordinates the first pair of 2 or 3 are the X axis and the second pair of 2 or 3 are the Y axis.

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Distance

Maps are divided in to squares which allow you to calculate an area or tell the distance from one point to another.

The more you zoom in the more detailed the squares will become. When you are zoomed out the map will be divided in to big squares representing 1km².

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As you zoom in more the big squares will get divided in to smaller squares each of which represents 100m².


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By adding up the squares you can calculate the distance from one point to another point.

Example 1:

By adding up the 100m² squares in this example we can see that the distance from point A to point B is approximately 1400 meters or 1.4km.


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GPS System

Apart from the map and compass there is also a GPS module
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that you can find which will tell you your exact coordinates on the map as well as the position you are facing and your current altitude.

Although you cannot set a way point on the GPS to navigate you somewhere in ArmA 2 you can have it displayed on screen at all times so you can use it as a mini map when you are driving for example so you don't have to stop and open your main map.

To have your GPS module displayed on screen press the right control
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and M
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keys on your keyboard. Your current location on the map will be displayed on it, the faster you move the further out the map will zoom out.
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If you switch to map mode by pressing the M key
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on your keyboard the GPS module will show you your map coordinates so you can tell others where you are even if you don't have a map, it will show the direction you are facing in degrees and also your altitude.
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