measuring wheel

I like online maps for trip planning but for research I still prefer paper. It’s just nice to sit down with beautiful atlas and get a feel for the lay of the land. As an aid to my paper map planning process, Natalie got me a vintage Swiss map measuring wheel. With it, I can measure the length of the curviest road accurately, then multiply by the map’s scale to calculate the distance. Very handy.

You can still find these today. New they’re about $50. Some read in inches and centimeters; others read in scale inches. Avoid the latter since those are for reading distance on scale plans, not maps. You’ll probably find them cheaper (and of higher quality) at your local antique store. Sometimes they’re called chartometers, or opisometers, in case you need some search terms for ebay.

If you’re on the search for one, good luck. I thought it was a great gift.

Engineer Supply