Line/Linear Feature

Line/Linear Feature

Line features are great navigational aids

Line/Linear Feature 

Line/Linear Features

A line feature is anything that is linear and is on the map and landscape. Walls, fences, ditches, line of trees (collectively known as field boundaries), streams/burns, rivers, tracks, roads, pylons, pipelines etc. Line features can be used for navigation purposes, as you should be able to relate the landscape to the map, using the line feature, and vice versa. The scale of map determines which features are shown on the map, and in particular field boundaries are shown only on 1:25,000 maps.

Positional Confidence

If you were unsure of your position but were situated next to a line feature, you could do two things to locate your position on the map.

  • scan the map to try to find a line feature of the type that you're next to, using any unique characteristics (maybe a kink in the 'line') to be certain that you have the right one (see example under field boundaries)

  • take a land to map bearing to check the bearing/direction of the line feature, then line-up that bearing on the map (after subtracting magnetic variation) to confirm whether you are in the place you think, or scan the map as above but with the added dimension of knowing the bearing in which the feature is pointing

Learning Tip

When you're next out on a clear day, identify line features on the ground, then try to find them on the map. The practice will stand you in good stead for a poor visibility situation when your position is less obvious.