One of the world’s oldest and most revered walking tracks in Europe is now available to pilgrims in the form of 3D map technology.

The Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James dates back to the 9th century and marks the final journey of the apostle James to his resting place in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Those on the Pilgrimage begin the 30+-day trek in France and finish at the Cathedral housed in northwestern Spain and now they’ll have some assistance along the way.

New Zealand mapping company Geographx has created 3D maps on plastic paper – pushing the potential of illustrated land relief and 3D visualization to new heights.

The internationally renowned company has designed thirty 3D maps.  Each shows different sections of the Camino Francés – the most popular of the many great Camino de Santiago pilgrim tracks in Europe and the oldest one: 1,200 years in existence.

Principal of Camino Downunder Marc Grossman, who runs workshops preparing pilgrims for the journey, says he came up with the idea for the maps after completing the Camino Francés himself.

Grossman says there was a gap in the market for a quality map that not only adequately detailed the terrain but was also mathematically and geographically accurate so that people knew exactly where they were during the 800-kilometre walk.

“I started my pilgrimage and immediately noticed the difference between the reality of the actual walking track and the inaccuracies confronted daily from guides and associated maps,” says Grossman.

Moving quickly to fill this gap, Grossman then commissioned Geographx to construct and help develop the maps.  To ensure that the final product did help travellers, Grossman contracted individuals to walk the Camino Francés aided only by the Camino Downunder maps.

Pilgrims who have utilised the maps say it made a positive difference to their experience. Their feedback was that the maps were robust, reliable, and accurate – and that because the maps were in 3D, they contained far greater detail on the region’s topography compared to other maps.*

“The maps are basically a very practical one stop shop Camino de Santiago guide book,” says Grossman.

The 3D maps are in portrait layout to show the landscape in real time as travellers walk forward, and on the underside of each map is comprehensive information about recommended refuges, hostels, and eateries found along the route.

The maps scale is 1:100,000 – one centmeter on the map translates to one kilometer of actual track so pilgrims can easily calculate distance covered to help complete the walk on schedule.

Grossman intends to update and reprint the maps every two years.  But for now he is confident that Camino Downunder’s all-purpose maps are the most comprehensive, accurate, and durable Camino map on the market, making them essential for anyone intending to embark on the pilgrimage.

For more information or to purchase the map visit http://www.caminodownunder.com/

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