A FLEET couple have taken to the streets to put the town well and truly on the map.
Graham and Helen Jones publish the most up-to-date street map of Fleet and Church Crookham on Tuesday with an initial print run of 5,000 copies.
They each have 30 years of cartographic experience and have previously worked for the Ordnance Survey, the Automobile Association and other mapping companies.
In 1984 they formed Location Map Services, which they run from their home in Fleet Road, Fleet.
The new map has taken them more than three months to produce.
It is based on aerial photographs of the area, along with a time-consuming ‘walking the walk’ system to verify the street names, footpaths, streams, bridges and other details.
Most of the time the couple checked the routes on their bikes so they can cover larger areas.
The map is so up to date that it includes all the current development at Elvetham Heath, including the unfinished pub, along with the Tall Pines development in Crookham Village and the Rounton Heights development in Rounton Road, Church Crookham, which are not due to be completed until November.
It is so up to date that, as it went to print on April 8, the couple were still updating and making amendments to it the day before.
“One problem we had was that the shortest roads always seem to have the longest names which does not make it easy to show them clearly on the map,” said Graham.
“However the new map is at a fairly large scale so all the roads are clearly marked.”
Helen and Graham are so proud of their map that they are entering it in the prestigious British Cartographic Society’s annual design awards this summer.
The map features some eight full-colour photographs of landmarks and buildings in Fleet and Church Crookham, including the Tourist Information Centre, Hart Leisure Centre, Fleet railway station, Gurkha Square and the Civic Offices.
There is even a photo of the Fleet News and Mail offices.
The copyright of the map is vested with Location Map Services and unlike other maps there are no licence fees payable to the Ordnance Survey because no other maps were used in its compilation.
The unfolded map is 670mm x 580mm, which folds to a handy pocket size of 220mm x 96mm.
The scale of the map is approximately six inches to a mile. Its front cover has three impressive colour photos of Fleet Pond, Fleet Road and the Basingstoke Canal.
Location Map Services has already taken orders from local taxi firms, delivery companies and other businesses to have unfolded, laminated or mounted copies.
The folded map, which costs £2, is available from the Tourist Information Centre and major bookshops in the town.
“The initial response to the map from the Tourist Information Centre and the area’s major bookshops is most encouraging,” said Graham.