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Street By Street LondonTitle: AA Street By Street London
Author: The AA
Copyright: © 2001
Publisher: Automobile Association Developments
ISBN: 0-7495-2690-4

Relevance: AA Street by Street London is ideal for reporters, correspondents, or anyone else working in England's largest city. It features good resolution and a complete and accurate mapping of the capital.

Review: AA Street by Street London is an impressive book which graphically shows the areas in and around London, a large and ever changing area. From Epsom, Sutton and Croydon in the south; to Kings Langley, Potters Bar, Cheshunt and Waltham Abbey in the north; Rickmansworth, Uxbridge and Ashford in the west; to Romford, Rainham and Dartford in the east, AA Street by Street London provides extensive coverage of the capital.

The AA Street by Street London is a "driving map" as opposed to a "walking map". The distinction is important as many maps of London fail to mention key features needed by drivers, including the types of roads (primary, single or dual carriage way or restricted road, one-way street, or even roads under construction and road tunnels). Also important for drivers are parking garages, parking ramps and park & ride facilities within the business city.

For walkers too, there are many symbols on the maps to clue walkers in to where they are. Of course, underground stations, light rail, level crossings, tramways, and even ferry routes and airport runways are also noted throughout the map/book. Further, river and canals, aqueducts, locks, weirs, beaches, coniferous woodlands, broadleaved woodlands, parks, cemeteries and other notable buildings are featured.

Also very useful are the locations of the city's accident and emergency hospitals, public toilets, toilets with disabled facilities, a petrol station (Americans would call these gas stations), public houses (that is, a pub), post offices, public libraries, tourist information centers, castles, historic houses or buildings, National Trust properties, museums and art galleries, churches and chapels, country parks, theaters and cinemas.

Coverage for London's downtown area is provided by maps with a scale of 1:10,000. This translates roughly into 6.3 inches on the map equaling one mile in reality. For most of the outlying areas, the map scale is almost double this ratio at 1:17,500. This means that 3.6 inches on the printed page equals one mile in reality.

One of the more beneficial features of the AA Street by Street London is that its spiral binding allows quick and easy page turning (and reading) while at the side of the road. The AA has also seen fit to add an extra bit of material on both the front and back covers so that each may be folded inwards to provide a bookmark for the page you want. This is very useful when one is in a hurry and doesn't wish to continually look up the same page over and over again.

Also extremely useful is the extensive index of towns and villages within the Greater London area and, of course, map references, as well as postal abbreviations and general abbreviations used within the map. Of course, there are many, many streets in London and the AA Street by Street London lists each in an extensive index encompassing over 80 pages of text.

Nicely, the index also qualifies each street listing by borough or small town helping drivers (and walkers) find their particular version of the street. In a city the size of London, there are many duplicate street names and listing the street name along with the borough is a huge help to anyone unfamiliar with the area involved.

As an example, there are exactly 14 different versions of "Abbey Road" listed in the AA Street by Street London, not to mention one "Abbey Park", one "Abbey Orchard Street", one "Abbey Lane", one "Abbey Hill", two separate instances of "Abbey Street", and so on. Further, there are no fewer than 40 different "Albert Road" listings within the map's jurisdiction, not to mention the different variations such as "Albert Square", "Albert Terrace" and so on. Thus, having some sense of where you're looking for a particular street within the borough is vital for any reporter or correspondent chasing a news story or just doing research.

Also included, and very useful, is an index of featured places such as schools, medical centers, football clubs, colleges, embassies, hospitals, churches, synagogues, mosques, theaters, as well as many other places of interest to the public. This list alone spans 23 pages! Finally, AA Street by Street London also includes the ubiquitous tube map (that's subway, for North Americans) on the back cover.

The AA Street by Street London is an excellent addition to any driver's bag of tricks hoping to negotiate the small, twisty roads inside the center of London. The map also provides extensive coverage for miles beyond what most tourists consider London -- and provides ample annotation to help motorists get to their destinations speedily and safely and without too much frustration in one of the busiest capitals in the world. A necessary addition to every news vehicle operating within or near London, the AA Street by Street London provides extensive and extended coverage of the capital. Highly recommended.

End of Review

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