Maps, Geography and Navigation Books for Travel

Road map

Learn How to Map Your Next Surveillance Mission

Understanding how to read maps is a basic skill of a private investigator. Whether you’re trying to determine where to meet a client, or studying the movements of the subject you’re following, understanding how to read maps can help you navigate the streets and gather the information you need on the individual. Mapping skills are critical for planning surveillance missions and determining safe routes and driving paths when providing personal security and bodyguard services. The following books provide helpful information on:

  • The basic elements of maps, what they mean and how to read them
  • The best online websites and mapping tools to use for planning your surveillance
  • How to navigate from location to location, chart distances and estimate travel time
  • The best mapping software programs for computers, tablets and mobile devices
  • The different types of maps – U.S.A. maps, state maps, county, city, street maps and more

Find a full selection of Map Books and Atlases at

We recommend checking out these specific titles:

  • National Geographic Road Atlas – Adventure Edition
  • National Geographic Atlas of the World – You never know when a surveillance mission will lead you out of the country and even around the world. Be prepared with a powerful atlas from one of the world’s leading authorities.
  • Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary – Great for quickly looking up information.
  • Map Use & Analysis –  Become an expert on how to use and analyze.
  • Zip Code Atlas: United States Mail Business Bible (United States Zip Code Atlas) – This book may be helpful when doing research on a particular address, or if the only thing you have to start your investigation is a zip code.

In addition to books, private detectives should familiarize themselves with the latest software tools and apps designed for mobile devices. Having a strong working knowledge of the latest technology and tools will help you map routes and plan surveillance while on the go. Check out our article on how to use Google Maps in your surveillance planning process.

Also, check out our list of mapping resources and websites for private detectives.


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