Start by orienting the map so that the long sides extend towards your left and right sides (and not straight away from you). And if it's possible, orient the map so that the title section is in the lower left hand corner--it's fine if the title section is upside down.
In this process you'll do two types of folds: folds to the left and to the right. Make sure the folds are perpendicular to the sides of the map. If you do this carefully, the folds will represent the four directions on many maps.
With every fold of a new map, proceed carefully. Line up the edges of the fold before actually pressing down to make the fold. Use your thumb and forefinger of one hand to pinch the open edges that are lined up together, and with the other hand, pinch down the line of the fold, making sure that the open edges aren't slipping around (which would change the angle of the fold).
And after completing a fold, you need to crease it. Turn your thumb so that it's face down a map fold, and draw your thumb towards you, applying pressure as you go so that you finish with a clean, sharp crease. Sharp creases make for easy refolding.
- Bring it over: Take the right edge of the map and bring it to the left edge, making the first fold towards the left. This fold divides the map in half.
- Divide and conquer: Open that fold, and again take the right edge of the map. This time, bring it to the crease of the first fold.This starts the division of the map into quarters. Crease the second fold.
- Line em' up: Take the right edge of the map a third time--but this time fold it to the right. Line up the right edge with the crease of the second fold, make the fold, and crease it. This starts the division of the map into eighths.
Holding those three folded sections together, you should see them all line up at the first fold of the map. Now begins an accordion-type foldingpattern that will apply to most of the remainder of the map.
- M patterns: Take those three folds, flip the map onto the backside, and line up those sections with the crease of the first fold. And then fold to the right and crease. Take a side-view look at the map to see what you've just done: you should see a M-pattern of folds. If you see a spiral-shape that folds intoitself, you've done this last fold incorrectly, so try folding it the opposite way.
Continue with this way of folding--gathering all of the folded sections together, flip the map over to the other side, and make a fold that's the width of the other folded sections (which are 1/8 of the map each).
- Thirds: All that remains is to fold these 1/8 strips into thirds, along their width. Start with the title section facing down and nearest to you. Make the first 1/3 fold by taking the edge nearest you and lining it up so that it creates two sections of equal length. And then fold and crease.
- Fold and crease: Open that fold and flip the map to the other side so that the title section faces up. Then take the crease of the most recent fold, and line it up with the far edge of the map. Fold and crease, and you're left with a neat little bundle of map, title section up.