This was very frustrating for me as well. This is the first AC that you do not "defog" the entire map with the Viewpoints. You need to explore certain areas around the edges of the map in order to explore them. For the liberation contracts, just run around the fogged areas until one of them shows up on your map, as there is not very much space that is unclear.
I like the fact that it stopped holding your hand for the map, I would just like it better if you defogged more of the map than a small strip when you are exploring.
One thing I think would be very interesting for AC4 would be finding your own viewpoints. You would need to climb tall buildings and trees and synchronize them yourself, and depending on how high you are it would clear up more of the map.
i had the same problem with boston south with people forced to be recruited mission, eventually i just looked a big group of guards or two guys on horses and i found the last a few minutes later after i started looking