Paper maps make us more human. Let’s not ditch them just yet. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | maps
They say it’s impossible to take a bad photo of Hadrian’s Wall.
There are two reasons why this rule doesn’t apply to me right now.
2) I’m nowhere near Hadrian’s Wall. Continue Reading →
Come with me into my dream home. Continue Reading →
The first time I visited London I remembered it instantly.
There are places that you visit and it’s all new enough for you to get lost within minutes. (I may be projecting. Please see the subtitle of this blog). And there are the other places – so enormously on the beaten track and beloved by the popular media that you’ve been passively experiencing them third-hand since you could crawl. You know them, despite being a stranger.
I was lost in Paris until I saw the Eiffel Tower. Athens made no sense until I climbed Lykavitos Hill and saw where the Acropolis put everything else. It was only when I saw the Colosseum that I knew I was in Rome.
London’s like that at the moment. Lost, lost, lost, ah – landmark. I’m still getting my head round where everything is, weekend visit by weekend visit. Last time I was there with friends, we all went for a wander for my benefit. For me, London is still a jigsaw freshly tipped out the box. You have a few brightly colored pieces (the London Eye, the Globe, London Bridge, St. Paul’s, Buckingham Palace) and the rest is just pieces of sky. You’ve no idea how anything fits together, and you have to go searching for a corner to get yourself started.
(Corners are easy).
Last time I was there, my corner was Chinatown. We wandered through it (“what? That’s it?”) and out into Leicester Square, up Coventry Street past the Trocadero before wending our way down to St James’s Park and its assorted wildfowl and eccentric birders, before emerging into the gut-punching sweep of the Mall and making our way to Liz’s house.
Now I know that bit. (Kinda. Don’t test me or anything). And next time I’ll fit something to the edge of it, and London will be mine just a little bit more. In the meantime, up here in York, I’m reading and rereading the London section of the Rough Guide to England.
Trying to spot my next corner of sky.
March 23rd 2006
The river Ouse was, for a long time, the bloodstream of mercantile York. In Roman times it provided the means to transport bulk goods for the military (grain, for example, as seen in the remnants of beetle-infested Roman grain cellars along Coney Street). It allowed cost-effective transportation of raw and worked materials in and out of the city, allowing the economy to thrive, thus aiding the development of the high-prestige specialised industries that made York such a focal-point in English medieval craftworking. It helped people into York, and it helped people stay here. It also, like any self-respecting bloodstream, carried away a lot of the filth generated in the process.
Whenever I go anywhere new, I keep an eye out for information boards, so I can smap them.
Smapping is the process of taking a digital photograph of a map that you won’t have access to later, except if you take a snap of it.
My first smap was of the Durham train station ‘You Are Here’ glass-encased map.
Smapping also works nicely with maps and guides that other people want to take away and read.
At first sight, squinting at a tiny digital camera screen might seem a frustrating and fruitless exercise – until you remember that you can zoom in, making the map detail many times larger than real life if need be.
(Of course, if you don’t speak the language it’s in, more detail might not help you too much).
Smapping also works for taking a record of something you want to read later.
The main disadvantage is that your smap runs on batteries. So take plenty of them.
The final reward of being a compulsive smapper is that your photographic record is stuffed full of automatically-gathered facts and figures to work into your diary write-up or post-holiday bragging. All without using a scrap of paper.
(All maps property of map illustrators/sponsors, as displayed).