Some people are crazy for maps. I can see the attraction, especially for those sepia maps with ink drawings of ships and storms and mountains.
Even modern maps are cool when they are accurate and detailed. My husband needs maps to know where he is in the world, to navigate his way around new places. I (think I) can often feel the direction we are going and know which general way to turn, or where things are in relation to each other (hotel straight ahead, soccer field to the left), but he likes to study a map to orient himself. Once he’s seen a map, he can feel where everything is.
His way is much more dependable.
And then there’s GPS. The vexing thing about GPS is that it just tells us where to go: it doesn’t show us where we are in relation to anything else. With GPS, we rarely look at maps anymore. And the absence of maps, the absence of that big picture view, guts the experience of moving around in the world.
I feel unmoored when a computer voice is telling me to turn but I don’t know where I am on the face of the earth, nor what is around me. Without the context of the map, I don’t know what I don’t know: what if there is something really cool one block over, and because I haven’t oriented myself with a map, I never know it is there?
Photo credit: Wikepedia commons
For the month of November, I will be participating in NaBloPoMo and plan to publish every day of the month. Usually, I will publish a 10-minute free write, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Follow along with the tag #NovemberDaily.