Sunday, December 19, 2010

Time to eat the dogs...

I'm always on the lookout for map -related items, as I'm preparing for a few map-related things early in the New Year.
There was a really interesting post on the intriguingly named "Time to eat the dogs" blog earlier this week, that I found via Twitter and something else (as is often the way...)

The post is about the idea of 'terra incognita': this is a phrase that was once used on maps, but these days there are no unknown places... or are there ?
Gerald Zhang Schmidt suggests that the blank spaces are cultural rather than physical.

"...one can no longer go out to many places where no tourist has tread before. In fact, because of globalization, the traveler feels as if she has seen the world already, and while many places are still fun to visit (if exotic enough), there is nothing truly new."

Fits with the Taras Grescoe book "The End of Elsewhere", which I have blogged about before...

He goes on to explore the sort of thinking that led us at the Geography Collective to create Mission:Explore:

"How well do you know the people and paths in your community or the species that dwell in your own backyard?"

A final link from Gerald is his interest in the cultural significance of  chilli peppers... geography and food combined...

2 comments:

Kenny O'Donnell said...

Hi Alan, from a personal and professional viewpoint, this really interests me. I have recently been geocaching in my spare time with my six year old son. Having stayed where I do for 25 years and with a connection through relatives for my whole life, it has been fascinating finding parts of my locality that I vaguely knew about or did not know at all. Even more so, there is often a wonderful tale behind these-yesterday, for example, took us to a village wiped from the face of the map. As someone who was fortunate to be indulged in exploring spaces when I was younger, I am now acutely aware as a parent that my own kids deserve the same opportunities.
Alastair Humphreys blogs quite frequently about microadventures and, while his are on a different scale, there is a great scope in schools to promote this kind of experiential account of children's connection with their spaces. Through this, one would hope that a natural curiosity might develop which encourages them to be less passive about the far off places we feel that we know through exposure via the media. Maybe as geographers, the most important field trip we can encourage a child to go on is the one which takes them just beyond their front door.

GeoBlogs said...

Thanks Kenny.
We have an abandoned village just up the road in Norfolk, and I'm sure there are many paths I haven't been down yet, though I've only lived in my village for 6 months...
I liked this blog post a lot, and there have been quite a few good finds in the last few days which I shall add here when I get a moment...