Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Flickr: The From Memory (was: Maps From Memory) Pool

Flickr: The Maps From Memory Pool [Waxy]

This reminds me two things. First, it brings to mind the Parish Maps project of Common Ground and its emphasis on a, for a lack of a better phrase for it, vernacular of mapping.

It also brings to mind how drawing from memory gives a brutally accurate account of one's real memory, as opposed to what we think we know. Want proof? Just try drawing a map of the middle east from memory. After that, try this quiz to see if that help you learn some geography.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

4-0-Wonderland in particular

Some years ago, I lived in England for four months on a 'busman's holiday' as they would call it. Before I moved there I was would say that I was a bit of an Anglophobe - I didn't understand the endless layers of British culture that would made things like Paddington Bear, Princess Di, and Monty Python make sense to me. After my four months, I wouldn't say that I converted into an Anglophile (as I don't worship all things British for the sake of being British) but there are certain aspects of British culture that I admire tremendously.

One such British thing the arts and environmental group Common Ground. Inspired by their book England in particular : a celebration of the commonplace, the local, the vernacular, and the distinctive - I am re-imaging the world around me through their work.

For example, Common Ground has created a list of places to find snowdrops in February.

And so I started to think... what is the equivalent of early blooming snowdrops for Southwestern Ontario? According to some local field naturalists, candidates for the first flowers to bloom in these parts are trilliums, jack in the pulpit, and the wood rush.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Postcards from the centre

Geography + Information: Distribution Project [mefi]

I like the idea of the geography-themed postcard. The "Industry and Resources" card reminds of a story told to me by one of my friends from school. He had traveled to Bangladesh in the 1980s and was frequently approached by curious locals who were filled with questions. He said he was frequently stumped by their questions about what was produced from where he was from and wished he had carried an national almanac with him.