I’ve been thinking lately about maps and mapping. One long ago memory I have of a mapping moment in Senegal, West Africa was when we lived in a remote village. One night, a thief tried to steal the windshield off our car (!). We caught him in the process of removing the windshield, and he ran away into the night. By moonlight, our village father found the thief’s footprints in the sand, and tracked them off down the road - successfully mapping his escape route several kilometers to the next village, where he was apprehended!
Fast forward many years until most recently for me, I just made the 1000+ mile drive as I moved from central Florida to central Pennsylvania, and had a very 21st century mapping exercise. I had thought about several possible routes and had a vauge idea of how best to go. But I literally did not ‘map’ that trip until I was in the car the morning I left and typed my destination into google maps. Voilà! I had my map, which served me well all that long way.
Tracing footprints in the sand or using google maps, people from different cultures and times surely did and do ‘map their worlds’ in many different ways. Understanding these cross-culturally and valuing them can enrich our own experiences. One thing the thief tracking incident taught me is that the people among whom I lived, although considered underdeveloped in some ways (they had no electricity or running water) had an extraordinary skill in mapping which was perfectly suitable to their context (having been hunters, they were expert trackers) and which could be adapted to help me in a time of need!
What’s a favorite or unique mapping experience you have had? Share it here or with a friend...and enjoy noticing in the coming week one way you are mapping your world!
Until next week!
Global SKILLs LINKs
Cultural Mapping applied to indigenous communities - the values and possible disadvantages: http://www.culturalmapping.com/about-cultural-mapping/our-founder.html
A very cool and innovative world mapping endeavor with insights into some interesting mapping applications: http://geacron.com/the-geacron-project/
Celebrating Global SKIlls 10th Anniversary Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community