September 4th, 2013 - Torgo χ

2013-09-04 (Wednesday)

Dear All,

This is trick that a NORSE GOD— Eivind Josten — taught me as an exercise which has never failed to delight me:

Going for a walk around your neighborhood is nice, yes, but you *probably* end up actually just on the same two or three streets, not seeing the other stuff.
So: Hardcopy a map of your neighborhood from Google Maps (with just the street-map layer, not the satellite imaging layer).

["Hardcopy" might mean:
If you're super-sophisticated, hit PrintScreen, pasting into Gimp/Photoshop, tile the layers together, and hardcopy that.
If you're not big on Gimp/Photoshop, just hit printscreen as you scroll around parts of the neighborhood, paste into MSWord, hardcopy pieces, then *tape the actual pieces together* (and xerox that).
Folks, we're aiming for functional and easy, not a graphic design award]

NOW, have a highlighter-or-whatever on you as you go for a walk. Whenever you go for a walk, as you go around, look for streets that on the map you've never been down. Go down them! Then mark them on the map as done: highlight the street, or scribble over the line in red, whatever. Eventually you will have seen everything in your neighborhood, for as large an area that you consider your neighborhood.
Super-duper extra credit if you map the alleys and go down all of them.

For only the last few months of my time in Chicago did I find out that there's a nice upscale "organic"-etc store about two blocks from my house-- I had been trudging *miles* to the next one. If I had followed Eivind's advice, my life would have been immeasurably happier. Similarly, elsewhere, I was oblivious to a UNIVERSITY LIBRARY (well, community college's library) just a few blocks from me, but just out of eyeshot from the street-- but right there on the map's street grid, where I would have known about it years earlier if I had followed a map from Google maps

Using Google Street View might be useful-- or worthless-- or TOTALLY CHEATING! But okay, however you like it.

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