Monday, December 14, 2009

Map Geek

I love looking at maps - any maps. Maps of the world, railway routes, London Underground, Ordnance Survey, local street plans and even online maps. I love to see the details - where the road used to go before they built a by-pass, spotting the disused railway, finding the short-cuts.

Another (slightly weird) thing I find myself doing with a road atlas in my hand is working out where roads begin and end. It raises some intriguing questions (if you're a map geek):
  • Why does the A52 go from Newcastle-under-Lyme to Mablethorpe? Why not Skegness, or Boston (Lincs.)?
  • Why does the A46 go from Cleethorpes to somewhere East of Bath, and why does it have big chunks missing?
  • Why doesn't the A6 go to London anymore? Luton to Carlisle? I feel like it has featured in a lot of my life - trips to the Peak District, going to a pub in Shardlow, CYFA Ventures in Bedford, and my kids' primary school opened straight out onto... the A6. It's become important to me.
  • and still no M7 (I know - the route from Carlisle to Edinburgh via Hawick didn't need a motorway, although it does need a railway)
Now where did I put that 1:25000?

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Steve McMahon said...

Have a look at

That's a really good site for cartogrphic curiosities.

Beth said...

I like maps, too...and globes.
Looking at an atlas is also so wonderful especially if you are familiar with the names. I think I first started loving maps when I got a Winnie the Pooh book when I was a little girl! (There was a map of the Hundred Acre Woods in the back!)
Oh gosh, I'm a weirdo.
I'm also raising a household of weirdos. Every time I say something about looking something up in an atlas, one of my kids absolutely finds it necessary to quote from "Sense and Sensibility", "It's not MY atlas, it's HIS atlas!"
Have a happy day!