places I haven’t been

Reading for tonight’s class (focused on maps and mapping), I began to think of odd encounters I’ve had with maps. I was never in this house, but I’ve heard many stories about the home my great grandmother lived in that straddled the border of Canada and Montana – parts of the house falling on either side of the border. As a child, I imagined a line existing where the border was.

When I got my teaching job in Colorado, the school didn’t have an address; it used the highway number it was off of. Recently, I noticed it had an established address that didn’t name the highway, but the number only.

I don’t tag photos on Facebook with a location, but I have been tagged in a few. I wonder what this map of places I have been recently looks like and how it shapes a representation of me.

Gearing up toward moving in the summer to a place I have never been, I’m looking at pictures and Google maps to create a representation of the place and potential spaces to occupy. These are only what I construct from a distance.

Each time I go somewhere unfamiliar, my dad preps me with expedition tools, despite now owning a GPS. He typically talks through detailed directions, moves into sketching a more focused view of areas of potential problems (street view with directional flow notations), and equips me with a local map and an atlas.

Filling out applications, many required a specific address for campus beyond the building name. Street didn’t seem to match up in some cases, and there was a want for numerical input. Room numbers were inputted, but I wonder if anyone might look for 612 Pray-Harrold?

Not sure if it’s related to my migraines/chiari, but I have what has been described as a very strong sense of smell. Or at least one that focuses in on naming specific smells and combinations of smells. I am now imagining creating maps for areas I live based on the smells that are associated with them. Not permanent, but fleeting sensory maps of places one hasn’t fully been.

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