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Strasbourg. This is like most of the European towns we have visited...impossible to find your way around in, even with the Garmin system.

Grid Deficiency Syndrome...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 04:35:31 AM EST
doesn't anyone use maps anymore ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 07:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are from the U.S. Have you ever tried to use a U.S. map for anything than the highway system? I've biked in Westchester County, NY and further upstate, using the Hagstrom maps, trying to avoid the main roads. Lots of roads on these maps are nonexistent (or no longer existent?), or are private roads, with no indication on the map. On one occasion, I even took a road through the West Point base (no indication on the map that it was a military road), as the alternative would have been a long way away.

There's a rumour that the maps are kept intentionally inaccurate, to catch copyright violations, but I've no idea if there is any truth to that.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 08:01:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I had no idea. I had a street map of LA County when I was out there and that worked fine.

I just multimap anyplace I want to go.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 10:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a rumour that the maps are kept intentionally inaccurate, to catch copyright violations

I can confirm that, but the cartographer who explained that said it's in rather minor details (say, three roads meet like an Y in reality, but on the map, it looks like the top left one connects with a curve up to the top right one).

I don't know what's up with US maps, but I have a similar opinion. The only good maps are USGS maps (for detail; though often dated) and old National Geographic maps (for overview). About the latter, it's ridiculous that even while NatGeo is fighting for saving geography education, its maps over the 30 years I have (not all) issues from have become progressively more glossy and less detailed.

However, the Grid Deficiency Syndrome™ I meant comes from living in rectangular grid layout cities. Where I would get lost, one corner being like any others. This came up earlier on ET (can't find it), when it was explained to me that one shouldn't look at the unique look of local street geometry but at street numbering/lettering.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:27:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One European city that I found surprisingly confusing was Mannheim, which is of course laid out on a grid. I think the problem was that because it looks so simple, I stopped paying attention, and let my NY instincts take over. But because the blocks, and not the streets, are numbered, that doesn't work.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:40:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Street layouts are certainly one thing that makes Europe distinct from America.  Chicago is ALL grid system.  People who get lost here are just being stubbornly difficult.  :)  Which is not to say you can't get lost elsewhere in America, or we don't have a lot of situations in which the exit on a map does not exist in real life.  

I myself - I have few talents so I don't mind bragging about those I have - have an internal compass that almost never fails me.  I almost envy people who can get truly lost by their own doing and stay that way for any period of time.  Also, I hate these GPS systems.  My routine is to study a map until it is lodged in my memory before I get somewhere, and then never try to look at the map again, let alone some horrible GPS.  They were driving around Chicago with that contraption, even though I was in the car with them!  Madness.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 11:22:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless:
Which is not to say you can't get lost elsewhere in America,

heh, it's the freeways that used to confuse me in the states, they only let you see the nearby destinations, and the geographical direction ie Highway 501 N, but never the long haul directions or big cities/landmarks that i find helpful in other countries.

poemless:

I have few talents so I don't mind bragging about those I have - have an internal compass that almost never fails me.  I almost envy people who can get truly lost by their own doing and stay that way for any period of time.

i'm the total opposite, get lost as if by destiny in all possible situations, the good news, many of the most beautiful spots i've found ware fruit of getting lost, so now i try and relax and enjoy it, and if it's for work, i leave extra early so i arrive unstressed.

i envy some people whose sense of orientation is uncanny. i was moved around a lot as a kid, and have noticed a correlation between strong orientation skills and being raised in one place, where confidence in one's navigation skills starts early and is strengthened by repetition, building confidence, which then helps to sharpen the instinct even further.

still gathering data on that... anyone else want to share if they were raised in one place and have good sense of direction, or vice-versa?


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Oct 17th, 2008 at 01:56:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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