Friday, January 11, 2008

Making Maps

I've always been fascinated by maps. Those of you who were here in May 2006 may remember my map cabinet adventure. That was exciting enough -- getting a piece of gorgeous old oak furniture to house them.

But it's the maps themselves that entrance me. I look at old maps and wonder at the world as it looked to people then. I look at places on maps that are unfamiliar to me, and I speculate what it would be like to live there. I read maps the way some people read old familiar books over and over. I like to see where I'm going, where I am, where I've been in relation to everything else.

And, of course, maps are great in helping to figure out who all the people of the same name are who live in the same general vicinity but who don't happen to be one person with seven different personalities.

That's in fact what I've been doing the last few days -- playing with maps. And I am relishing my affair with Google Earth. I've discovered, with the help of a very patient researcher into the same area of Cornwall that I'm interested in, that Google Earth can be used to make reproduction maps that show exactly who was living where.

Oh joy! Oh amazement! Oh, I am so happy I could spend all day with Google Earth.

Unfortunately if I want to pay my bills, I can't spend all day every day with Google Earth. But it's tempting. Next week it will be WORK. But for the moment, I'm enjoying a brief fling with Google Earth.

It wasn't all dead relatives, I assure you. I made a map of my fictional world while I was at it -- locating all my books on it. It was fun, though I admit to a couple of instances when I had to pause and think, where did that book take place? I have, after all, written 60 of them now.

We'll have to celebrate that later this year when PJ and Ally come out. In the meantime we'll just celebrate maps. The Anne's World map is supposed to be going up on the page of my website. There's even a place for it on the sidebar just waiting for me to figure out what the heck I'm doing. And I will once I get my Google Earth for Dummies book.

In the meantime, bear with me.

I promise I won't go on and on about Google Earth for Dummies -- at least not the way I did about Tharp's The Creative Habit. That was a stunning book. I have no idea about GEFD, but I'm going to learn from it. And in the meantime, Google Earth is feeding my maps obsession in a way I hadn't imagined.

I'm loving every minute of it.

To contest winner, Rania: your prize box of books has gone out in the mail today. I hope it will arrive sometime next week. Let me know when it does, please! Thanks.



Blogger Madeline said...

It sounds like you're having fun. Enjoy your break. Mads:)

13 January, 2008  

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