The New Cartography

This carto-nut is not allowed to identify that his wife and her friend Debbie are the sources for The New Cartography, so please don't get him in trouble. 

They propose:  The world is divided into three zones, possibly the world's simplest map even compared to the Jerusalem centric T and O Medieval maps or the Bunting Cloverleaf Map that divided the world into Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Introducing The New Cartography:

  1. Here.  Consists of a radius of about a mile and a half from either our house or Debbie's house.  The area known as "HERE" is actually larger than you might imagine as one can take the radius from our house and calculate the area, then take the radius from Debbie's house (about a mile away from us) and calculate the area, THEN subtract the common area.  The circles may not be perfect (in the geometric sense) as they can be stretched to an oblong to include well-traveled points such as the Pilates studio in New Hope.  Think of Carol Ann and Debbie's circles like a floating soap bubble, the shape constantly adjusting itself to current conditions and ultimately exploding when they venture 50 yards off known roads or get close to the line from Here to Not Here (see next entry).
  2. Not Here:  Defined as a radius of about 8 miles from our home AND must consist of basically known (to them) roads.  This area includes Montgomeryville and Willow Grove Malls and the Talbot's store in Lansdale.  This circle is also not quite round as it would NOT include frontier areas such as Lambertville or Sellersville, technically defined as "Not Here" but considered unexplored (by the ladies in question), or terra incognita, or parts undiscovered.
  3. Somewhere Else:  Defined as the frontiers beyond Not Here and encompassing the rest of the world - such as King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia, Kentucky, Paraguay, or Asia.  Any journey to Somewhere Else requires the assistance of a "Husband" and much advance planning, outfit matching, purse swapping, and if overnight, a very large suitcase heavier than a fat Labrador.   A mismatch or conflict of perfumes will require a return to the starting point, and outfits that match too closely will cause a complete rescheduling.  The days’ time needed to prepare for overnight Somewhere Else journeys = (number of travel days) x (7 days) with a minimum preparation time of 2 days for ANY expedition to Somewhere Else.  For example, if on December 3 (when I am writing this) we are planning a ten day trip starting on February 9, we are already late.

I am sure my alert readers will know where all this is headed.  The cartographic world should implement The New Cartography (always in boldface!) and throw out that complicated and distracting stuff like spherical geometry, projections, bilby towers, Eratosthenes, theodolytes, ISRI, GIS, GPS devices, Google Maps, Garmin and the like.  It is so much more practical to reduce our geographic and cartographic knowledge to three, real-world, easy to understand categories and throw out those cables and devices that end up under the passenger seats of automobiles.

Do they win the Ristow Award for this revolutionary concept?

P. S. I must humbly acknowledge their many NON-cartographic assets such as common sense, humor, intelligence, beauty, reliability, and good company.  And mine puts up with a husband who mercilessly pokes fun at her but worries like mad if she is even 15 minutes late.  But I am certain that sense of direction will never enter their top 100 best traits.  Maybe not the top 1000.  While my hippocampus might be well-developed, I am completely unable to keep up with dinner-table conversations between my wife and son about genetics, how viruses mutate, how peripheral vision works, the leadership style of Genghis Kahn, and similar topics.