Maps and sense of place

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Mon Sep 13 16:28:30 EDT 1999

On Mon, 13 Sep 1999 18:24:13 +0100, Lucy Mackintosh wrote:

>>I'll certainly go along with that.  My mental maps tend to force things
>>straight lines and right angles.  Inside buildings, I often forget the
>>of direction involved in entering and leaving the lift (elevator).
>I firmly believe that all towns are laid out in a nice, neat grid pattern.
>In England this tends to lead to serious navigational errors.  And I tend to
>believe that whatever direction I'm travelling in is North (on the grounds
>that it points straight ahead like the Nroth arrow on a map.

Maybe most cities are...but definitely not all.

My parents live in Richland, Washington in the U.S.  This is the home town
of the Hanford Nuclear Site, which was constructed during World War II.  The
town housed the nuclear plant employees and their families, and the streets
are deliberately curving and twisting--the design was intended to keep enemy
planes from being able to follow a straight line to strategic bombing sites.

Salt Lake City, on the other hand, was indeed laid out by a master planner
and is a strict grid system.  It's either the easiest or most complicated
city to find your way around in, depending on who you are.

Melissa Proffitt
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