I've always noticed that I have a good sense of spatial orientation. I know what direction I'm facing; I have a mental map of streets and roads and can place things in the right location in my mind quite well. I can mentally review my drive along country roads and remember what I've seen But orienting myself to Meaford is proving a challenge.
Let's start with the big picture. That's Georgian Bay on the right side of the picture, with the location of Meaford marked. Lake Huron is the larger body of water on the left, with a bit of Michigan showing up on the west. I've always had an (incorrect) mental map of Georgian Bay running more or less north/south, but as you can see, the long direction is significantly northwest/southeast. And that huge bay at the south of Georgian Bay, Nottawasaga Bay, is more obviously a bay in its own right than I realized. So I'm trying to get this new mental map in my head.
Jumping to Meaford, on a clear day when I look straight out from shore, I see this island in the distance. What is it, and where? There's no major island out in the middle of the bay here that I know of.
But if you take a closer look at where Meaford is, you can see that if I look straight out from shore, I'm not actually looking north, I'm looking northeast. And if you extend that line, it turns out I'm seeing Christian Island straight out ahead. I'm really just looking across Nottawasaga Bay, not north into the much bigger Georgian Bay at all. You can see to the left and north of Meaford that the shoreline actually extends almost north, this being the east side of the large Bayfield Headland between here and Owen Sound. And it forms the northwest corner of Nottawasaga Bay. I have to look out beyond it to be looking north.
And this is a view that does just that, from a tiny bit of beach where I can access the water. Looking past the Bayfield Headland on the left, the open water on the right leads straight north into Georgian Bay.
As for Meaford itself, I have seldom been so confused with my mental map of streets, and the problem is that shoreline, which actually runs northwest/southeast, not east/west. As well, the main highway through town which curves surreptitiously, leaving me thinking it's running east/west, while it's actually running much more north/south. When I drive in from the left, down those streets toward the shore and think I should be facing north, I'm actually facing nearly east in places where those streets hit the shoreline, though I'm finally getting used to it. This exercise of looking at maps a little more carefully has helped me.
Since I can't get out and about for pictures, I gathered some in advance, and this week I'm going to lead you through my thinking about the significant things of interest to me here in our new home town. Getting myself oriented was step one. Over the next few days I'll tell you a bit about the river, the geology, 'The Base', industrial history and the harbour, local heroes like Beautiful Joe, and the time spent here by the great conservationist John Muir in the 1860's. Don't know what comes after that, but join me as I get to know my new community.
Maps - you would not believe the awkward series of steps I went through to produce those maps above, and they're still terrible! I first photographed the map images off my computer screen, from Google Maps. I then edited those images and pulled them into a Word document, where I could use the draw function to add the lines and labels. I printed those, and then I photographed them, loading the new images back onto the computer. There has to be a better way!! Any suggestions for how I can best learn to produce maps like these, where I add my own labels and lines, would be much appreciated.
Snow has turned from light fluffy flakes with -10° temperatures, to just above freezing now, and it's great packing snow for a snowball fight or snowman building. Tomorrow some light drizzle.
First of all, I use a Mac. To modify maps I start by using a built-in application that lets me capture a screen shot. I save that to the desktop and then open it in the Photoshop application. There are lots of photo applications and some may be free online. I use the application to draw things like your arrows and to add titles and captions. Then I save the edited image as a jpg to my hard drive. Then it is available to use like any other image online or in other applications. You probably use a PC, so it may be slightly different. - MargyReplyDelete
Even though I've passed through the area a number of times your description has left me as confused as you are.ReplyDelete
I always thought that scanning old Negative Pictures would give me the clearest reproduction possible. Apparently just rephotographing them with a Digital Camera works better. You might try taking pictures of the Maps and then just Editing them in the Computer.
Make certain to give yourself some healing time before doing too much hiking around your new community.
Be safe and Enjoy!
It's about time.
I am going to have to study your map, and may end up on Google Earth to look around a bit...I can spend hours on there.ReplyDelete
It has been a long time since I did it, but I have saved a screen shot like PRBs was talking about, then went in with photoshop elements and wrote on them, drew on them, etc. That has been a while ago but it was fairly easy.
I do the same as Powell river books. do a screen shot and edit them in Picassa makes it pretty easy for me. Yes the Nottawasa Bay is actually where I hung out as a child bit we always called it Georgian bay. No matter it is a wonderful place to be.ReplyDelete
As Powell River Books said, you can take a screen shot on either a Mac or a Windows PC (in Windows it's called "Snipping Tool") and save the screen shot as a jpg file. I use PhotoScape, a free photo editing tool to add text and symbols to the photo and save it as a jpg file that can be added to a blog as with any other photo. I've done that a couple of times for my blog (https://forestandfield.blogspot.com/) and use it frequently at work.ReplyDelete
I enjoy learning about the area, FG.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure about maps myself, sometimes they are a bit confusing.ReplyDelete
I use Google Earth to get the size and orientation I want. Then I use "Edit" and "Copy Image". Then I open "Paint" (it's free) and immediately dump the image into Paint by pressing "Ctrl" (and holding it down) and then pressing the letter "v". Sometimes I copy a larger image than the one I want so that I can then use Paint to "crop" the sides of the image and remove all of the Google Earth text garbage. I have a pc, don't know if this works with Mac. Paint has all manner of ability to draw lines and circles and blocks and enter text, etc, in all sorts of colors. You can then save the image ("File", "Save as") as any number of file types. BMP is the default Paint file version, but it works with JPG just fine. I love your blog! :-)ReplyDelete
You are not alone in your orientation problem. I got interested in "mental maps" when I was at university and got a number of students to draw a map of the local area. Most of them tried to manipulate everything into a north-south and east-west grid, while that makes a certain amount of sense in towns like Meaford, which appears to at least be planned on a grid, it just doesn't work in old towns in the UK where streets meet at all kinds of odd angles - but still everyone persists in mentally arranging everything on a grid.ReplyDelete
Complicated. Both the technology transfer and the layout of your community. It would take me some time to find my way when there are no mountains or straight streets.ReplyDelete
Hello, I do use Google Maps and Google earth for planning my trips. Usually driving I have my GPS on and we use a paper map in case the GPS does not work correctly. I have done a screen shot saved to the computer like a Jpeg image. I hope you are feeling better! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Enjoy your day and the new week ahead!ReplyDelete
Bellingham has streets that are not oriented to the directions, either, and I get very confused sometimes as to which direction I'm facing. Fortunately my hubby decided when we moved here to give me several laminated maps to help me make my way around, and now I'm used to it. I use a Mac and use the "grab" tool to take a picture and then use Pixelmator (a photoshop type app). I don't do it much, since it's complicated. :-)ReplyDelete
Hi, while all the above tips are good and helpful, I think you need to know that by talking about taking a screen shot, it is NOT to use your camera to take a picture of your screen. You use the following keys: Press and hold the keys "Command" and "shift" and then press "4" by doing this you get a little circle with cross, use that to drag with your mouse the image, the whole screen or just part of it what you want to copy. As you finish the drag you hear a click. Minimize what you are working on and you see the screen shot sitting on your screen like an icon to be used just like a picture where you can insert it or work on it.ReplyDelete
I admire all you guys with built-in GPS's or mental maps to know where you are while I get hopelessly lost running in circles ;-)
I am sometimes confused here in Minnesota we have lots of lakes! Screenshots should work for you and many people have given you good info. I used to carry a city map of Fargo/Moorhead during rummage sale season:)ReplyDelete
I have no sense of direction at all and Ken often tells me I'm directional challenged and feels sorry for me. : )ReplyDelete
I have the same problem reproducing maps into images. Something never works out right. I am pretty good directional except for islands. My Mother lived on Whidbey Island and it is a very crooked and long piece of land and I never know id I am going N or What !!! But I surviveReplyDelete
i enjoyed the maps...great that you are a nature lover and a good explorer!!!ReplyDelete
Georgian Bay is practically a Great Lake in and of itself.ReplyDelete
Love the pic looking north with that sky! For starters, do a screen capture instead of taking a photo of the screen. On mine it's Function+ Insert. I use Paint Shop Pro, but there are freebie graphics programs that can at least do lines and things.ReplyDelete