Mapping Me

It has been interesting to map myself throughout the semester. It made me realize how my schedule each week is very similar. The patterns of places I went each week were very consistent. I tried to make each spot unique by adding a specific color for different areas. Additionally, I gave each point a unique icon and a caption. I realized that this made it very specific to me because other people might not understand exactly what I meant. For example, the gross green color I used for my icon on Commons was meant to represent my less than enthusiastic feelings about eating there. Or for my Economics class icon I often made it the skull and crossbones, meant to represent my feelings towards the class. For Dunkin Donuts, I made the icon blue (my favorite color) and a heart–obviously representing my love for Dunkin iced coffee. Although this all made sense to me and I understood my own map perfectly, I realize that to an outside viewer the colors and icons might seem more arbitrary.

Beyond the reflective purposes this assignment served for me, it was also super interesting to look at other people’s maps and see how we each mapped ourselves differently. We all took different approaches to the assignment, revealing the individualistic nature of mapping. I thought looking at where people went for Spring Break was particularly interesting because we all went such different places. Mine was very relaxing and spent in my hometown. However, I noticed a lot of other people did travelling to other cities. I liked the way that Talia mapped her spring break on campus. She actually put a path on her map of going to the dining halls and back to her dorm. I also thought it was interesting to read the descriptions of the locations. I didn’t write descriptions of my locations. I instead relied on the chosen icon and the title of the location to reveal some information.

I mapped my week usually on Thursday nights or Friday mornings and found that I enjoyed thinking back over the past week and the places I went. The process was almost like a journal because in a lot of cases I would remember something that happened in each other places that I went to, such as a funny moment, or a stressful assignment. The map itself was like a reflection of the week. Like Grace mentioned in her post, it felt like I did so much every week, going a bunch of places, and just being generally busy. However, when I actually looked at my map I realized that I didn’t go far at all. I was confined mostly to Clinton, NY. When zoomed out on the larger map, all my many places just blended together to look like one singular location.

One Reply to “Mapping Me”

  1. Your reflection on the way a mapmaker’s intentions may get lost on an outside viewer is interesting to me. I like how you highlighted the personal nature of a map (and how, for you, it became almost like a journal). I wonder if seeking to make a map understandable to others almost strips it of the personal experiences grounding its initial creation.

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