As a geographer I love maps – of course!
As a boy I spent hours studying atlases and back in school I couldn’t await the “blank map” tests (that’s a really out-fashioned way to test topographic knowledge – but still, I enjoyed it) in geography class. Now I’m in the privileged situation to teach thematic cartography and geovisualization to bachelor students. And I’ve co-authored a rather extensive module on the topic for the UNIGIS program. Maps are really an important part in my every day life.
Yesterday I’ve learned once again, that obviously the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I had a meeting in Vienna and went there by train. My two daughters are in the brilliant “why??!” and “how??!” age. So they asked me how one can go to Vienna if it’s too far for cycling (they know that I cycle to work every day). With the help of a map of Austria I explained them how far it was, that the train is a great way to travel and that Vienna has a large underground system (that’s something they don’t really know yet). More as a joke than with real expectations I asked my older one to draw me a travel map. A few minutes later she showed up with this fantastic piece of drawing:
Isn’t this great?! Can you see the underground? It’s really under ground with heads from bird’s eye view! The road network, she even inserted a label …
Would you call her spatially literate? Defenitely yes! Don’t worry about our kids, just share your own enthusiasm (next time, I go and buy a real bike for her :-)).