Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Friday, March 10, 2006

Flaky idea about learning to read maps


When I was a little kid, I spent a lot of time in art museums. When I was 5, we lived in Florence, Italy. My Dad took me to museums to look at paintings.

Looking at a painting is a lot like looking at a map. A painting is a two dimensional surface. A lot of what painters do is depict three dimensions on a two dimensional surface. That's the same as an orienteering map.

My flaky idea is that spending a lot of time looking at paintings helps you understand maps. That translation of three dimensions to two dimensions becomes easier. It becomes second nature.

Since my Dad's specialty was the Italian renaissance, we spent a lot of time looking at paintings like the ones I've included. Note that the artists (Leonardo and Filippo Lippi) are working on showing three dimensional depth on flat surfaces...just like a contour map. Both of these paintings are in Florence.

posted by Michael | 8:34 PM


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