Occassional thoughts about orienteering
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Get smarter?In the last couple of years I've done some experiments with armchair orienteering. Bascially, I've tested various ways of studying maps and various amounts of map study. I've tried to figure out what works for me. By "works" I mean what sort of map study seems to allow me to orienteer well without having done much in-the-forest technique training. I'm completely sold on the value of armchair orienteering.
Now, why might it work? I don't really know. But, I guess that studying a map can trick you brain into thinking your are actually orienteering. I understand that sports psychology-types think "visualization" is important and, obviously, looking at an O' map is a way to do that (and without having to listen to any relaxation tapes or go through any of the stuff like, "tense your muscles...now exhale and feel the muscle relax...").
Another thing that map study might do is exercise your brain. Which, I suppose, can't be a bad thing.
I was thinking of all this after reading a newspaper story about a BBC program (or I guess if it is BBC it'd be a "programme") called "Get Smarter in a Week." The Get Smarter in a Week web page has lots of little brain exercises, like: use your computer mouse with your wrong hand; take a shower with your eyes closed (?); memorize your shopping list; and navigate around your house blindfolded.
Thierry Gueorgiou posted a comparison of two maps of the same area. Comparing the two maps is intersting:
Check out the 1982 map
Now look at the 2006 map
My M40 eyes sure like the old map. But, that's old history and the new map would probably be a more fun to use as long as I had a magnifier. I'm glad to say that I'm not yet old and cranky enough to claim that the 1982 map is better and that things were better before. posted by Michael | 8:03 PM
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