Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, June 01, 2009

7 Signs of ...


Watching some TV yesterday I saw an announcement that included:

The first sign is someone...drawing diagrams or annotating on maps,...MAY be an indicator that something is not right and should be reported immediately. Nothing is too insignificant.

That's part of the first of "7 signs of terrorism." The announcement was encouraging people who saw someone mapping to call the police and report them. As someone who likes mapping and has been doing some fieldchecking of sprint orienteering maps, where lots of people see what I'm doing, I hope I don't attract police attention. I suppose it is just a matter of time.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 5:57 PM


In 2003(?), I was checking/revising our Sprint map of Norristown State Hospital (for the criminally insane, and other uses). Among the changes was a new building (and associated parking lot, uncross fence, and misc objects) that I heard was a Homeland Security facility.

Sure enough, shortly after I began "loitering" and taking notes, some uniforms came out and questioned me, quite seriously, but not inappropriately.(Sorry, no waterboarding stories.) I was able to finish my work, and grateful that the original mapper (Vlad Zh) had accurately plotted some of the the foundation when it was under construction so I didn't have to spend too much time there.

I guess my appearance and explanation was outside the profile, or perhaps they just wrote me off as another one of the "unusual" people who were rather common on this campus.

Haha, we just had a Linné mapper, Christer Eriksson, taken to the police station for questioning after being reported as "loitering outside an elementary school with binoculars" while mapping near Uppsala. Christer was released after questioning. The "binoculars" were a laser elevation meter.
Michael, I am trying to email you about another matter but get my emails returned when I try to email you at meglin@juno.com. If you've got a new email-address, could you mail it to me at jan@kocbach.net?
I use latex gloves in the winter for mapping, as they somewhat keep the warmth, but more importantly leave some dexterity in my hands...

However, this causes some worried looks when I stand next to children play areas in family housing regions, drawing nearby trees and playground equipment...
I would think that if you were recognized as the city auditor that you'd be carted away, karta or no karta.
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