Monday, April 16, 2012

Maps, Maps, Maps

I love maps. It is a pretty intense situation, my love. One of the best things about my job is that I get to look at maps all day long. Looking at maps to find people, to find cities, to find townships, to find stores or addresses, to find land marks or highways or intersections.

It is surprising and kind of funny that no one ever really knows where they are (with all the access we have to maps these days.. right?). But I get to pull up my best friend GoogleMaps and search away! Last week, using my map skills, I was able to find a road that no one else could find! Good old Shirley-Leominster Road that is like one foot long.

Since people are always driving everywhere, I get to learn about some of the most captivating places. I can take one call, google map it, and then spend the rest of my shift learning about a new place (in between other calls and work of course).

Anyways, I figured I would share three of my recent discoveries with you! Take a gander:

Did you know that Old Oaken Bucket Road in Plymouth, Massachusetts actually has a world famous poem written about it, and also has a Big Ten college football trophy named after it?!

Who knew that off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine lie a small gaggle of islands known as the Isles of Shoals? These were discovered by John Smith in 1620, used as fishing villages populating up to 1,000 people, then as an artistic colony, then resort getaway in the 19th century, and now sit mostly uninhabited except for a lighthouse and Star Island which is owned by the Unitarian Universalist Association as a camp ground. (Maybe a few ghosts as well)

In my own Smith Hill neighborhood lies an entire historic DISTRICT! This was quite surprising to learn about from Google maps, as I pass these little houses a few times a week. (Since this picture was taken, they have all been painted different colors). This district, called the Andrew Dickhaut Cottages Historic District, consists of 18 homes on Bath, Orms, and Duke Street in Providence built in the 1800s. They were small worker's cottages built, owned, and rented by an entrepreneurial butcher from New York City. Here you can see the names and professions of all those who lived in these cottages in 1892, which is super interesting! That link also references information from the National Register of Historic Places.

I am hooked. And haven't even begun talking about the wonder of Google Earth.

Have you ever discovered something new from a map? 

p.s. even one of my favorite songs is called "Maps" (by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.)

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