Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Are You Good at Wayfinding?

Academics call it “graphic communication.” Maps and mapmakers like to think of it as “wayfinding systems.” The rest of us just think of it as “not getting lost.”

Who woulda thunk there were people studying the ins and outs of finding our way? At the University of Reading in the U.K., Paul Stiff has been studying the ways in which we sift information when giving directions, identifying the most crucial landmarks and providing beacons to know if we’ve gone too far. He finds beauty in the ephemeral nature of amateur mapmaking. “While most professional maps serve ‘countless numbers of people who have countless purposes,’ Stiff says, maps like these are ‘made for an audience of one.'”

In teaching my students about metaphor–the idea of it, not just the grammar tool–I like to refer to Bill Roorbach‘s explanation of signs. When driving to an intersection, an octagon hung on a metal pole at the corner is a universal symbol to put your foot on the brake. Sure, the white letters on a red background spell “STOP.” But what if we don’t read in English? If the color of the sign weren’t red? We’d still understand the meaning of this well-designed sign.

Over the next six weeks, Slate is publishing a series by Julia Turner called “The Secret Language of Signs,” exploring the importance of the physical markers we see everyday. It’s good stuff, writing filled with sharp analysis and what I love most: storytelling.

Slate is asking its readers to scan and send them your own hand-drawn maps, whether a trip to the supermarket or a guide to your own home. The maps they’re seeking are not the most detailed or gorgeous, but your possibly taken-for-granted maps that you drew on the back of a utility envelope. Show up the professionals with your own wayfinding skills here.

Filed under: maps, , , , , , ,

Writing

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  

Twitter

  • RT @SenSchumer: President Trump's mass deportation plan is causing panic and is against our nation's commitment to welcoming immigrants; it… 1 day ago
  • RT @Millikenmoon: To be clear, Milo's comments about Jews, women, Muslims and trans people were okay for #CPAC. 2 days ago
  • RT @ananavarro: New week. Forget distractions-- crazy presser, rallies, made up Swedish tragedies. Let's focus. Demand investigation of Tru… 2 days ago
  • RT @BernieSanders: Talk about cowardice. Republicans are trying to ram through Pruitt's confirmation before the American people find out wh… 5 days ago
  • RT @StephenAtHome: Trump tweeted that the media is "the enemy." Assuming he meant "the enema," given how the media is constantly making him… 5 days ago

Visitor Map

Locations of Site Visitors

RSS Recent Posts from Towleroad

  • Trump Administration Withdraws Obama Guidance on Transgender Bathroom
    The Trump Administration has withdrawn transgender guidance issued to U.S. schools under President Obama calling on all U.S. school districts to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms they choose. CNN reports: In a two-page “Dear Colle… Read The post Trump Administration Withdraws Obama Guidance on Transgender Bathroom appeared first on Towleroad. […]
  • Coldplay’s Chris Martin Performs Breathtaking Tribute to George Michael at Brit Awards: WATCH
    After an introduction by George Michael’s Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley, Coldplay’s Chris Martin performed a stunningly gorgeous tribute to George Michael, a duet with the late singer on his 1986 track “A Different Corner”.… Read The post Coldplay’s Chris Martin Performs Breathtaking Tribute to George Michael at Brit Awards: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad […]
  • NEW MUSIC: Jamiroquai, Sun Kil Moon, Conor Oberst, Los Angeles Police Department, Sea Bed
    This week in New Music: Jamiroquai goes back to basics on “Cloud 9,” Sun Kil Moon is uber-contemplative on a new double album, Conor Oberst drops another track from Salutations, Los Angeles Police Department (above) lives up to his bedroo… Read The post NEW MUSIC: Jamiroquai, Sun Kil Moon, Conor Oberst, Los Angeles Police Department, Sea Bed appeared first o […]
  • Harrison Ford, Democracy Dies in Darkness, Ricky Martin, Apple, Bill Maher, Tom Cruise: HOT LINKS
    DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS. The Washington Post has a new slogan: “This is actually something we’ve said internally for a long time in speaking about our mission,” Coratti said. “We thought it would be a good, concise value st… Read The post Harrison Ford, Democracy Dies in Darkness, Ricky Martin, Apple, Bill Maher, Tom Cruise: HOT LINKS appeared first on To […]
  • Suspect Arraigned in Gruesome 2005 Cold Case Murder of Gay Brooklyn Teen Rashawn Brazell
    A man whose DNA has been linked to a cold case murder we’ve been following for 12 years — the killing of gay Brooklyn teen Rashawn Brazell, whose body was dismembered and dumped around New York City — was arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court. Th… Read The post Suspect Arraigned in Gruesome 2005 Cold Case Murder of Gay Brooklyn Teen Rashawn Brazell appeared fi […]

Polls

RSS Breaking News from The Daily Beast

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Pics from Africa 2010

No food for lazy man

Mao and Du Bois

Inside W.E.B. DuBois' library

Commemorating the great pan-African writer

African drumming and dance

More Photos

About Me

https://rsiasoco.wordpress.com/about/

About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

Top Clicks

  • None

Categories