In 2016 we have more information available at our fingertips than ever before. Now we can navigate to many locations with relative ease compared to the old word-of-mouth directions and paper maps of yesteryear. GPS units used to be a luxury, but with the growing number of smartphones everyone has access to free up-to-date maps, whether it be Google, Apple, Waze, etc. In my opinion this is fantastic. We have a fairly accurate visualization of the world in the hands of billions.
Maps can relay information as well as stories. Location has always been important to me and deeply tied to my memory. For example, I was able to locate a motel my family stayed at when I was a youngin’ during a vacation to Kentucky with only a visual memory of the road and building layout. I was able to find it using satellite imagery on Google Maps. I haven’t been there in 20 years and didn’t remember any specifics, but I remembered the general area.
The past few years I’ve been trying to map places I’ve been to. Places that were memorable or interesting and might allow me to recall a story. And unlike pins on a map of United States on the wall, I’ve been doing it digitally with the latitude and longitude as precise as I can. The preciseness is important to me. Knowing I went a restaurant in a city is not enough detail. I prefer to know exactly where and when I was somewhere.
I may not be a globetrotter or adventurous as others out there, but I wanted to share some of the methods I’ve been using over the past years. While you could keep a journal and write everything down, there are a few ways to keep your lifelog organized digitally. These ways are not always intuitive but I hope they help you or give you ideas.
This isn’t meant for everyone. Some people like to keep their privacy, and not mark down on a map every place they’ve been. But if you like to keep track of things so that you may recall them in the future, I hope you’ll find the following useful. I am going to break this out to three different parts.
- Part One: How to make your own digital map.
- Part Two: Can Foursquare/Swarm or other social media be viable in life logging and plotting on a map?
- Part Three: Uses for a decade old GPS handheld.
Stay tuned for each part soon.