Other Maps

I once saw a isopopulation map of Canada - where map area represented population, instead of geographical area. It fascinated me because it matched my mental image from going to school in Montreal. The large areas were Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa- the west was mostly Vancouver with some Calgary and Edmonton, the east Quebec City and St. John's. Those are where the people I met were from, and in about those proportions. It wasn't a normal map, but it looked right. Different ways of mapping have fascinated me ever since.

I thought about mapping my life recently- not the "this is my route to work, this is how I get to New York, this is my friend's house" but more abstract ideas.

I first did an isotemporal map: where do I spend my time? Looking at my apartment, the bed would be big, the computer huge, the TV and couch tiny. Looking outside, my car is pretty big, my office at work is more than half the size of my apartment and everything else is pretty small.

Then I did an isofinancial map: where do I spend my money? The bookcases were large, the stereo was large- though the CD collection was much larger, interestingly- and the computer was bigger than my car. Most of my furniture was tiny, except the computer rollie chair. (Rollie chairs are the beanbags of the '90s. . . Hey! That's almost deep!)

I should build other maps, to look in other ways, but I don't know what to measure.

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