Entries tagged "urban navigation"
The other day a friend explained to me that they had a lovely neighbour, a dear old lady who always really entered into the spirit of the changing seasons. She loved May Day and Christmas, but her favourite time of year was Halloween. This year she pulled out all the stops, decorating her front room with lots of cobwebs, filling it with scary creepy-crawlies and even putting a skeleton in the armchair to scare the passing children who peered in. My friend knocked on her door a few times this week to compliment her on her excellent…
If anything depends on the sun to work effectively, then it can be used to find direction.
Sundials and solar panels are two favourites, but I must thank Silvio Pitlik for writing to me to make me aware of a similar clue that might be overlooked if we are unaware of it.
In some warmer parts of the world, Israel being a good example, most homes have solar-heated water systems. A black panel faces the sun and thin tubes of water get heated directly by the sun. The warm water rises and is…
I have written in many places about how TV satellite dishes can be used to help find direction, in the UK they normally point close to southeast.
Using conventional TV aerials is a slightly different skill, because the direction they point varies from place to place, depending on the location of the nearest transmitting station.
The best tip is not to place too much emphasis on any one of these aerials, but it is usually safe to rely on dominant trends.
All you need to do is glance up occasionally as you travel…
A couple of days ago I got off the train in London Victoria station at about 6.40pm.
I knew the place I needed to get to was only about a kilometre from the station and I was looking forward to a nice little urban natural navigation exercise.
As always, one of the first things I did on stepping outdoors was to glance up. It was a very confusing moment indeed and I temporarily lost my bearings completely. Why?
There are two clues in the photo. The first is probably almost as straightforward as you first think…
It has been quite a restless few days.
Last Saturday I spent the morning in London as a guest on BBC Radio 4's Excess Baggage. In the evening I led a group on a night walk. The conditions were perfect. We watched as blue turned to orange. Then as the orange faded to dark blue and black we were treated as Arcturus, Deneb, Altair, Vega, Capella and others began to appear. Lurking luminously between the silhouetted branches of a two hawthorns there was a bright white…
A huge thank you to everyone for all the messages that have been coming in about All Roads Lead Home. I thought it was time that I added a bit more information about the series.
Below is a blog I wrote for the BBC website, which went out just before the programme on Wednesday.
I also wrote a piece for the BBC News Online Magazine, about 6 unusual methods for keeping your bearings whilst in a town. As soon as it went out, it went nuts. More than 300 people left comments before comments were switched…
Nearly all navigation is an attempt to join landmarks together. Even those on boats crossing oceans are probably hoping to find a landmark they recognise as the final part of their journey.
The word, 'landmark', simply means something that makes a location recognisable. It is deliberately vague as it can apply to anything, a landmark may be extraordinary - the statue of Christ the Redeemer towering over Rio de Janeiro's from Corcovado mountain. Or it may be mundane - a red postbox at the edge of a village.
The more confident you can be that you have…
The past few days have seen me bouncing between meetings in London - pinging between Kensington, White City and Theatreland. Throw in a Tube strike on the Tuesday and the stage was set for some urban natural navigation.The sun, trees, churches, clouds and satellite dishes all played their parts, but there are so many lesser known roles in the epic production that is 'City Navigating'.As if to prove this I received a message a couple of days ago from someone who had read the book and got in touch with some intriguing urban ideas. Clem McEwen drew my attention to…