Natural navigation in a town requires a lot of lateral and vertical thinking.
Will the answer be found in the satellite dish way above me, or the asymmetric pollution near my feet? Or perhaps there are still plants and animals to help.
One of my
Whenever I need to get to a meeting in a big city, I try to make sure I have half an hour or more to spare and then start my journey from an unknown point a mile or so away. This is very easy to do if you are travelling on public transport as you just pick the station or two away from your destination.
The next thing I do is make sure I remain alert to the direction the clouds are moving. If you stay tuned to the general direction of clouds passing overhead, it is much less likely that you will get totally disorientated.
Look at the picture above and study the colours just below the windows. We can make a compass using colour differences at street corners. Algae retreats in places where the sun reaches, but thrives on the shaded northern side of buildings. The trick is often to look up a bit, clues get cleaned away at street level, but survive a little higher.
There are hundreds of similar techniques to help the navigator on asphalt. I’ve included a few below and many more in my books and courses. To date, I’ve collected over twenty different ways to use religious buildings to find direction.
For fun, why not test yourself – can you work out which way we are looking in the photo at the top of this page about architectural navigation clues?