New map old map

Lachlan sent me this 1960 map of Newcastle, with a detail showing the area that would become Griffiths Road, where it goes past the show grounds and over the bridge and on into Hamilton. The original is held at the UoN Cultural Collections, here.

Northumberland Map

I wondered, as I looked at this gorgeous old map, whether the generation of “Google maps on the iPhone” users would be deprived of a love of maps. I’ve always loved atlases and maps, even though I’m completely rubbish at using them. (I’m known in our house as Captain Compass, my sense of direction is so bad.) Or perhaps one day people will look back at a screen shot of Google Maps with the same fondness and nostalgia that I feel when I look at the one above.

I thought about trying to do a sound map for Hamilton North after I received this link from filmmaker friend Robert, who put me onto this amazing sound map of London’s waterways.


Clyde Street lights would have the bells clanging and a coal train rumbling past, the ELGAS depot would have had the sound of the gas sheds with KO FM blasting out, the Chaucer Street drain would have had fuscous honeyeaters squabbling in the lantana with the 12.20 Broadmeadow to Sydney train squealing past, Baird Street’s background noise would be the siren from the fuel depot.

Might be a project for 2015. All I’ve got to do is do it.

7 Responses to New map old map

  1. Ruth Cotton says:

    Yes!! ‘Sounds’ great… and just maybe, not too technologically challenging.

  2. The thing I love about maps is that they are in some way ‘time machines’ – an old map obviously lets me see the past, what once was. But equally, modern maps like Google Maps let me see the future, what will be. If I plan to travel to a destination I’ve never been to before, consulting a map lets me ‘see’ what will be before I get there(*) – turn here, up there, sporting field on the left, shops on the right, all in my minds eye hours or days before I get there.

    (*) Apple Maps excepted. Any relationship to reality is purely coincidental.

    • Mark MacLean says:

      I rather like the way that Apple has offered us these alternative realities. It’s a new discipline I’m going to call “speculative topography” and I’m all for it!

  3. […] Mark Maclean charitably suggests that Apple is engaging in a new cartographic discipline called ‘speculative topography’ – I have many other suggested names for Apple’s mapping endeavours, none of them as charitable as Mark’s. […]

  4. Pooyaka says:

    “I wondered, as I looked at this gorgeous old map, whether the generation of “Google maps on the iPhone” users would be deprived of a love of maps. ”
    I, too, have always loved maps and atlases. But Google maps has been so useful for me that no paper-map could have been. It’s given me the confidence to explore so many places that I would never have done without it.
    I guess you’re not a user of public transport. If you were, you would’ve known there is no better gift than a map which can understand wherever you are and suggest various options of transport. You would better understand its vitality if you were (like me) in a foreign country without anyone who can help you.

    • Mark MacLean says:

      Hi Pooyaka

      My main source of transport is my bicycle, but I do use public transport and agree about the use of maps on phones. And the site is amazing for providing the best options for trains and buses.

      I’m not down on modern map apps at all but there is definitely a romance about hard copy maps that I can’t help but feel is lost in the digital age.

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