While proofing for Distributed Proofreaders, I often find myself opening up a mapping application to locate rivers, towns, buildings, forts, streets, etc. that are mentioned, described, or central to a project. Sometimes it’s to figure out where they are. Sometimes it’s to try and see what’s being described.
For example, Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, Volume XXIII, describes some rock formations that the footnote identified as being in Dawson and Valley Counties, Montana. Using that information, I was able to view a photo of the rock formations. I’ve also found remote tiny towns that still exist in the American West — one even had a preserved historical district.
I posted in the DP forums about this and found another proofreader who was using mapping software to locate parks that were mentioned in old bird books as locations of certain birds. This person was interested in whether the parks have the same birds.
Of course, I look at maps because I love maps. So starting with a specific reference point from a book, I can get lost for half an hour or more exploring, envisioning, and virtually visiting. Anywhere. And how exciting when I get a chance to visit in person a site I’ve visited before via mapping software; for example, the Pony Express Statue in Sacramento Old Town.
If you haven’t tried this before, do! You may find yourself addicted.
This post was contributed by WebRover, a DP volunteer.