How do I learn about my area and keep track of where I am?

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typingwithmynose
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How do I learn about my area and keep track of where I am?

Post by typingwithmynose »

Hi guys!

I'm really new here so I apologise if there's a similar thread. I just wanted to know if anyone had any advice or tips or even similar experiences to me, I've lived in Manchester pretty much my entire life and I still don't know my own neighbourhood. I know certain routes from A to B that help me get to all the relevant and necessary places but if i stray from this at all, I'm pretty much stranded and have to rely on GPS to find my way home. It doesn't sound like a big deal but I mean even if I'm on the other side of a street I normally walk down, it's so difficult for me to figure out where I am. I rely very, very heavily on people to help me get around and often find myself having to be dragged in the right direction.

Recently, despite this issue, I thought it would be a great idea to travel to London for uni (of all places :rolleyes: ). I've now found myself constantly trying to navigate areas that are completely unknown to me - even if I've walked through them a dozen times before. I'm hopeless on my own street nevermind another city. Again, if anyone has any tips or advice it would really be appreciated.

Tom fod
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Re: How do I learn about my area and keep track of where I am?

Post by Tom fod »

I'm guessing your short term memory is poor. What is your long term memory like? Does being lost give you a major sense of panic and could that be more why access to your longer term memory is failing you?


If I'm travelling to new places I like to try to scope them out by studying maps deeply and making notes. I have definitely been horribly lost in places before now and while it is never a nice experience I usually find I learn from it. I definitely find I have the tendency to get disorientated and walk in the wrong direction so try to make notes about what features I need to pass in my route from A-B. I think my problem is I walk quite fast so can quickly get myself further off my correct route.

I've not tried this What Three Words App but am wondering how good it is for route finding? I have OS locate on my phone but the last few times I have been lost in my own city I have been able to navigate by heading back towards bigger landmarks I know and can see on skyline. could going out and taking pictures of key intersections and other known points to plot on a map help you learn you local area?
Tom
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With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

typingwithmynose
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Re: How do I learn about my area and keep track of where I am?

Post by typingwithmynose »

Yeah you're definitely on point with my short term memory, it's generally pretty awful. I always say my mind's like a sieve lol. I'm also nervous going pretty much anywhere so that doesn't help and when I do get lost, you're right, I panic quite a bit.

I do study google maps and constantly pore over it for hours the day before going anywhere just to check and recheck that I know where I'm going. It's following it in the moment that I have a lot of trouble with, I tend to second guess myself and being dyslexic doesn't help either because I read bus numbers and places wrong. It's a whole mess haha

Making notes is something I really need to start doing more of, I remember doing this when I was new to public transport, and it was helpful, never thought about noting landmarks though. Thank you so much for that tip, I'm definitely gonna try that :D

As far as apps go, I've just searched up OS locate as I hadn't heard of it before and I have no idea how to read a compass lol is this something I should try learning?

I also did download What Three Words but as far as I know it's just for letting emergency services know exactly where you are if you don't have access to any coordinates? I'm not sure though, I'll look into using it for route finding hopefully it'll help. I also don't tend to use physical maps but the idea of taking pictures to plot on them would be a fun little activity I think to help me get a little more familiar with an area, I might give that one a go!

Thank you so much for the reply, these are all great tips :) It's definitely something I'm going to have to put a little work into getting better at because at the moment it's a little ridiculous lol

Tom fod
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Re: How do I learn about my area and keep track of where I am?

Post by Tom fod »

I've downloaded What 3 words but have yet to try it. It claims to enable navigation too. I have visions that I'll wind up at You're Lost mate, or worse You're Doomed Bye, Kiss Ass Goodbye, Steep Drop Yaaargh! or Ravenous Grizzly Bear! I don't know how but wonder how or whether what 3 words corresponds to OS Grid refs in UK it says it has divided the world into 3m grid squares. I dont much fancy venturing into the empty quarter of the Saudi desert to test the app's efficiacy!

I too would struggle to find myself on a map and then take a compass bearing and set off in . I didn't do well at an orienteering taster session at Cub Camp age 7. I had to download OS Locate for a Macmillan Mighty Hike but had thousands of people to follow so we didn't get lost.
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

typingwithmynose
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:36 pm

Re: How do I learn about my area and keep track of where I am?

Post by typingwithmynose »

I'm dead at 'You're Lost Mate' :lol: Part of me wishes they'd put that in there just for the laughs haha

Honestly, thank you so much again for your suggestions though, the discussion about apps led me to find OsmAnd. This might read like an ad but it is pretty cool, it's a map you can use offline and pretty much does everything Google Maps does only it lets you customise it too. I didn't realise it but Google Maps is actually pretty damn hard for me to follow! This app has much darker font and lines so there's very little room for confusion lmao

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