Monday, 6 July 2009

How We Map

At last, here is what I produced after six weeks in the Lake District back in 2000:

You can see in the south of the mapping area the contact metamorphism and aureole in green and blue, the oranges, browns and pinks of the Skiddaw Slates in the centre of my area, and the purples and greys of the Eycott Volcanic Group to the north.

The more observant of you will also have noticed that, to the west of my area I had a hill delightfully named Great Cockup, which I sometimes felt was wholly appropriate.

I suspect I may have been one of the last year groups to draw their maps by hand. We used light tables and tracing paper, bought incredibly expensive pens with 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 mm nibs, used green ink to draw round outcrops (with such little exposure you can see why we needed to highlight that we'd actually found an outcrop), used blue to indicate ridges, hollows and breaks in slope, and recorded the quaternary deposits on top of all that. We used Letraset machines to generate text, and painstakingly attempted to stick them on straight. And when all that was done we had to go down to the local printers and get copies made up on paper so we could colour them in.

The lucky students who draw them in Adobe Illustrator or whatever it is the kids use nowadays, and simply send them to the departmental plotter for printing don't know they're born.

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