Maps, Maps, and More Maps

When I think of my obsession with maps I think of the Monty Python skit where they sing this now famous lyric “spam spam spam spam” and substitute in my mind “maps maps maps maps.” You may think it’s an odd interest, or whatever…but yes, I like maps. They help me:

  • orient myself to where I am
  • understand the distance and terrain between me and where I want to go
  • lay a path to get there

I have maps of some of my favorite places hanging in my house (a few of which include Cape Ann MA, London, and the Amalfi Coast). I also have antique maps, they show the progression and change over time (but that’s for another blog article).

I recently moved from the Boston area to San Diego. (Yes, during the pandemic.) I decided to finally make the move to be closer to my two kids (which resulted in the added benefit of not having to spend all winter indoors during the pandemic). To prepare for this move I studied maps of the city and located every temporary apartment I was interested in. I needed to know where they were and how far away they were from my daughter. I also needed to know which neighborhood they were in. How would I get to my daughter’s house – can I walk? If so, would it be safe? What was the area like, residential or city-like? Were there sidewalks? How far to the beach?

Once I got here, I joined several hiking and walking groups. This accomplished several things for me:

  • an opportunity to meet new people
  • got me outdoors and kept me active
  • and just as important, it oriented me to where I was and where I’ve been

For seven months now, I’ve enjoyed hiking on mountains and have been rewarded with beautiful vistas of the surrounding countryside, sometimes with a view of the ocean. Here are some pics from some of those hikes. Amazing!

Though, something was missing on these hikes. I needed to know where I was and where I was going — a view from above. I didn’t have any maps. 

I downloaded the AllTrails hiking app on my phone but because it’s displayed on a small screen, it’s difficult to get a grasp of where you are and what the other trail options are around you — while in the middle of a hike. And, you only get a limited idea of where you are at a higher level (no pun intended) to help orient yourself in the larger geographical area. To be honest, during the hikes I miss having a hard copy trail map to guide me to my destination. One that I can fold open and study the details as well as the bigger picture. 

A trail can be described as a path or track that has been roughly blazed before us. Each time a trail is used it is gently changed a bit, and the experience is different for each person who follows it. Everyone’s trip up and down the trail is different from the next. A map can be described as a “drawing” of a particular area of land, showing its main features as they would appear if you looked at them from above. It is used to aid in navigation and gives you assorted information about a particular area.

So, we’ve created a new packaged product for our clients that embodies the purpose of a map – to help them find their way along sometimes complex and vague paths. It’s called the Marketing Trail Map. In a nutshell, the Marketing Trail Map is an aid, a guide, showing the path you could take to achieve your goals. Every business, client, and customer is different — the path to reach one’s goals is going to be different from all the others. The Marketing Trail Map looks at the situation from above and outlines the steps needed to get to the destination. 

Back on the trails, to make up for the lack of a hard copy trail map, I use the AllTrails app, but I also look online before I take a hike — what’s the trail like? Where is it relation to my home? The coast? The highway? What’s the incline and elevation? Is it a rocky surface or smooth? Knowing these answers I can prepare myself for the trip. I orient myself and understand the time it will take for me to travel to the trailhead, do the hike, and return. Once on the trail I feel more comfortable knowing where I am — and then I can veer off, pause, or turn around, whenever I want. It also is rewarding to know, once completed, where I went and what my experience was. With pictures of the views to prove it.
See you on the trail!
Let us know if we can help you see the big picture and create a path for your marketing needs.

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