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Just came home from my parents, a bike ride away. Halfway between Nieuwegein and Utrecht it started raining. Once home, still raining, I decided to browse the internet. Came across this blog post on bicycle routes in Utrecht: the road I just took!

Once the sun is shining and these plans are realised, the route will be even better in the future…

Click on the picture to see the whole 30 minute bike ride by Urban Trajectories.

Click on the picture to see the whole 30 minute bike ride by Urban Trajectories.

The project Urban Trajectories by Aorta Architectuurcentrum (center for architecture) is researching the bike routes people take on their commute from and to Utrecht.

Video about the project by Urban Trajectories(in Dutch):


I read that there is an exhibition about the project at Architectuurcentrum Aorta until 27 September. Seems well worth a visit.

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In his article Community Mapping, Chris Perkins describes the goals of community mapping as a democratic form of mapping. It enables individuals to express their own perspectives on an area instead of relying on institutional maps. Through five case studies, he demonstrates the struggles in having a really democratic form of mapping:

  • initiatives organised by existing organisations (church, tourism office, pressure groups, etc.) lead to greater participation, but they have their own agendas
  • participants are likely to have contrasting views, resulting maps are compromises
  • maps that could serve as a starting point or ground layer, are often protected by intellectual property rights
Picture taken by foto.bulle.

Old Ordnance Survey map (photographed by foto.bulle).

My first hunt for scrolls playing TrailHit started with a difficulty: boxes were dispersed neatly in walking distance, but on the map I was displayed two streets off!

This made it very confusing to get my head around where I to walk to reach the right street on the map. A combination of exhaustive multi-tasking and feeling uncomfortably disconnected with my environment.

Picture taken from TrailHit website.

I wanted some more luck in precise GPS communication.

This accommodation in the series on outstanding places to sleep was not spotted by me, but by a user of the website Map Your Mind. The tree house in Groenekan, The Netherlands:

Picture taken from website Tussen Hemel en Aarde.

Tree house at camp site Tussen Hemel en Aarde.

This accommodation can be rented at camp site Tussen Hemel en Aarde.

Discover special places in Utrecht on http://www.mapyourmind.nl/. Or create a map to share your own.

Screenshot from Map Your Mind website.

Users post their personal collage maps of Utrecht.

This personal mapping was popular by the Situationist International in the 1960’s.

Initiator of the website Sanne Kwak, however, has been inspired by urban planner Kevin Lynch‘s ‘mental maps’. His book “The image of the city” (1960) inspired people to regard cities in a more personal way.

The visual inspiration, she writes, comes from the drawings of Dutch artist Jan Rothuizen:

Drawing by Jan Rothuizen.

Leaf through the drawings of "The soft atlas" on Jan Rothuizen's homepage.

Take someone’s toy on a trip and photograph it with your analogue camera. That was the objective of the analogue summer project. The expo took place on a sunny autumn day in the very centre of Utrecht in a cellar under an ancient bridge. Pleasant extra: souvenirs and soundtracks on walkman accompanied you while admiring the results.

Picture taken from meetmeathome.com

The photographed objects.

Another in the series on outstanding places to sleep. My bed in my car at Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia:

Picture taken by myself.

Camping matress and warm duna in my friend's car.

The second in the series on outstanding places to sleep. The Stargazer at Punakaiki, New Zealand:

Picture taken by myself

Stargazer hut with glass roof to gaze at the stars.

The stargazer can be rented at the Te Nikau Retreat.

It appears to me that the further you are away from home, the more you feel the urge to connect to things from home. Speak to people whose family originates from the Netherlands or who have visited briefly once in their life unleashed a happy feeling. I even found myself eager to sing along with Dutch songs I normally would never listen to at home.

Me in front of a poster at Melbourne Southern Cross station.

Thus, I found myself greatly at home in front of this huge poster of Amsterdam presented by an airline operator Emirates at Melbourne’s Southern Cross station. I actually always feel desperate when mentioning Amsterdam to people who want to know where I’m from, because The Netherlands are so much more than their capital. But even if I don’t live there it feels like my home, and I hope I am excused living close by and having worked there.

A series about outstanding places to sleep.

The first one is this tipi at Orara River, New South Wales, Australia:

Tipi accomodation

Tipi accommodation with swags and a warm fire inside.

Tweets (Dutch and English)