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Preface > Youthful Exploration

Youthful Exploration

For me, map-based exploration started at a young age. I remember the thrill of finding our Scout camp on a topographic map. Part of the map is shown in Figure P-1. I found my home town, local roads, and even greenhouses. It was hard to believe that someone bothered to map the streets I used to play on or the tobacco fields I worked in during summer vacation. Yet there they were, drawn on this fascinating map that hangs on my office wall 20 years later.

These maps opened the door to planning hiking adventures and bicycle trips. I blame maps for luring me further and further away from home—to see what a map symbol or town looked like on the ground.

When I wasn’t exploring, I was often on the computer learning more about the digital world. My combined interest in computers and exploration naturally led me to the field of computerized mapping and geographic information systems (GIS). It never occurred to me that my enjoyment of maps and computers would become a career.


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