Thursday, February 18, 2010
HA! Did my title fool you at all? Did you think I was about to make Frogma history with a review of a new electronic wonder-gadget?
Nope. Maybe someday, but not today & not tomorrow. Me, I'm still sort of attached to paper charts, a compass, and knowing where I am. It's not that I'm against GPS's or iphone apps or all the other doohickeys available to a person who wants to find their way around electronically - it's just that for my usual purposes, the non-digital stuff I've already got works fine (and the batteries never run down!).
Nope, what I'm referring to when I say "paperless" charts today is simply charts made from materials other than paper, like the one above.
This is a stick chart of from the Marshall Islands, showing a group of islands (marked by shells) and the directions & interactions of the ocean swells as they pass through (shown by the sticks).
I think it's safe to say that almost anyone that grew up in (or has even just spent some time in) the Pacific Triangle has seen one of these. I don't know about the rest of you, though, and I thought it would be fun to show you one today. I was reminded of these Polynesian stick charts after learning about another pre-paper wayfinding tool. This kind, I'd never seen before this week, and I thought it was just fascinating. See it for yourself over on E.B. Klassen's Kayak Yak.
You can read more about the use of the Polynesian stick charts at Jane's Oceania, where I found the picture above. For many more beautiful examples & a whole slew of additional links to more info, try The Nonist.