dog walkers

road map

Curious as to how people navigate themselves around what might superficially seem like an open, empty space, yesterday I set myself up at a carpark on Canada Common and chatted to dog walkers as they returned from their walks and asked them if they could describe where they’d just been.

Canada Common

I spoke to about a dozen sets of two-leggeds and four-leggeds with a range of results from which two different methods of navigating seem to be forming.

The first is by landmark: fixed things in the landscape to aim for. The bench on the hill; the pond; the white chimney; third pylon to the left from the big tree…

The second is by rule: look for water so the dogs can cool down; avoid water so the dogs don’t get too muddy; keep away from men; keep away from dogs that are bigger/scarier; avoid all that poo over there…

How might I re-draw a map of this area?