I have seen a few maps pop up lately as memes to help add some lightness of our current living situations. Map-making has been around for a long time, to help us make sense of the world around us and help us find our way.
Bonner County can claim association with one of the early map makers of the Pacific Northwest, David Thompson. Thompson made maps and explored the region around Bonner County in the early 1800's as an employee of The Northwest Company. You can read about him in this Sandpoint Magazine article here. Now that the Museum is open, you can visit the The Early Years exhibit on the upper floor and learn more about David Thompson and the fur trade established during his time in the region.
Maps are interesting and beautiful, and we use them for so many different purposes. Some of my favorite maps are the ones of fictitious places found in books. I love resisting the urge to look at the map until after I am well into the book and have some context for the places referenced. Maps are often used as parts of games and video games. Think about the recent places you have seen maps other than the Google map on your phone. Speaking of Google, check out how they use a map to tell a story here.
Now we have seen maps as jokes, maps for navigation, and maps to tell a story. It is time to create your own map. Start by studying some different styles of maps an identity the significant features. I imagine it would have taken a special skill to be able to create a map without the technology we have today. Read about the steps that early mapmakers would follow and try some of them out. Next, pull out your sketchbook and choose something to map. A place you have visited, your neighborhood, maybe even a map of your bedroom. Get creative and do Bonner County as Middle-earth (if you are in the mood for a mash-up). Take it seriously or make it a meme! Regardless of the kind of map you make, think about David Thompson exploring our region and making one of the first published maps of the area. Join the tradition of local cartographers. Share your creations #athomewithBCHS.