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Sombrero Guy
Psychogeographer
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45 + 127 points

Take a map of your area... by Sombrero Guy

April 13th, 2010 3:48 AM / Location: 50.736020,-1.844844

INSTRUCTIONS: Colour in all the bits you are familiar with. Surprise! Look at all those bits you've never explored before.
Now go...

Only when you have discovered the secrets that lie in your own back yard are you fit to explore the rest of the world.

I live in quite an interesting location. To the East is Littledown, a posh, expensive area; to the West is Springbourne, a somewhat less desirable place, according to estate agents when we were looking for a house here. To the North is Queen's Park, another expensive area around a golf course; to the South is Boscombe, and the less said about that, the better, according to anyone who doesn't live around there.
And I live right in the middle. Halfway between greatly contrasting areas.

In the context of this task, I had to decide what counted as 'my area'. As there are no natural boundaries I can use, and as the various parts of Bournemouth tend to merge into each other, I simply took a circle with a 1 mile radius around my house. I shaded the parks and streets I knew in red, and where I knew a whole block, filled it in. I split it into different sectors, so that each time I went out to explore my area I had a clear goal of filling in one sector. As it turned out, most sectors took a good 2-3 hours to get around.
main_sectors88674.jpg

Below, my expeditions are set out in the order in which I took them. I was surprised by how much of the area so close to my house I didn't know, and by some of the more unexpected things I found. It was strange to find some rather large and important things I'd not known about the area I live in.
I imagine this must be quite a boring praxis to read through. Many of my photos are of normal, everyday streets and sights. The differences that can be seen in this small area, though, are quite striking, and that is, perhaps, where more interest lies. In my little circle of Bournemouth, there is massive variety and diversity. Anyone with enough time to waste can look through all the photos, and read my notes in full. For those of you who can't be bothered (because there are quite a lot of them), I have picked out highlights from each sector to put in the main praxis. Welcome, then, to a guided tour of my area.

Littledown Sector



Littledown is quite an expensive area. Most housing is in the form of large detatched homes. There are individual designs, bungalows and estates.
Highlights include:

An emergency services rendezvous point
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Prison-style security on school gates
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An alien spaceship in disguise as a house
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A sock on a wall
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An abandoned miniature railway
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Rubbish security
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Anti-traveller boulders
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After this first outing, almost the entire Littledown Sector was shaded red.
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Springbourne Sector



Springbourne is a more run-down area. There are small houses in terraces and council flats. Despite this, it still has a lot of nice parts and is in general not as bad as everyone says. I knew almost none of this sector before this exploration, and almost got completely lost at one point.
Highlights include:

Springbourne Christian Centre, a nice building
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A road that chose its name very well
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An empty factory, possibly once used in the making of lemonade, although that is almost a complete stab in the dark.
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Peeling paintwork
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St Clements Church
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An unexpected green haven amidst the urban environment
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A stone turtle
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A business park I never knew existed
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After this second outing, the map was looking satisfyingly more red than before.
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School Sector



This sector contains my route to school; my daily pilgrimage. As such, I knew quite a bit of this sector already, so it wasn't going to take very long to fill in. When I finally had a free period and it wasn't raining, I ventured out of school for an hour to look around.
Highlights include:

Mud
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Trees
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Some useful paths
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Upper class snobbery
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Peaceful roads and avenues
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After this outing, the whole school sector was now red.
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Castlepoint Sector



This sector is named for the large shopping complex which lies just to the north of the 1 mile boundary. It is on the border of Queen's Park and, like the school sector, contains some very big houses and posh looking streets.
Highlights include:

A mysterious building that turned out to be a church
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Random patches of woodland
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An unexpected view point
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A skip full of random items
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A community centre in need of some care and attention
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Graffiti on a shed
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After this trip, the whole top section of the map was looking impressively red.
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Boscombe Sector



Contrary to its modern reputation, it's clear that Boscombe was once a nice area. If you look, you can see the shadows of a richer past. The houses, while they look a little run-down and in need of repair, are quite large.
I was surprised not to find more items of interest in this sector, It was mainly residential, with few random sights to photograph.
Highlights include:

A park I was not previously aware of
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A cat
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Churches, which are always the best buildings for some reason
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An old car being thrown out with the rubbish
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Daffodils by Shelley Manor
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Sea views
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After this trip, unsurprisingly, the map was even more red.
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Charminster Sector



This was a mainly residential sector, as well as being the smallest of my sectors, so there was not too much of interest. Nevertheless, there were a few things.
Highlights include:

A patriotic household flying flags
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Another church
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Winton recreation ground
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A wrecked car
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The Tuk Tuk Thai, an internationally renowned restaurant
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After this trip, there was even less white space. Not much to do now...

King's Park Sector



The largest of my map sectors, and the one which will probably take the longest time to cover.
Highlights include:

The park itself
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More churches
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Bournemouth Deaf Centre
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Demolition
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Bad parking
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A nice building which isn't a church, for once; it's a school for chiropractors
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A weird sculpture
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A painted missing dog poster. Apparently, it was never found...
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After this sector, a large portion of white had been obliterated.
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Empty Sector



This sector is so named because I knew absolutely nothing of what it contained before setting out to explore. As it turned out, it was pretty... well, empty. It contained almost nothing but residential streets. There were a few shops and interesting buildings, but there were no green spaces, and only one church.
Highlights include:

Pubs
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A church
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Shops
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A language school
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Not much else
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And so, finally, I was finished.
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It took a long time, but I now know far more about the surroundings of my house than I did previously. This is not a task I carried out for enjoyment. It was more about discovery, and the great sense of achievement on completing it. I'm not going to lie, it did get boring trudging up and down extremely similar streets. But then it suddenly became worth it when I stumbled across the most unexpected things.
Exploring your local area is something I would recommend to all of you. You needn't visit every single street, or have specific targets set out. Just start somewhere near where you live, but you are unfamiliar with, and take it as more of a dérive. You, like me, might be pleasantly surprised by some of the things you find.

+ larger

The Map of My Area...
Sectors
Emergency Services Rendezvous Point
Bishops Close
A path into Kings Park
The path
Giant hopscotch?
Straying from the path
Avonbourne School
Portchester school
Security
Sevenoaks Drive
Shepherds Way
The TARDIS
A nice design
Green spaces
A lookout point
Sock on a wall
The main entrance to JPMorgan
Abandoned miniature railway
Turntable
Presumably once the tracks for a model railway
JPMorgan offices
So much for security...
Walking along the rails
The end of the loop
The railway is overgrown
The Wessex Way
Monkeybars
The lake in Littledown Park
More great security from JPMorgan
Beyond the gate
Harewood Gardens
Mock tudor houses
Maze
Boulders
Bank Road
Surgery
Harewood Avenue
Bungalows
Regeneration
Littledown Avenue
Variety
William Road
Leeson Road
Map after the first trip
Grants Avenue
Southbourne Christian Centre
Ashley Close
Spring Road
Lincoln Avenue
Further along Spring Road
Empty factory
Northcote Road
Access point to the railway
Peeling paint
Windham Road
The Cricketers
The other side of the factory
A garage
St Clement's Church
St Clements Church
St Clements Church
Tree roundabout
Freemason's Hall
Hengist Manor
Hengist Road/Drummond Road
Carlton Road
Spencer Road
Knyveton Road
Bowling green
Knyveton Gardens tennis courts
A hotel on Frances Road
Log in Knyveton Gardens
Pond in Knyveton Gardens
Stone turtle!
Business park
Vehicle depot
Southbourne Library
Bridge over the Wessex Way
Capstone Place
Please cross here
Digger
Map after the second trip
Muddy path
Mallard Road
Woodland
Summerbee School
Tracks
Trees
Recognition!
Navigating the woodland
I see a path!
Bower Road
Bower Road
Broad Avenue
Hadden Road
Brackendale Road
The corner of Queen's Park
No taxis beyond this point
Burnham Drive
Up a hill
Burnham Drive
A new level of posh
A useful path
Howard Road
Ashling Crescent
Ashling Close
Another handy path
Charminster Road
And back to school
Map after the third trip
Burnt car
Queen's Park
Queen's Park lake
Follow the path
Golfers
Across the Wessex Way
A handy path
Cooper Dean Drive
Longbarrow Close
Leydene Avenue
Mysterious building
Craigmoor Close
Inglewood Avenue
Midwood Avenue
I'm a bit disappointed
Confusion
Shed
Woodland
Path through the trees
Path to Parkway Drive
Path to Feversham Avenue
Electricity
Sandy Mead Road
Road with a view
Linkside Avenue
Steps
Another square of woodland
More trees
More confusion
Summerbee School
A park
More woodland
Wordsworth Avenue
Normanhurst Avenue
Skip
Vanguard Road
Strouden Park Community Centre
Flats
Path from Feversham Avenue
Woodland
Copsewood Avenue
Broad Avenue
Queens Park Avenue
Graffiti
Map after the fourth trip
Boscombe Grove Road
Railway bridge
Borthwick Road
Park
Park
Walpole Road
Cat
Estate Agents
Towards the church
Hamilton Close
Another church
Old car
Second floor balconies
Boscombe Crescent
Salisbury Road
Another church
Pink house
Wilfred Road
Blue beamed house
Shelley Manor
Daffodils
Daffodils
Almost on the clifftop
Large chimney
Garden Gnome
Apartments
Proper sea views
Another sea view
Owls Road
Hotel
Mapo after the fifth trip
Emerging from the underpass
Footpath
Bethia Road
Queen's Park corner
Approaching the Wessex Way again
Wessex Way
Queen's Park South Drive
Queen's Park Road
Richmond Wood Road
Patriotism
Colour
Richmond Park Road
A church
Linwood Road
Winton Recreation Ground
Trees
Wreckage
Charminster Road
Firbank Road
Fiveways
Cecil Avenue
Cecil Hill
St Albans Crescent
Saint Albans Avenue
Map after the sixth sector
AFC Bournemouth
East cemetary
Sports fields
School field
Durrington Road
Waltham Road
Lascelles Road
Dead End
Kings Park Central Drive
Church
Around the back
Junction
Rebbeck Road
Locked
Through the gate
Angles
Scotter Road
Bournemouth Deaf Centre
West Road
Pauncefote Road
Queensland Road
Demolition
Expensive car
Bad parking
Exterior decoration
Nice building
Anglo-European College of Chiropractic
St. James Square
Red brick church
Church from the front
What the hell is that?
Familiar territory
Somerset Road
Wickham Road
As expected
Grasmere Road
Bournemouth Centre for Community Arts
You guessed it
Wolverton Road
Missing
Funfair
Map after the seventh sector
Into the unknown...
Shaftesbury Road
A nice tree
Entering Capstone Road
Capstone Road
The Richmond Arms
Shelbourne Road
Shops
A church
Church
An interesting building
Garage
Lowther Road
Wasteland
A way out
Beechey Road
The Brunswick
Nortoft Road
That interesting building again
Map after the last sector

27 vote(s)


Terms

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6 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by done on April 13th, 2010 4:25 PM

That seems to be a nice town you're living in. Also I find that completion inspiring. Now I wanna do this task as well!!

(no subject)
posted by Fealix on April 13th, 2010 7:47 PM

Well done sir you really got about everywhere!

(no subject)
posted by Samantha on April 14th, 2010 12:08 AM

wooooooooooooo!

right on!

(no subject) +1
posted by rongo rongo on April 15th, 2010 8:10 PM

I like your method of the 1-mile radius and sectors.
A few weeks ago, I walked several blocks on a street near my house, and found myself in a schoolyard that I'd never seen before. Then, I ran into a coworker who lives on that street. Your completion does a great job of showing how many unexplored places are right near home.

(no subject)
posted by Kommando on May 9th, 2011 4:47 PM

you have an awfully large number of churches near you.

(no subject)
posted by Amoeba Man on July 30th, 2012 10:59 AM

Not bad!