A bit of and update on what I’ve been reading lately – I just got through reading The Traveller by John Twelve Hawks. It’s basically a conspiracy book on steroids set on a slightly different reality, with people carrying Japanese swords to defend a strange class of mystics called Travellers [sic].
It was interesting enough, but as I got closer and closer to the end it became obvious that there was no way this thing was going to be wrapped up in few remaining pages. So now I had a decision to make. The book was OK, but not necessarily good enough to continue across multiple volumes. After all, I had another stack of books waiting to be read. Knowing this, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to invest any more time in the book. I did finish it, and I enjoyed it, but I’m still wondering about the rest of the series.
Which brings me to what I’m reading now. While in Spartanburg last week I picked up a copy of John Lane’s Circling Home. Lane teaches at Wofford and lives on the west side of Spartanburg on Lawson’s Fork Creek. The premise of the book is that shortly after moving into his current house, he placed a saucer on a topographic map of his neighborhood so that his house was in the center. He then marked a circle around his home on the map, enscribing an area about two miles in diameter. His goal was to learn as much about that circle as possible.
One term that Lane used in his prologue was “Ground Truthing…”
Ground-truthing is verification by direct evidence obtained when you visit a place after having seen it in the abstract on a map or an aerial photograph. It is the truth you can find by interacting with the real world and examining a place and recording the data about it.
This statement really hit home. That’s basically what I’ve been doing on these road trips, both with my brothers and by myself. Granted, my explorations tend to be a bit more superficial. But given how much time I’ve spent on Google Earth lately, it really does sum up what I try to do.
So now I’ve got a great new phrase to use with my Google Earth workshops that start in the morning.