Designing an edible flower garden: Basemapping

Subtitle for post:  In which Beth faces the tricky problem of scale…

I drew a quick sketch map of all of the elements in the the area that I was looking at, which you can see above.  Just for reference (as you have had a tour of the area), the left hand side is north and the right hand side is south.

You’ll see on the sketch map that I have started adding measurements.  I spent an afternoon going around measuring the whole space and I put the measurements on here to be transferred to an accurate scale map.

If you want some advice from an expert about how to draw an accurate scale map have a look at Hedvig’s blog here.  She’s the bomb at basemaps.  This was my first ever one, and I learnt a few things…

The first was don’t measure in inches.  I love inches, but they don’t transfer easily to a useful scale.  They’re too big, for one, and they go up in twelves.  So, in transferring every measurement on that map to an accurate scale map I had to first translate it into centimetres.

The second very important thing that I learnt was get your baseline measurements right.  Your baseline measurements are the measurements of the outside of the space.  They’re what everything else fits into and they’re quite extremely important.  Mine were not correct, and I couldn’t work out what it was that was sending my drawing – which seemed so accurate in every other respect – haywire.  Will, who is not afraid of numbers, saved the day by pointing out that my baseline measurements couldn’t possibly be correct if all of the other measurements were right.  So, we measured the space again and found I’d got it wrong by a few metres.  That sorted, everything else fitted in perfectly.

Here’s my finished to-scale basemap

Yep, you’re right, it’s the other way up from the sketch map (lesson number three – always keep to the same orientation).

So, my basemap was finished and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, but it had raised the tricky issue of self-limiting factors.  The thing is, I am scared of numbers.  I’m scared of numbers in the same way that I used to be scared of tools.  The sight of a page full of numbers makes my heart beat a little faster, and not with love.  My issue with tools went away when I taught myself to use a scythe and I realised that there’s a whole load going on with tool use that people who can use them don’t tell you about.  They don’t tell you that the tool isn’t just in their hands, it’s in their heads as well.  They’ve got a 3D model in there which they’re constantly checking against the real tool in their hands.  This is the kind of meta-skill that I was talking about in this post.

I think my issue with numbers, like my issue with tools will only go away through exposure and use.  So, I need to create situations where I need to deal with a page full of numbers and then take a deep breath and not run away or allow someone else to do it.  Anyone else have a similar issue?

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2 thoughts on “Designing an edible flower garden: Basemapping

  1. The base map looks good, and sounds like some really useful learning. I would love to hear how you get on with numbers…

    • betheatslocal says:

      Yep. I think I might try making a solar dehydrator… Like, on my own. I’ll be fine if I do it slowly I think. But that will involve numbers, planning, tools and accuracy. Bugger. Bugger. Bugger.

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