New tracking technology has enabled an array of geographically based web applications to spring into the consumers internet space. If we so desire we can track the locality of our significant others on the off chance of a catch-up meeting. We can walk down a street and our mobile device can tell us what products are available in our immediate vicinity. The tourism industry are reveling, with new opportunities to present information and assist travelers as they move. Tweets can be tracked and mapped to analyse trends of thought according to location. What else is to come? Certainly geographically based web apps are a growing industry, for us as consumers our movements mean a lot more than simply finding our way around town.
If you have ever watched Cricket on television you must have seen the shot analysis graphic. The one that shows the pitch and where, using different colors for different points, the batter has hit the ball. If you pay particular attention to this graphic you will see that the batter prefers certain kinds of locations to hit the ball. Ultimately the batter will probably have an ongoing shot profile in terms of his/her game that brings some consistency to how they move the ball around the ground during a game.
I think that the majority of the population have a similar movement profile. In that the majority of the people walk beaten tracks the majority of the time. If we took a step up and looked down from a great height we would see that our movements on a day to day basis over a year are very consistent. For example, in the working week the rhythm could be a definitive home, drop off, work, home with an occasional variant such as an evening activity. But even the evening activity would be predictable according to the day.
Now, in our travels we prefer certain roads, certain eating establishments and social places. Depending on your position and circumstance there are many places you simply cannot go. You can walk into most retail establishments, but few commercial premises and fewer industrial locations. When you travel you can travel on the roads but the great degree of land is off limits. Depending on financial positions your movement could be more restricted. For some the rising price of petrol has effected the number and distance of trips by road. On the cricket score graphic these longer trips would be considered as hitting a 6, the movement between work and home as 1’s and the extra variants to random occurrences around town as 2’s.
During a recession the price of goods and services have increased over the rate of income. So to the cost of owning and maintaining payments for our houses or dwellings. To compensate we simply move less. We sit at home, buy ourselves a big tv and satellite television and experience the world from our couch and what a world it is. It is a world full of surprises and most of all drama. As we retract financially, we retract physically and mentally.
Try something, grab a map of your town and pencil in the pathways that you travel on a frequent basis. Mark the ones most traveled in a thicker line to indicate their usage. You will soon see your scorecard and what it means to be living your life in terms of freedom of movement and probably freedom of mind. With common pathways and common environments come consistent thoughts, some good and some not so good. Sometimes these thoughts are repeated so much they feel as though they are decaying, they are exhausting, rusty thoughts that are pooling in our minds and soiling our free time.
Now if you seek to expand your geography and/or create new patterns of movement, you can live a truly free and interesting lifestyle. You can expand your experience and expand your mind at the same time. When you travel to new environments, and when you place yourself amongst new people your mind clears, cleans and begins to expand. A little bit of unpredictability and uncertainty disestablishes and shakes common beliefs, how we see the world changes and when the dust settles, we awake a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser than before.