Maps, Maps and More Maps

First off, I hope everyone is enjoying the most wonderful time of the year. I’ve pretty much been immersing myself in college basketball the last fortnight and it reaches a peak in a few days as the Tournament is announced. I was thinking about heading down to AC again for the semifinals of the A-10 tourney, but I wanted to enjoy all of the conference finals today. Plus they’ll be under water with a nice 3-5 inches of rain and wind today (edit: The airport had a 67 MPH as the semifinals were going on)…not a fun drive on the Garden State Parkway. I will be able to attend a new stadium next Sunday and am tentatively planning to go the Wachovia Center. Unfortunately, Saturday is out and even though it’s only an hour away, I still have not been able to make it to the Prudential Center in Newark. I will buy tickets for the Flyers game Tuesday to make sure the weather/work is ok for me to go. I’ll update mid-week on if we’re good to go.

Part of the fun (for me anyways) for finding and heading to new facilities is the mapping. I’ve always had some weird interest in maps/geography and it’s interesting to me to see the layout or geography of a city or a region. Many years ago when I was creating The List, I put all of the cities or towns that had a stadium as a pushpin on a mapping program. That map is the image above and the red ones are cities that I have not visited a stadium in, purple indicates I’ve seen at least one of their multiple stadiums and green indicates that I have been to a game in all of their stadiums on the list. My program of choice is Microsoft Streets & Trips. I had the old ’98 version and then converted it over to ’03 and have used that ever since. In terms of actually routing out a trip, I used to be a big fan of Bing Maps with its road updates and wonderful birds-eye view. However, the latest updates have slowed the loading of maps to an annoying crawl. So I’ve recently switched to using the recently updated Google Maps. The maps there now look much cleaner, plus there are so many places and buildings labeled on their maps. Also, the street view is incredible. And of course, I use my GPS when heading out.

The cities with stadiums file that I have on Streets & Trips is real easy to update and there are now 624 pushpins on the map. I only have 565 more to go!! (wishful thinking). Anyway the program is great for me, because if I’m traveling for whatever reason, I can always refer to the map to see if there is a stadium on The List nearby. Planning vacations or sports trips would be much more time consuming without using this reference point. Pretty soon, I’m going to try and put this up on the page. Not sure how exactly, since I’m not all that good with web-programming, but I will try to see if it will work. I looked into just making a new map on Bing or Google, but it wasn’t as pretty to look at and would be way too time-consuming. What I’ll probably end up doing is posting an image of each state and if you make any trip planning you can reference the map and the stadium list. The link will likely end up at the top of the page. In the meantime, enjoy the college hoops, or the culmination of the NHL season….or for those of you waiting for baseball, Opening Day is 23 days away!

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