“You can’t use an old map to explore a new world.”

Years ago we were walking through the Doge’s Palace in Venice and stumbled into the Map Room where, as far back as the 16th century, the Serenissimo Principe could view the vast reach of his Venetian empire.

I got close to one of the two huge globes set into ancient rollers, and saw the crude outlines of what is now North America. Inching closer, I spied the St. Lawrence River and what is now Lake Ontario. I looked north and saw in tiny letters Sainte-Marie tra gli Uroni. Could that really be the site of the Catholic Martyr’s Shine outside of Midland, 20 km east of our cottage? Indeed, it was.

Whoever said “beauty is not on the map” did that before maps went online and turned cartography from an often historical and static information source into a futuristic and predictive one.

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