Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Who needs Google Maps?

In a new blog post Giovanni Tiso explains how Google Maps, which has apparently remained free of the deformities that cursed its Apple rival last  year, is allowing him to travel home, by mouse, to his beloved Italy.

Here in the Kingdom of Tonga archaic technology means that I can't easily use Google Maps and similar programmes to get a God's eye view of landscapes. Who needs digital technology, though, when you've got the mosaic map on the floor of the International Dateline Hotel?

The Dateline was the first large-scale hotel raised in Tonga, and its Kaliningrad-style concrete buttresses and balustrades have had a perhaps unfortunate influence on local architects. Nowadays the hotel is dim, dirty, and virtually deserted; mosquito netting peels from its windows, and the swimming pool which was once the pride of Nuku'alofa has become the sort of septic green stew out of which new and sinister lifeforms evolve in JG Ballard's more lurid novels.
I still visit the Dateline, though, to tread reverently over the enormous map of Tongatapu on its floor.
When I look down at the island and its outliers, I feel like I'm several hundred feet high.

With its bright colours that refuse to succumb to the grandiose melancholy of their surroundings, the map reminds me of the mosaic tableaux that survive amidst the Roman ruins of Giovanni's native land.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

TONGA WON DA LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:03 am  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

There used to be more cartography in your posts. Bring back cartography!

10:30 pm  

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