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Visiting the UP

2009/03/17

The universal polygon is all around you. Literally all around you. 

Next time you’re on a sidewalk, take a look at one of the sections. How many polygons do you see?

If you said two, you’ve taken a GIS course. Good, that’s a good first step. For those that haven’t, there’s the rectangle  defined by the section and the rectangle that covers the entire world around the section. How awesome is that?

I think we need to come up with a suitable term for the 3D version of the UP. I bet there’s one somewhere in topology. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

I’m pretty bummed that the new spatial education site, teachspatial.org, doesn’t bother to mention it and instead includes this:

In the most profound centers which have perfect wholeness, there is at the heart a void which is like water, infinite in depth, surrounded by and contrasted with the clutter of stuff…(p 222). The need for the void arises in all centers. (it is a) psychological requirement…a living structure can’t be all detail (p 225).

from here:

Alexander, C. (2004). The Phenomenon of Life: The Nature of Order, Book One. New York: Oxford University Press

I’m not sure that spatial literacy is well served by metaphysical mumbo-jumbo. The universal polygon is all around us.

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