As a boy, Joseph Conrad spent hours staring at maps, imaging the world into being. This set the stage for his later travels and some of the best literature in the English language. I’m a bit like that with cheese (though I doubt that I’m going to create any great cheese literature). To look at a piece of cheese and try to picture its history, how it came it came into being, the intellectual and physical labour that went into its creation, what it means to people who actually live in the places where its made. Almost every time I put a piece of cheese into my mouth, I want to know more about it – I want to be in the place where it’s made.
I can’t imagine that I’m ever going to fulfill that desire, so I make up for it by staring at maps, looking for those places and imagining them into being. And now, thanks to Platial, I’ve found a way to plot them. Look at that map at the bottom of the front page. It’s interactive and you too can plot your favourite cheese. I’m still playing with it to see if I can make it a bit easier but if you follow the instructions below, you should see your cheese pop up on the map:
1) Click on the double-headed arrow at the top of the map to enlarge it.
2) Click “add a marker”
3) Adjust the map so that the production location is in the center of the frame
4) In the “type a title” field, enter the name of your cheese, click next
5) Position the courser pver your cheese’s location and click
6) Select the plain blue icon
7) Upload an image of your cheese if you have one
8) Click on the “save” icon
9) Close the expanded map.
Your cheese should show up on the map. You may have to reload the page before you actually see your cheese marker.