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Issue 14/2006, August 24 2006 (No. 220)
German version
Writing for the web (18)
Fürs Netz schreiben (18) German version 

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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
An English proverb

When I write in English, I bow to all the humanity and to the not existing flag of this planet. This bow is the idea to tell distant people down to the detail how we live in my town. Such an idea can only grow out of a technology (for example the technology of the internet) which makes it possible for those people to read my texts. At first it isn't very important that people really read my texts. But right from the start the question how those people live is a part of the idea.
In winter 2004/ 2005 I firstly searched for an answer to this question. In search of an answer I got in touch with Chirayu Parikh, who lives in Pune/ India. After a year and a half I have recently got a sign of life by email from Chirayu. I immediately have taken a look at his blog and I have found a reference to a website Wikimapia. Wikimapia makes it possible to have a bird's eye view, a pilot's view or an astronaut's view of every place in the world.

But there are strange restrictions. The pictures of the metropolis Bombay (for example) only have the second best resolution. You can clearly make out districts which have an intact infrastructure. But you couldn't clearly make out very small homes and very narrow streets (for example in the districts of the poor). In spite of those restrictions you can have a critical view of the earth's organism by means of wikimapia. Though you must be able to understand those photographs. You must have knowledge of town planning,of interpretation of aerial photographs and special knowledge of the regional circumstances.
kleinmexiko.de prefers to have a human worm's eye view of the world. The articles of The Daily Groove supply you with special knowledge of daily life in the town of Bremen. No aerial photograph will ever supply you with that special knowledge. But that special knowledge can help you to understand the aerial photographs. And the aerial photographs can help you to understand the articles. A bird's eye view and a human worm's eye view complement one another.

If such complementary sources of information are also available in an universal language, they can be useful to people in a lot of countries. They set people comparing, asking and thinking. They help people to see that our planet isn't only an accumulation of isolated places, but also a coherent whole.
Of course I also found an aerial photograph of the terraced housing estate where we live. A few months ago I wrote an article about a day on which people were not allowed to park their cars in the area of the housing estate because of roadworks. This article may complement the information of the aerial photograph. On Chirayu's blog you can also find a link which refers to an aerial photograph of the area where he lives. On Chirayu's blog you can also find a lot of articles about the infrastructure of Pune.
Finaly I thank Fr. Charles Dittmeier in Phnom Penh. I have been giving some links to his website Daily Life in Cambodia for a few months. Especially his articles about traffic, housing conditions and nutrition in Phnom Penh are very interesting, also in comparison with my articles about Bremen. Charles Dittmeier added kleinmexiko.de to his list of recommended websites. Thank you!
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)

Please read also:

Aerial photograph of the area where Chirayu lives.

Chirayu's article about the infrastructure of Pune

Aerial photograph of the area where we live.

My article about 'Klein Mexiko - carless'

Aerial photograph of Phnom Penh

Daily Life in Cambodia

Charlie Dittmeier's 'Recommended Links'

Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
Thursday, September 7 2006

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We would like to point out that we translated articles from German into English for the purpose of service. We would like to make it clear that the German translations are deciding, because the articles are directed to users who live in Germany.

Wir möchten darauf hinweisen, dass wir zu Servicezwecken englische Übersetzungen vorgenommen haben. Klarstellen möchten wir, dass maßgeblich die deutsche Übersetzung ist. Grund dessen ist, dass wir uns an in Deutschland ansässige Nutzer wenden.

Please also read Cats Talk (31)
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