Of course an objective map is a myth; every step of the cartographers art involves choices, editing, naming, focusing and pretending otherwise is disingenuous. Its particularly interesting to see the gap between an official neighbourhood boundary, used perhaps for admin purposes, and contrasting it with residents perceptions of where they think they live. Much frustration can ensue (I speak as someone who feels like i live in Whalley Range but actually don't)
I was musing on this when studying the Ardwick Heritage Trail, produced for the Victoria Baths Neighbourhood Master Plan. I'll confess I've only seen a paper copy but the website is here http://www.ardwickheritagetrail.btik.com/ (actually I've just looked and there are a lot of blank pages)
Now this is a very useful resource and nicely done; it covers some important and amazing places such as The Pankhurst Centre, Victoria Baths, The Gaskell House, The Armenian Church are more - well worthy of accolades and recognition - and bonus points for details of public transport.
But some curious choices have been made. The Whitworth Gallery doesn't feel like Ardwick does it? And where is Ardwick Green? A really interesting park, with its own glacier, and a ragged school, Manchester's second oldest church, the grave of moles marvel and one of my favourite gargoyle's surrounding it. Hmmm.
I can't help but contrast the 'official' tour with that devised by the indomitable Miss Euphemia P Niblock last year. Having spent many years studying Brunswick and becoming its passionate champion it saddens me she was obviously not consulted by the powers that be.
I was privileged to take tea with various scholars and artists at the areas cultural heart - Apartment - before being escorted on a magical tour which encompassed all kinds of delights from colonies of parrots, lost sky walks (i note failed regeneration masterplans have no place in history), radical adventurers, guerrilla gardeners and more.
Although the marvellous Miss Niblock was otherwise engaged her spirit and wisdom was imprinted all over the place. She surely is a national (not just local) treasure and an inspiration to all loiterers everywhere. I commend her writings to you http://www.diaryofabluestocking.blogspot.com/ as an excellent guide to not just our fair city's post industrial heritage but also life in general.