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Map geeks live in Albuquerque’s North Valley. Their home is a modest suite in an even more modest one-story brown stucco office building on North Fourth Street. Even the sign for the Public Lands Interpretive Association is modest. Fourth Street is commonly thought to be the route of El Camino Real, or Chihuahua Trail, that connected Mexico with Ohkay Owingeh pueblo, north of Española. An Albuquerque planning document corrects that “misperception,” reporting that El Camino Real had two routes through the North Valley, neither of them Fourth Street.
Maps organize knowledge, which is a great human achievement. Getting things right—eventually—is what maps are for, after all, urban mythology to the contrary.
The Web site, publiclands.org, is thorough, almost daunting. The products are resolutely paper.
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