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GOOD.is on Obscura Day, California City, and the power of exploration

Alissa Walker GOOD.is California City on Obscura Day 2010

Alissa Walker has posted a great essay about her Obscura Day outing to California City - a vast unbuilt suburb in Southern California - with photos that really give a sense of the scale of the proposed development in the middle of nowhere.

But the thing that really caught me was her comments at the end, about the potential power of our community of explorers to document and perhaps even preserve forgotten corners of the world. In her words: 

“I thought about places listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites or the World Monuments Fund, many of which are sorely in need of funding, renovation or simply attention. If outings like this can aid in the appreciation of at least 80 new sites in the first year, just think of how many places could eventually be recognized, cataloged and preserved by these armies of Twittering, Flickr-tagging enthusiasts. What we choose to do with that information could help anyone from architects to archaeologists. And maybe, like in the case of California City, our short journeys to these forgotten places could help us learn some important lessons about where we live the rest of the time.”

We couldn’t agree more.