Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

Terrible traffic today in London: i ended up having to jump in a cab to get to a conference session, but reckon it would have been easier to walk. So plenty of time to talk to the cabbie. In London, drivers have ‘the Knowledge‘, a much researched and well known ability to navigate any route in town. But it’s not free knowledge: it’s hard earned.

The Knowledge

Typically it takes a few years: you start on a bike, learning the main routes, then move on to progressively more complex and granular detail. The driver today, it took him five years to pass his tests (they ask you the route from A to B and you have to be able to recite every road, every turn, every name, from memory).

The process he described was fascinating: first learning the four hundred main ‘blue book’ routes across town, then doing his…

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