I'm on a mission in Germany, and Google maps is helping significantly.
With a couple of weeks free between finishing up at the Hansa Theatre and heading back home, I want to check out as much of the thriving German variety theatre scene as I can. After a few weeks of research (mostly by asking the rest of the cast), I ended up with a list of active variety theatres:
The Wintergarten theatre in Berlin, Höchst and Tigerpalast in Frankfurt, Friedrichsbau in Stuttgart, Krystalpalast in Leipzig, Apollo in Dusseldorf, Palazzo tents in Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Mannheim, and Berlin, and GOP Variety Theatres in Munich, Hanover, Essen, Münster, and Bad Oeynhausen (a place that sounds faintly terrifying).
My knowledge of German geography isn't that great, and with a list like that it was hard to know where to even start planning a trip. Luckily, Google Maps has a great feature for this kind of situation: the custom maps function.
I looked up the addresses for all the theatres online, plugged each one into Google Maps, and saved them to a custom "Germany Variety Tour" map. This would also be useful later on for actually finding the theatres once I reached each city.
The visualisation that emerged immediately suggested a plan of attack:
One flight to Munich and a two-week train pass later, I'm ready to curve northward back up to Hamburg, seeing as many of the venues as I can along the way.
Having all the data saved in a custom map also makes it much easier to find well-located hotels, since I can just see where the theatres are in relation to the main train stations in each city, and search for a hotel accordingly.
It's going to be a fascinating trip, and a logistically much easier one thanks to Google's custom maps feature. It also means I can easily export the map and share it with others. So if you ever find yourself in the extremely specific situation of planning a variety theatre tour of Germany, let me know. I can hook you up with a kick-ass geographic map data visualisation.
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