Local Guides Spotlight is a Connect series that celebrates members of our community who are making a positive impact.
Local Guide Dagmar Thorisdottir is an Icelander living in Denmark. She’s been there for more than half her life. “I came to go to university and never left,” she said.
She first joined the Local Guides program after she was looking for an antique shop in a town she didn’t know. The stores she spotted on Google Maps didn’t have the correct hours of operation, and were actually closed when she got there. “Then I saw that I could actually change the map,” Dagmar said. “I could tell Google that the stores were closed—and they corrected the map. It was just perfect. Then, I was staying in a hotel, where the pin on the map was in the wrong location, and I could just move it. There was no turning back.”
Since then, Dagmar has enjoyed editing the map. “I mostly correct mistakes,” she said. “If I run into some wrong information, or a place that has closed, I usually try to correct that.”
Another one of Dagmar’s passions is knitting—one she shares with others by creating helpful lists. She’s guided people to great stores to buy yarn in places like Copenhagen and Reykjavik. We recently caught up with her to learn more about her experience as a Local Guide and her love for making knits.
What do you think is one thing everyone should do when they visit Denmark?
To really get the Danish feeling, you have to visit Tivoli. Not just for the rides, but just to wander around and look at all the great details. And try the open sandwich on rye bread with a snaps. [Editor’s note: Snaps, for those who don’t know, is a shot of an alcoholic beverage taken during a meal.]
What has your experience as a Local Guide been like so far?
Well, I just do it for me. I like reading other peoples [reviews]. Sometimes, their stories tell me that I don't have to waste my time going there or that the place is worth the trip. And, maybe, my stories will help someone else, too.
On Google Maps, you’ve made lists about yarn stores in different cities and reviewed many of them. Why do you think it’s important to help others find great places to get yarn and other knitting supplies?
It started with fellow knitters in Facebook groups asking about yarn stores in different cities. Then, one asked about yarn stores in my city. And I thought, “I can answer that.” … I went on Google Maps and there were a whole lot of stores, but almost no comments on them. I also had to use a few different search terms to find these stores.
So I thought, why not save these stores on a [list]? I had read about #LetsGuide #OnGoogleMaps a few days before ... I thought, that is smart, let's do that. Now, I just have to visit as many of these stores as I can manage and, of course, I'll have to by some yarn. ;-)
How do you hope your contributions will make a positive impact for others who see them?
If just one person can find what they are looking for, that's fine by me.
How did you first become interested in knitting?
I learned to knit in school. I must have been about 8 years old. I knitted a pair of mittens. One was twice as big as the other. Then I started knitting again as a teen. There was this jumper that all the girls wore. I just had to have one, too. I didn't stop again until after my son was born. I guess I just got too busy—and he didn't want to wear my knits. They scratched, he said. I started again about 10 years ago. Since then I always have something on the needles.
What advice do you have for people who hope to pick up knitting?
Join a local knitting group. There are knitting groups that meet up everywhere. You can start by finding a group online but ask in your local yarn store if there is a group in your area. If not, then start one.
What are some ways other Local Guides could help you find great places to buy yarn and other supplies?
Correct the category. When looking for yarn stores in France this summer, I got all kinds of shops. Most of them were just clothes stores. Some were interesting, like a quilt store and a handmade artist store. But I had to read about every one of the 20 hits to find one yarn store.
What have you learned by being a Local Guide?
That you can actually change the world. Even if it is just the digital version of it ;-)
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Dagmar a little bit better! Do you have a hobby you love to share on Google Maps? Tell us about it in the comments below—and we may just feature you in an upcoming article!