A news article this week described a group of photographers as “map nerds”. The volunteers are part of an online community project called Geograph, which aims to collect "geographically representative" photographs in every square kilometre of Britain and Ireland.

Over 16 years, 13,000 contributors have submitted seven million pictures covering 281,000 Ordnance Survey (OS) grid squares. So far, Geograph, a charity, has mapped around 85 per cent of the grid squares, with photos across a huge spectrum of rural and urban environs.

At first glance, the archiving project does appear geeky and obsessive. The complex website even challenges photographers to score points (“not prizes”) for photo “firsts” – and there is a leaderboard covering numerous contributor categories, plus awards for “outstanding achievements”.

Yet, within minutes I’m absorbed. I’m drawn first to my own locality, then I scroll over the map searching for places I’ve visited and those I’ve not. I click on random spots – summits, coast, villages – mulling over the photos and enjoying the views, from spectacular to obscure.

I start to wonder where the 15 per cent of “unphotographed” areas of Britain might be and I consider the challenge of becoming the first to snap an image in one of these unmapped 1km grids.

It turns out that I might also be a map nerd.

Certainly, maps have long been – and still are – a huge focus of my life. At least once a week, I select an OS map from the bookshelf or one of many map boxes and ponder my next walk, run or bike ride. Two new hobbies, wild swimming and sea kayaking, also require more map pondering.

I still enjoy the process of carefully laying out a paper map to its full extent, usually on the floor, gently flattening and smoothing the worn creases and homing in on an area of interest.

I can now read a map, almost as if I am there, taking in the myriad contour lines, crags, summit markers, waterways, forests, beaches, roads and so much more.

I can also lose hours while mapping a new route for an outdoors trip on one of my favourite digital map websites or apps. (I confess I have more map subscriptions than I genuinely need.)

Since moving to the Scottish Highlands, I’ve been able to further indulge my map-based exploration, searching for places to visit on my doorstep.

Maps have also led me to other “obsessions”. I’m a dedicated ticker of lists, especially Scottish summits. I’ve only one more Munro to bag to finish a round of the 282 Scottish mountains with a summit of more than 3000ft.

I’m almost 70 summits into a list of 222 Corbetts (mountains with a height of between 2500ft and 3000ft). I also collect other mountain categories, such as Donalds and Grahams, and I’ve a photographic record of “trigs”. It is pertinent that trigs are the triangulation pillars that were originally used as part of the process of creating OS maps.

I love a long-distance walk, run or cycle and I’ve mapped many trails of past and future adventures. I have another growing roll of visited islands.

If this is what being a map nerd is, I’m happy to join the gang. Now, let me see, I’m sure I spotted a kilometre square not too far from home that is so far “unphotographed” on Geograph…