The Noisecast
The world's noisiest tech blog


Noisestash

June 6, 2011 @ 11:15 am CST

This Is What A GPS Looked Like In 1909

Written by: Eric Ravenscraft
Tags: , , , , , , ,

If you’re under 50 years of age, you’d be forgiven for thinking that interstate highways and city roads that can take you to every nook and cranny of a 50-mile wide city have always existed. However, around the beginning of the 20th century, when mass-production of cars was as relatively new of an idea as smartphones are today, getting around wasn’t remotely the straight-forward affair it is today. Enter the Jones Live-Map.

They weren’t dynamic like looking up directions on Google Maps is today. You could choose from a selection of pre-determined route. The directions came on a disc. The device tied into your car’s odometer so the proto-GPS could measure how long you’d been driving and when to move on to the next step on the directions. It’s unlikely, of course, that rerouting was possible since the device only knew how far you had traveled, not where, nor if you’d made a U-turn.

Given the time and the technology, it’s actually a fairly clever invention! If you lived in a time where your primary method for getting from place to place was to just drive up the local highway and ask whomever you happened to stumble upon which way you should take at the fork, a device like this would be even more stress-relieving than our modern-day GPS devices are.

It’s a healthy reminder, too, about just how far we’ve come. Just a little over a hundred years ago, it must have seemed scary and bewildering to leave your front door and go out on to the road, with little idea of how you would be getting home or even where you’re going. Now, taking a wrong turn and exploring your city is no more of a risk than trying a new dish at your favorite restaurant.

How far we’ve come indeed.


Source : The New Yorker



About the Author

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual.




 
 

 
Apple still lost with Maps (Image by valleygirl_tka via Flickr)

One year later, Apple still headed wrong way with Maps

After a weekend of record breaking sales on their latest iPhone offering (again), Apple got an unfortunate report published by FastCompany. A year after Apple nixed Google’s Maps for their own in-house map application, ...
by Alberto Lima
0

 
 
skitch1

Frustrated with iOS 6 Maps? Google has a sneaky APP for that.

While many are frustrated with the new iOS 6 Map Application that makes the Manhattan Bridge look like this. There is a solution. While there is no official app in the iOS app store just yet, Google has provided a sneaky work a...
by Tawnie
2

 
 
In the UK, it's 'Copyright Infringement' to follow links to a webpage.

Roundup: Almost the end of July

I have a knack for original titles. By the way, if you didn’t tune in to the latest podcast (shame on you), then you missed the awkward,time consuming glorious return of Ron. It was good. Here’s a trailer for a movi...
by Chris Ness
0