Saturday, June 14, 2014

You Are Here

You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find OurselvesYou Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves by Hiawatha Bray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a relevant and informative read, and, as someone who loves a good map/atlas, enjoyable as well. It took me a little bit to warm up to the first chapters, but I got more and more interested as I got deeper into the book (chapters are presented chronologically). On the day I finished, a mapping car from HERE Maps actually drove past me while I biked to work, reaffirming how immersed I am in location technology.

Even though I'm new to the smartphone game (I just got my first one in February), it was easy to see how easy we of the 21st century have it, navigation-wise. The description of the first cell phones/911 calls associated with them were heart-breaking. I can't imagine being hurt and having no way of letting emergency services know where I was. On the flip side, I am a little creeped out by how easily anybody with the right information could locate me (one of the reasons why I keep my phone's GPS function switched off and rarely include locations on social media posts).

What's exciting about the future of mapping is the high quality of maps available to us as consumers. Maps are being created and modified/corrected daily by teams of passionate amateurs and anybody with access to a smartphone or computer. And these new maps aren't just of geographic landscapes--the insides of buildings are being mapped (think museums, malls, large/confusing structures) along with tourist destinations around the world, complete with photos and other relevant information.

It's a great time to be a traveler/world citizen/student of the globe!

Note: I received this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. This review is voluntary and opinions are my own.

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