Maps on Wheels: The Evolution of Automobile Navigation

Robert L. French

in Cartographies of Travel and Navigation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780226010748
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226010786 | DOI:
Maps on Wheels: The Evolution of Automobile Navigation

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This chapter begins with an overview of the history of mechanical devices used for road navigation. It then explores the relatively brief history of electronic navigational systems, which debuted in specific military and commercial applications ranging from jeep navigation to newspaper delivery. A future of automobile navigation is envisioned in which maps might once again play a relatively minor role as navigational tools. At the turn of the twenty-first century, this vision remains largely unrealized, in part because of the significant cost of digital navigation systems, but also perhaps because of the lingering sentimental hold exerted by paper maps.

Keywords: mechanical devices; road navigation; electronic navigational systems; maps; navigation systems

Chapter.  9682 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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