How Google Maps and Gmail Will Distort Human HistoryBreaking News
How has the Internet changed maps?
Beyond anyone's imagination, really. The effects have been colossal and irreversible. If you were to say 20 years ago that we would all be walking around with free maps on our phones that placed us at the center of the world and told us where to go and how to get there, I would have thought you were crazy. The Internet has had more effect on maps, cartography, and the way we get around than anything else in two thousand years of map history. Rand McNally only covered America for a century. Now Google Maps, which has only been around for about five years, is all over the world and without a doubt the most influential map company in history. They have a lot of responsibility to get it right.
How has that affected the way we see ourselves in the world?
Our entire view of the world is skewed. Today we are always a little flashing blue dot in the middle of every map; we're the center of the world! But often that map is only 2 inches by 3 inches on your phone screen, which means that we get a very limited view of what's around us, and we look at the world in a very egocentric way. We can get in a car and travel across the country without really knowing how we got there because we're just following GPS commands. We learn far less and lose that instinct of what lies in relation to what. Why would anyone learn to read a map when it's all done for us? And why should I go spend $10 on a paper map when I can get it all for free on my phone? And the map will be more up-to-date on my phone too. It makes sense.
comments powered by Disqus
- The original Watergate lock that burglars picked open is going to auction
- Trump, Mueller And The Ancient History Of Grants Of Immunity
- Documents show Gorbachev was assured US wouldn't expand NATO into Central and Eastern Europe
- Memorial to honor 4,000 victims of lynching to be built in Montgomery, Alabama
- Study: Inequality is a phenomenon of the past 10,000 years
- Linda Gordon’s new book captures how white supremacy has long been part of our political mainstream
- Yale Civil Rights history course is a "call to action" and a chance "to be woke”
- Gil Troy back’s Trump decision on Jerusalem
- College Board revises AP European history test in response to criticism by conservatives
- AHA says it’s feasible to stop the proposed tax on grad student tuition waivers