She finds that both the makers and users of maps struggled with changes brought about by technological innovation—the compass, quadrant, and astrolabe—rediscovery of classical mapmaking approaches, and increased travel. To reconcile the tensions between the conservative and progressive worldviews, mapmakers used a careful blend of the old and the new to depict a world that was changing—and growing—before their eyes.
This engaging and informative study reveals how the ingenuity, creativity, and adaptability of these craftsmen helped pave the way for an age of discovery.
All of these experiments involved the realization that maps were not just illustrations of data, but visual tools that were uniquely equipped to convey complex ideas and information. In Mapping the Nation, Susan Schulten charts how maps of epidemic disease, slavery, census statistics, the environment, and the past demonstrated the analytical potential of cartography, and in the process transformed the very meaning of a map.
Today, statistical and thematic maps are so ubiquitous that we take for granted that data will be arranged cartographically. Whether for urban planning, public health, marketing, or political strategy, maps have become everyday tools of social organization, governance, and economics. The world we inhabit—saturated with maps and graphic information—grew out of this sea change in spatial thought and representation in the nineteenth century, when Americans learned to see themselves and their nation in new dimensions.
Never Lost Again chronicles the evolution of mapping technology—the "overnight success twenty years in the making." Bill Kilday takes us behind the scenes of the tech’s development, and introduces to the team that gave us not only Google Maps but Google Earth, and most recently, Pokémon GO.
He takes us back to the beginning to Keyhole—a cash-strapped startup mapping company started by a small-town Texas boy named John Hanke, that nearly folded when the tech bubble burst. While a contract with the CIA kept them afloat, the company’s big break came with the first invasion of Iraq; CNN used their technology to cover the war and made it famous. Then Google came on the scene, buying the company and relaunching the software as Google Maps and Google Earth. Eventually, Hanke’s original company was spun back out of Google, and is now responsible for Pokémon GO and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Kilday, the marketing director for Keyhole and Google Maps, was there from the earliest days, and offers a personal look behind the scenes at the tech and the minds developing it. But this book isn’t only a look back at the past; it is also a glimpse of what’s to come. Kilday reveals how emerging map-based technologies including virtual reality and driverless cars are going to upend our lives once again.
Never Lost Again shows us how our worldview changed dramatically as a result of vision, imagination, and implementation. It’s a crazy story. And it all started with a really good map.