Wow: How Road Maps Were Made in the 1940s!

This short video is absolutely a must-watch for today’s digital and crowdsourced-mapping enthusiasts. Produced by Chevrolet in the 1940s, Caught Mapping is an educational film that provides a truly intriguing and at times amusingly enter-taining view into how road maps were made at the time. The contrasts with today’s live, crowdsourced, social-media maps rich with high-resolution satellite imagery are simply staggering. This is definitely worth the watch!

Compare the roadmap-making of yesteryear with OpenStreetMap’s impressive map-making efforts in Haiti 2010 (video below) and Japan 2011, for example.

What do you think map-making will look like in 2040? Will we still be making maps? Or will automated sensors be live mapping 24/7? Will 2D interfaces disappear entirely and be replaced by 3D maps? Will all geo-tagged data simply be embedded within augmented reality platforms and updated live? Will we even be using the word “map” anymore?

4 responses to “Wow: How Road Maps Were Made in the 1940s!

  1. No, the real question is: in 2040, will the soundtrack of the Open Street Map video sound as overbearingly dorky as the 1940 soundtrack and narration does to us now? :-)

  2. With huge power outages here in Arlington and also DC and Maryland, the local Verizon DNS server broken, (and Amazon’s Netflix server down to add to some frustration nationally) a networked map is useless – all digital stuff down yesterday (June 29) from about 6 a.m. until noon – so paper map, paper phone book/list and an old analog phone backup in the kitchen is wise : ) We have friends coming over this afternoon for shower, laundry and a dose of A/C.

  3. Pingback: Some old mapping films | The Semaphore Line

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