You Are Here

You Are Here

From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves

Book - 2014
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The story of the rise of modern navigation technology, from radio location to GPS#151;and the consequent decline of privacy

What does it mean to never get lost? You Are Here examines the rise of our technologically aided era of navigational omniscience#151;or how we came to know exactly where we are at all times. In a sweeping history of the development of location technology in the past century, Bray shows how radio signals created to carry telegraph messages were transformed into invisible beacons to guide ships and how a set of rapidly-spinning wheels steered submarines beneath the polar ice cap. But while most of these technologies were developed for and by the military, they are now ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Our phones are now smart enough to pinpoint our presence to within a few feet#151;and nosy enough to share that information with governments and corporations. Filled with tales of scientists and astronauts, inventors and entrepreneurs, You Are Here tells the story of how humankind ingeniously solved one of its oldest and toughest problems#151;only to herald a new era in which it's impossible to hide.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2014.
ISBN: 9780465032853
0465032850
Characteristics: xiii, 258 p.

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OhioEngineer Aug 12, 2014

A very informative book. Mr. Bray has a way of making even the most technical discussion interesting. I found the first part of the book about the history of navigation to be the more enjoyable. In these chapters he describes the long and difficult journey of mankind to figure out where we are. Then in the latter half of the book he covers the last few decades, when huge advances have been made. These chapters tend to drag a little as it is basically a rehash of current news stories. Mr. Bray's dislike of Google also comes through loud and clear, but overall he remains objective and gives a fair version of both sides of the current privacy controversy. I highly recommend this book.

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