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Photo-Auto Maps (1907)  (View post)

mak [PersonRank 5]

Thursday, August 16, 2007
16 years ago6,234 views

very similar to Google's street view!!

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

That must have been pretty expensive to create those Photo-Auto Maps.

<<An interesting variant of the guidebook was the photographic guide. Introduced in 1905 and issued by several companies, these guides contained photographs of the major strategic turns with captions indicating the direction of the turn along with the mileage to the next one. The accompanying strip maps in the guidebooks were linked to the turns portrayed in the photographs. The Rand McNally “Photo-Auto” Guides, twenty- five of which were issued between 1906 and 1910, were the most ubiquitous. >>

Dev [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

You might be interested in what Stephen J. Dubner (one of the authors of freakanomics) had to say about City Dept records, which were quite similar to Google Street View and privacy concerns

Mac Beach [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Nice to know that if there are any future lawsuits over the ownership of current mapping technologies there is solid documentation of "prior art"!

detestrian [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

I've seen something similar but even more antique – instead of maritime charts, what were apparently sometimes used were series of painted images of known routes in the treacherous Finnish coastline. Ingenious!

Martin [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

No, no prior art. The patent clearly is for old stuff, but "on computers" or "through computer networks". So it is clearly a new invention. Ask the USPTO, they agree...

Mike D [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

What's old is new!

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Wasn't there something where someone drew or photographed going down the Mississippi River on one long sheet of paper?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Here's another related project from MIT in 1978-80: [video]

[Via Andy Baio]

Ray Girvan [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

"conventional road maps were yet to be developed"

Far from it. People needed and used road maps long before cars: Paterson's British Itinerary (1785) is very similar to a modern one – check out Hampshire example ( – or there's even the 1306 Gough Map (

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