Wristwatch Maps as Early Navigation System

Wristwatch Maps as Early Navigation System
Christine Huang
  • 1 october 2008

A bit of archaic innovation/inspiration: Kottke points us to this precursor to satellite navigation, called the ‘Routefinder’ – a wristwatch-like device from the 1920s that offered simple route and mileage information for drivers in the UK. The analog navigation system allowed users to slot in interchangeable map scrolls that corresponded with different routes which they could physically scroll through as they journeyed on. The patented device is currently on display at the British Library along with several other pieces of “weird and wonderful labor-saving gadgets” that got lost – but not forgotten – in the annals of history.

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