It’s always fun to compare the modern marvels of yesterday to their technological equivalent today. I spent about an hour on Charles Shopsin’s blog “Modern Mechanix: Yesterday’s Tomorrow Today” reading all of the old geospatial related articles I could find. A short article from a issue of Popular Mechanics extols the convenience of a Dashboard Map that Holds a Roadmap from November 1950. Just like the GPS units today it plugs into a cigarette lighter socket. Unlike the Garmin Nuvi lighter socket mount, it probably cost a lot more than around $10.00.
In another article from the early 1950’s, the author creates a business building 3d models for industry and business such as scale models of factory lots and contour maps of real estate property. The support and criticism of 3d models is very similar to those still being argued about geospatial modeling today. From “Isn’t there some easier way of selling those mountain lots than driving prospects 90 miles to see them?” to “Build little models,” he scoffed, “and you’ll have an income about the same size.” There are articles from old National Geographic’s on The Earth as a Satellite Sees It (1960), Modern Mechanix’s on Amazing Robots speed Check of Nation (1930 Census), and advertisements in Scientific American for Texas Instruments micro processors for data loggers (1977).