Without a doubt, John Ogilby’s most famous work is his road atlas of England and Wales. The map shown has two features worth mentioning: a detailed map of London, at the beginning of the strip, and a side-strip showing Oxford, in the sixth twirl of the map. One hundred and fifteen years later, John Cary authored an atlas with strip maps, but the detail in the Ogilby’s version was difficult to surpass.
More than a century later, and we come to Gardner Chapin’s guide book – a precursor to the AAA TripTik, introduced in 1911 – which incorporates photographs and space for travellers to record notes about the nuances and details of their own journeys. Fifteen years later, we have the makings of a mechanical smartphone, a patented system with a rotating map, covering routes in New York, complete with water features and periodic north arrows for orientation. With the advent of GPS, cell phones (and their towers), Wi-Fi, and GIS, locations now have pinpoint accuracy, placing you in the map, as opposed to looking at one.