Big Picture Science – Time For a Map

by Gary Niederhoff on March 18, 2013

It’s hard to get lost these days. GPS pinpoints your location to within a few feet. Discover how our need to get from A to B holds clues about what makes us human, and what we lose now that every digital map puts us at the center.

Plus, stories of animal navigation: how a cat found her way home across Florida, and the magnetic navigation systems used by salmon and sea turtles.

Also, why you’ll soon be riding in driverless cars. And, how to map our universe.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: John Bradshaw on cat navigation
Part 2: Kenneth Lohmann on how Salmon spawn
Part 3: Simon Garfield with a brief history of maps
Part 4: Seth and Molly and the Viking Sunstone
Part 5: Red Whittaker and driverless cars
Part 6: James Trefil and the Space Atlas

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Mathew March 22, 2013 at 2:29 am

One point missed, when discussing why ‘we’ are always at the center of the map, (I prefer charts, maps are made to look at, charts to work with)

there is no value in a map that puts the user in a ‘corner’ for example as then you only have information in 270degrees, or at the top or bottom, 180degrees…

it is less self importance, and more pragmatic. LIving on the East Coast of the US, a map of New Zealand holds no value for me to sail the atlantic.

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