UPS drivers know where they are going…

…the old fashioned way.

UPS is prime example of a huge company that is data-drivenly ruthless in pursuit of efficiency. Crashes are extremely inefficient, so any strategy that prevents even a few of those adds up fast for them.

Everyone knows how packages are constantly scanned and tracked. Less visibly, the device the driver carries and the trucks themselves bristle with sensors that transmit positions and movements, even the opening and closing of doors. All this data is crunched in order to strictly supervise drivers and to constantly evaluate and improve methods and policies. It is not the kind of work environment I personally prefer, but I have no doubt they are very good at what they are doing.

So, UPS drivers must be beneficiaries of a state-of-the-art navigation system, right? Of course they are! There is no GPS screen. There are no turn by turn directions. Drivers are strictly prohibited from using their own phones for navigation. The company that micromanages everything it wants to, that could easily install the world’s most advanced wayfinding technology in their trucks has crunched the numbers and decided that safety and efficiency are maximized when drivers simply learn their routes and know their way around.

$50,000 worth of mapping for less than $10

Grab the deal while you can. People who love maps love US Geological Survey Topographic Maps.  Sadly, an inexpensive, attractive, top quality detailed map for each and every place in the country, once taken for granted, even if out of date, is becoming another Nice Thing we can not have. This unsentimental article tells why. […]

Fool’s Gold in the Data Mine

“America’s Taste in Beer, in Five Maps” baited me into clicking today. This kind of analysis is a cheaper way to feed the content monster than actual journalism, but it can be fun. This county map compiled geotagged tweets that referred to either “beer” or “church.”  One glance confirmed what everyone already knows, that the […]

Technology Revolution spinning in place

The technology revolution that surrounds us has long become like the Cuban Revolution, or the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. (Is that still officially underway?) At some point they were indeed revolutionary, but decades on? Please. With my back to the obsolescence wall, I have once again begun the task of getting new computers, upgrading software, […]

If you want to be a Real Blogger…

…do not attach your blog to your webstore. When you think of interesting things to say, you will stop and think, “Will this be good for business? Will it at least not alienate any customers?” And then you will be blocked.

Imus Geographics Hits the Big Time

A paper map must be pretty remarkable to get a glowing review in Slate. The very idea of a “Map Review” is remarkable enough. The Map Center has been too busy selling “The Essential Geography of The United States” to blog properly about it so it is nice to see the kinds of things I […]

Must you have a favorite?

Thank a reader for waking up “Why Read Maps” by sending a link to this: What is MY favorite map projection? I should have tried to say before I read the strip. Now it is impossible to make a decision uninfluenced by the comic. Come to think of it, those “What is your favorite…?” questions […]

Geography Quiz!

(Need for a quiz here was pointed out by a reader) First commenter with 3 correct answers will win one of these. 1. What is the world’s largest island in a body of fresh water? 2. Name the states that share a boundary with Rhode Island. No peeking! 3. This I borrowed from Click and […]

Why Read Music?

There is nothing new about technology changing the patterns of how people develop their brains, for better or for worse. Written language, the printing press, and the clock are some examples. Wondering about case studies that resonate with what is happening to spatial intelligence I found where I myself am stone guilty of taking the […]

Miracles are everywhere

According to the “Don’t be how much longer can we pretend to not be evil?” folks, the following is quoted at 2310 places on the web. I can not resist being #2311. I usually think too hard about my posts. Why not an easy one now and then? THE SITUATION In Washington,DC, at a Metro […]

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