Technology’s Crutch – The Decent of Man – Part Two

What a rush!! Did that trip in the way-back-machine leave your head spinning? Well, buckle up you’re in for a doozy this time.

Maps. We’re going to talk about maps. Not Google or GPS maps but a large piece of paper covered in lines, symbols and names.

Using maps is how people got around for centuries. Men who make maps are called cartographers and for the longest time were held in the highest esteem.

Maps were especially critical for use on ships. The maps that ship’s captains used were call ‘rudders’ and were extremely valuable as ships followed coastlines, prior to the advent of celestial navigation methods, with all their associated perils (reefs, sandbars and shallow water).

When a ship was captured the first thing, yes – the first thing, the enemy did was to try and get their hands on the ship’s rudder. Gold and silver were secondary (except maybe, for the Spanish). Rudders were updated by the ship’s navigators with corrections and new data as coastlines are constantly changing due to storms and tides.

These maps used images associated with directions, tides and hazards as well as words because the majority of the crew, not to mention the population, were illiterate.

Can you read a map? Do you have a map(s)? It is probably a good idea to have some as a backup if your GPS fails for some reason. Here is a map question for you. What is a compass rose? Hint, it is not a plant.

Think Global – Act Local