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The beginnings of GPS - 1920

It is hard to imagine today moving in places unknown to us without a navigation aid. We thank modern times for that, and yet the idea goes back more than a century.


In 1920, one could find the "Plus Fours Routefinder". This "navigator" manual looked like a watch and consisted of paper maps with two handles that manually scroll instructions of the path to follow. The set is made up of a multitude of scrolls that can be installed in the watch depending on the particular journey the driver needs to take. A nice collector's item these days.


Ten years later, in 1930, we find what looks more like what we know of today's GPS. Called "Iter Avto", it is the world's first automotive navigator. The map passes the screen in a tempo that depends on the speed of the car. The screen manually scrolls through paper maps that are attached to a cable similar to a modern mechanical speedometer. All that was missing was the gentle voice of the GPS and the satellite connection to guide us, but the principle was already there.


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