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The Complex Series of Symbols Early Motorists Used for Wayfinding (slate.com)
45 points by pepys on April 12, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments



They mostly seem self-explanatory to me, but I've always been interested in maps. My dad had 30 or so of the government-produced maps of Britain, for various regions he liked to go hillwalking. I was more interested in finding interesting features ("Tumulus", a disused quarry, a battlefield) than the walking.

Map symbols: http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/education-research/resources... (first PDF link, or the third if you'd like to see some Welsh)

Example map: http://streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=486745&y=233110&z=115 with roads, railway, woodland, Roman ruins (to the east), landfill/spoil, hills, ...


If found, receipt return to 23 Beaver Street, New York? I used to work for a tech company in the same building as the one which now occupies this space (though I used a Broad Street entrance); I believe 23 Beaver is now the entrance to the New York State Lottery offices. (The justice department has some juvenile-justice/family-court-something offices next door at 25 Beaver). It's just around the corner from Bowling Green and the Charging Bull, and it's on the south end of the same block as the New York Stock Exchange.

They probably had a different building there back in the day, but regardless, it seems likely that Edward W Brown was probably some sort of fancy Wall Street financier or similar, especially given that he was touring Long Island in an early motorcar...


He was vice president of the Sterling Salt company at the time[1] and later president[2]. He was also a "prominent yachtsman" and the son of Vernon H. Brown, the head of Cunard Lines' New York office.

[1] https://books.google.com/books?id=XFw3AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA4208

[2] http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F05E2DA173EE...


Would be interesting to see somebody try and follow some of the routes (either for real or on Streetview)


It is hard for me to imagine exactly what this looked like from behind the wheel. Symbols like "bear left" are still in use today on our no doubt much better roads. Then there is the symbol for "follow telephone wires". It implies a lack of sign posts, and possibly roads altogether. This gives me a glimpse of what driving/navigating was like, but not a complete picture. Anyone have more insight?


I started following the route on Google Maps. It looks like the route between the two ferries is still the same today (route 114) and while I didn't spot the hotel or the rustic gate, "follow telephone wires" seems like a reasonable thing to do here: https://www.google.com/maps/@41.083662,-72.351295,3a,75y,139... even when you're cruising along and come to a possibly-tricky junction when you haven't hit that first right turn yet: https://www.google.com/maps/@41.076737,-72.348464,3a,75y,159...


Would be interesting to see a re-use/re-purposing of some of these symbols .. seems like they all make a lot of sense - I wonder if I've seen them in some GPS applications before, seems like TomTom use the turn-direction symbols. Well, off to see if there's a font out there with these symbols in them ..


What are the chances that these appear in a future Unicode?


how long until the slate author discovers the secret language of pacenotes in rally car driving and someone posts them here?




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