Our April 1 hour on maps was no joke — we took a closer look at a great new book by Boston Globe technology columnist Hiawatha Bray. His “You Are Here: From The Compass To GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves,” is a fun and fantastic read on society’s long quest to map and plan the world around us.
The hour dug into a lot more than just ancient maps and surprising historical facts — did you know that France was the first country to completely, accurately map all of its territory? — we also moved into some of the new ways our GPS-tracking smartphones are changing the way we know our world.
While some callers were concerned about our over-reliance on GPS devices and apps as a way to remove our familiarity with the world around us, one of our late guests uses just those GPS devices and apps to help his customers avoid running into the people they’d rather not see.
Udi Dagan is the founder of Split, “the Anti-Social App,” the latest in a long and never-ending line of smartphone apps getting the assorted Internet commentariat all a-buzzing, and it’s probably with good reason. His app uses geo-tagged social media check-in information — from Foursquare, Twitter, Instagram Facebook and more — to tell you when a loved one / mortal enemy is nearby, and provides you a route to avoid running into them.
“It offers an escape route to keep you safe,” Dagan said. “It’s about regaining control over your life. We provide the perfect anti-social experience.”