20 Years of Tech: The Evolution of Mapping Technology

corcystems evolution of maps


At CorCystems, we’re all about providing your business with the latest and most up-to-date technology to meet your IT requirements. We’ve been in business for the last 20 years, and to celebrate our years of service we’re bringing you interesting facts about the changes in technology we all have experienced. 

Let’s look back at how mapping technology has developed since the early 2000s into current day. 

Where It All Began: Paper Road Maps

Do you remember the days when you would take out your paper road map that was tucked into the open compartment of the inside of your car door? It was coffee-stained, creased, folded a hundred times over, and it was your greatest companion for road trips. 

When you planned a trip, your paper road map or atlas could show you a large picture of the area you would be traveling to. This was helpful for understanding scale and distance in a visual way. Paper maps also allowed you to view a number of different routes and roads to get to your destination. With modern technology, your GPS already calculates the best route for you, but it may lead you down an unnecessary path in a rural area. A paper map gives you the ability to choose your own options, especially when you are in an area without cell phone coverage. 

Next Integration: Online Web Mapping 

mapquest on computer

After the invention of the Internet and the World Wide Web, the 1990’s gifted us with MapQuest and other online web mapping services. If you had a computer and a printer, you could simply print out your route before you embarked on your road trip.  In 2005, the desktop version of Google Maps surfaced, and in 2007, Waze followed. Although, Yahoo had developed digital maps before Google Maps in 2004, and MapQuest was superior with turn-by-turn directions. 

Instead of becoming obsolete, MapQuest, Google Maps, and Waze have all upgraded and are now integrated as mobile apps. But, you can always revisit the website and print out your directions as you once did in the past. 

Next Integration: The GPS 

dashboard gps in car

Originally, the first automotive navigation system was developed in 1981 by Honda, Alpine, and Stanley Electric, but this prototype was hardly the GPS system we are accustomed to today. The GPS system that reflected automotive navigational use and could be used to direct and guide you was developed in the 1990s and introduced by Mazda. This was the first time a driver’s position could be triangulated in real-time and a signal could be received from satellites in space. 

Navigation Today: Mobile Apps

Nearly two decades ago, Google Maps was introduced and our sense of navigation has changed exponentially. No longer do we need to rely on print outs or investing in expensive GPS systems when we can simply just use our smartphones. The development of mobile apps has changed how we locate, navigate, and plan our journeys. 

Google Maps first appeared on smartphones in 2007 and since then the app has added turn-by-turn satellite navigation, street view, and traffic updates. 

CorCystems Is Your Trusted Navigator for all Your IT Needs

We hope you enjoyed this flashback of how drastically different mapping technology has been over the past 20 years. It’s also a great reminder of how long CorCystems has been helping businesses navigate through their IT needs with our expert technicians. If you need co-managed services, cloud services, or phone services, we are your go-to MSP serving the Connecticut and Westchester County area. Give us a call today to learn more about our services: (203) 431-1341.