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Pinpoint

How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds

Greg Milner (Author)

Overview | Formats
 

"One of the most mesmerizing and exhilarating, yet alarming modern technology books…an extraordinary tale." —Gillian Tett, Financial Times

Pinpoint tells the fascinating story of a hidden system that touches nearly every aspect of modern life. Tracking the development of GPS from its origins as a bomb guidance system to its present ubiquity, Greg Milner examines the technology’s double-edged effect on the way we live, work, and travel. Savvy and original, this sweeping scientific history offers startling insight into how humans understand their place in the world.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • May 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35436-2
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 352 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverPinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Technology, Culture, and Our Minds

    Hardcover

Endorsements & Reviews

“GPS guides our world. Here at last is the amazing and well-told story of where it came from, how it works, and where it—and we—are going.” — Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

“GPS guides our world. Here at last is the amazing and well-told story of where it came from, how it works, and where it—and we—are going.” — Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Energy

“In Pinpoint, Greg Milner gives us a much-needed account of GPS, its history, philosophy, and the overwhelming consequences of its success. Funny, scary, and tremendously readable, Pinpoint will be an eye-opening thrill for anyone who has watched their blue dot dance around an online map.” — Andrew Blum, author of Tubes

“Gripping…GPS is an engineering marvel, a global utility and a source of new threat all at once.” — New York Times Book Review

“[Milner] delves deep into the dense web of intersections between GPS—'the world’s only free utility'—and all those other utilities we vitally depend on, with interesting side excursions into earthquake-detection and the GPS-assisted monitoring of offenders.” — Guardian

“[A] compelling exploration of how GPS became so ubiquitous—and what we lose when it's all we know of navigation.” — Matthew Daddona, Outside

“Milner is a brisk and funny guide.” — Konstantin Kakaes, Wall Street Journal

“Milner is a brisk and funny guide.” — Konstantin Kakaes, Wall Street Journal

“No technology has transformed the human landscape so completely, yet been taken for granted so quickly, as GPS. The reason that brains are so good at storing maps is because the brain is a map, and our collective internal map is now migrating somewhere else. Greg Milner’s Pinpoint is a fascinating chronicle of how this happened and why—captured before the details had a chance to escape.” — George Dyson

“[A] welcome guide to where [GPS] came from, what it does and where it might be taking us.” — Damian Whitworth, The Times

“[A] suitably precise and fascinating account of the modern evolution of [GPS]... Milner expertly deconstructs the implications of this monumental shift in human life.” — Tim Adams, Observer

“In this startling and persuasive book, American journalist Greg Milner shows how [GPS] saturates our existence... [Milner] suggests that GPS is as potent and pervasive a force as the Internet – if much less well understood.” — James McConachie, Sunday Times

“An informative yarn.” — James Anthony, Evening Standard

“A deeply researched book with fascinating interludes... [Milner] explains the technological principles lucidly.” — Stephen Poole, New Statesman

“A compelling exploration of how GPS became so ubiquitous—and what we lose when it’s all we know of navigation.” — Outside

“[A] joy to read… It will be a strong contender for my science book of 2016.” — Clive Cookson, Financial Times

“One of the most mesmerizing and exhilarating, yet alarming modern technology books… By any standards, it is an extraordinary tale.” — Gillian Tett, Financial Times

“[A]ssured technological history.” — Nature

“Fascinating…Milner expertly deconstructs the implications of this monumental shift in human life.” — Tim Adams, Observer

“Dramatically illustrating just what the GPS might be taking from the human race, Milner recounts the feats of early Polynesian seafarers who traversed wide Pacific expanses guided by nothing but their dauntless minds. . . . [A] fascinating probe into an increasingly ubiquitous technology.” — Bryce Christensen, Booklist (starred review)

“Milner's detailed examples will leave you questioning the ways in which GPS has infiltrated our lives.” — Science

“In Pinpoint, Greg Milner gives us a much-needed account of GPS, its history, philosophy, and the overwhelming consequences of its success. Funny, scary, and tremendously readable, Pinpoint will be an eye-opening thrill for anyone who has watched their blue dot dance around an online map.” — Andrew Blum, author of Tubes

“Whenever people theorize about the collision of technology and culture, the Internet tends to consume all the oxygen in the room. But there is another global system that's taking over our lives in an even more insidious fashion, with stranger implications for the future of humanity. Pinpoint dissects the modern age of mapping and shows the hidden dangers of a world where nothing is hidden at all.” — Chuck Klosterman

“[An] entirely brilliant history of that most loved-and-loathed new technology, GPS. Every page was a treasure-house of fascinations: my temptation after finishing was to begin the book all over again, there being so much to absorb, all of it crucially important to understanding our world’s dependence on one of modern civilization’s new-made fundamentals.” — Simon Winchester

“The reason that brains are so good at storing maps is because the brain is a map, and our collective internal map is now migrating somewhere else. Greg Milner’s Pinpoint is a fascinating chronicle of how this happened and why—captured before the details had a chance to escape.” — George Dyson

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