• Trips and Travelers

    • Gregor Weighbrodt, a German student, has taken the journey travelled in ‘On the Road’ to Google Maps; elaborating a manual that enables us to follow the steps of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady.

    Follow Cassady and Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ steps using Google Maps / 

    A map is not complete without indications. We can stare at the outlines of rivers and the hills that we’ll find, but those lines only make sense when they’re accompanied by names and reference points that allow us to find them.

    Something similar happens with our personal maps. If a stranger asks us for a street we know well, do we not inform them of a store, tree or a detail that will set it apart? Cartography is science but it is also experience, method and memory, generalisation and detail.

    This is an example which combines these two characteristics on a single map, a university student from Germany took the indications found in Kerouac’s On the Road and translated them on to Google Maps, creating a route based on the beat novel.

    On the Road for 17,527 Miles is the title that Gregor Weichbrodt gave his manual, which can be read online through his issu platform, or a hardcopy can be bought online. To follow the journey of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, from Frisco to New York and back, a journey which according to Google Maps takes 272 hours.

    Beyond curiosity, Weichbrodt’s effort also reminds us that journeys are different when they are done with meaningful purposes —a book we fervently read, a painting that enthralled us from the very first moment we set eyes on it, a memory from our childhood that still moves us today—, which make our destiny something different.

    Tagged: Jack Kerouac, books, On The Road, Google Maps, maps, cartography