(Roughly) Daily

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road”*…


On the Road, the iconic Jack Kerouac novel that took its earliest form in words typed on a 120-foot roll of paper, has spawned a uniquely digital descendant. A German student named Gregor Weichbrodt fed all the geographical markers mentioned in the globe-spanning book into the Google Maps Direction Service API, producing a set of all-text driving directions that goes on for 45 digital pages.

Yes, driving directions: On the Road for 17,527 Miles (the figure is Google Maps’ calculation of the journey) is available as a free ebook here, or you can buy a physical copy via Lulu — although it makes for pretty dry reading. Sample passage: “Head northwest on W 47th St toward 7th Ave. Take the 1st left onto 7th Ave. Turn right onto W 39th St.” And so on.

Open Culture helpfully notes that Kerouac himself produced a hand-drawn map of the hitchhiking route he followed in his own cross-country journey, some years before he wrote the ultimate road-trip story. If you’ve read the book and just want the directions, you can find them right here.

From Rob Walker at Yahoo Tech.

* Jack Kerouac


As we hit the highway, we might recall that it was on this date in 1921 that E.M. Forster, then 41, set set on his second trip to India… a trip his observations from which formed the basis for his fifth and most critically-acclaimed novel, A Passage to India.

E. M. Forster, by Dora Carrington



Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 1, 2014 at 1:01 am

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