Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
After the MapCartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

William Rankin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226339368

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226339535.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Inhabiting the Grid: Radionavigation and Electronic Coordinates, 1920–1965

Inhabiting the Grid: Radionavigation and Electronic Coordinates, 1920–1965

Chapter:
(p.205) Chapter Five Inhabiting the Grid: Radionavigation and Electronic Coordinates, 1920–1965
Source:
After the Map
Author(s):

William Rankin

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226339535.003.0005

Radionavigation systems come in many different varieties, and different systems can construct very different geographies. The history of radionavigation before GPS is largely a story of technological proliferation, with dozens of solutions developed around the world for a wide variety of needs and user groups. This chapter begins by comparing the earliest such systems of the late 1920s – the Radio Range in the US and Radio Direction Finding (D/F) in Europe – as two ways of understanding the relationship between radio and bounded national space. The creation of many more systems in World War II – especially the invention of hyper-precise blind bombing systems and various “hyperbolic navigation” systems that had much in common with cartographic grids – led to a long and heated battle over radio standards at the International Civil Aviation Organization in the 1950s and 1960s. This chapter makes it clear that these debates over “track guides” and “area coverage,” and especially the development of “integrated navigation” that combined signals from multiple systems, were not leading inevitably to GPS. By the late 1960s, the field of electronic navigation was quite sustainably heterogeneous, and transnational space was becoming increasingly unified without any top-down guiding hand.

Keywords:   radionavigation, Radio Range, Radio Direction Finding, blind bombing, hyperbolic navigation, World War II, International Civil Aviation Organization, integrated navigation, track guides, area coverage

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.