1.10.2006

Personalized stamps / stamps as maps




Apparently the latest craze is personalized stamps. You take a digital picture and turn it into a real, working stamp (price increase included).

I saw this on the Sprintpcs website, my cell phone provider.

So I thought: why not have a map in the stamp of the destination? Or, a lat-long at least that was machine readable.

The late Peter Gould, geography professor at Penn State would be laughing right now. During the 1980s he carried out a little test. He got people to send put postcards in envelopes and then send these off to their friends and family overseas. Then all these people around the world would write an address as a lat-long on the postcard! The recipient was Waldo Tobler, his colleague at UCSB.

The idea was to see if any were delivered. Here is Gould's own card:

















Neat, huh?

Many of them apparently did make it to Tobler.

1 comment:

DaveB (PSU, NACIS) said...

Ah, Peter Gould. I didn't get to have much interaction with him during my days at Penn State, but in my limited experience he did have a knack for making things interesting and accessible.