British Library
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The British Library — Geocache of the Week

Multi-cache
GC2M0AF
by Nickie! & Brian~!
Difficulty:
3
Terrain:
1
Location:
London, United Kingdom
N 51° 31.735 W 000° 07.653

Facts about the British Library:*

Magna Carta

  • The Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci’s Notebook, and Beatles manuscripts are housed here.
  • 3 million new items are added every year.
  • If you saw 5 items a day, it would take over 80,000 years to see the entire collection.
  • The six-story King’s Library, started by King George III (reigned 1760-1820), is showcased here.
  • It hosts Multi-Cache GC2M0AF with close to 1200 Favorite points!

 

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Schlossberg: His(_s)tory! GC1VCKY—Geocache of the Week

Multi-Cache
GC1VCKY
by Team Knofl
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
2
Location:
Steiermark, Austria
N 47° 04.637′ E 015° 26.227

Graz img2

This 7 stage Multi-Cache in Graz, Austria will give you a historical tour of the prominent hillside of Schlossberg. Along the way you’ll find cafes, restaurants, music venues, and other amenities. This tour will show you a side of the mountain, and will educate you on its history along the way.

It is easy to see why the natural aesthetics and historical and artistic value of Austria would captivate people all over the world to travel to this regal region.  Austria’s second largest city, Graz is located in the province of Styria. Graz offers a strong variety of culture, activities, and places to explore!

kid garz

Located at the center of the city is a prominent mountain by the name of Schlossberg. Coupled by the panoramic view, the famous Uhrturm (which translates to clock tower in German) sits atop Schlossberg and is one of the main sightseeing stops in the city. You may feel beguiled by the foothills off in the distance, the Mur river flowing not too far away below, and the classic red clay rooftops. This cache will take you to several historical monuments along a pathway, with breathtaking views.

Hauptplatz

The cache page tells the legendary story of 900 Graz soldiers defending Schlossberg after the Treaty of Vienna. In 1809, Napoleonic forces attacked the city with 3,000 men, and mostly destroyed the fortress atop the city’s modest mountain. The first stage of this Multi-Cache is in honor of the Major that led the defense, Franz Hackher. There were no known images of him, so the Hackher Lion was constructed in place of a human statue.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But did you know lions like beer? The Hackher Lion not only likes beer, but has a favorite beer in which he has been sitting on for over 40 years! Now Franz Hackher’s spirit defends his beer. To move on to the next stage the geocacher will need to find out what kind of beer he is protecting.

From here the Multi-Cache brings you to a mid 16th century cistern (a fancy water well),an octagonal bell tower holding “Liesl” the big bell inside, an old canon cottage with more auspicious views out the windows (pictured below), the bishop’s chair, and a turkish well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lastly, the seventh and final stage brings you to the symbol of Graz, the clock tower. The coordinates will bring you the gardens below, clad with colorful flowers and shrubbery. It is a tranquil area where students from the universities might study, or meet a friend.

graz garden

 

Built in the 13th century, the Uhrturm was designed to be seen from any point in the city. The clock hands were originally designed in the opposite way to what you normally see, in that the hour hand is larger than the minute hand. It was more important to them to see what the hour was from far distances. The people of Graz were forced to pay a ransom to keep the clock as part of the Treaty of Vienna.

Clock face

Not only is Schlossberg rich in history, but its vibrance is felt throughout the city. Each stop of this cache brings you back in history, and authentically tells a story that may not have otherwise been told to anyone just visiting the city. It is easy to see why the cache owner Team Knofl, would take the time to place a historical Multi-Cache here, TFTC!

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Before GPS and Geocaching Existed: Three Navigation Systems

 

iteravto2
Inter-Auto or “Iter-Avto”

Nowadays, we’re lucky to have an abundance of smartphones and GPS devices to help us navigate to different locations (and to our beloved geocaches). But did you know that personal navigation predates the invention of Global Positioning Systems (GPS)? Prior to Sputnik, TRANSIT, and GPS devices, there were three personal navigation maps that we still see glimpses of in today’s modern technology. Get ready to learn!

 

Cane Maps

It started at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago… In celebration with the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s entry into the New World, the Columbian Novelty Company created “Cane Maps”. The cane map was a 10″ x 16″ sheet with maps printed on both sides. It rolled in and out of a wooden cane. The front side contained a map of the fairgrounds and the back side of the map was of Chicago, showing popular tourist attractions in the area. These maps were sold in gift shops at the fair and paved the way for future mapping and navigation techniques.

First Cane Map in 1893
First Cane Map in 1893

           

 

Plus Fours RouteFinder

Watch-you-wearing? Worn around the wrist, the Plus Fours Routefinder was a fashionable and efficient way to transit. These watch-like devices contained miniature scrolls with driving directions that rotated and updated as the motorist moved. The scrolls could be switched out and changed depending on what route was taken. 

Plus Fours RouteFinder
Plus Fours RouteFinder

Inter-Auto or “Iter-Avto”

Zoom Zoom! In 1932, an Italian company releases the Inter-Auto, the world’s first personal navigation system for an automobile. This device also contained a scrolling map and additionally, connected to the car’s speedometer to maintain an accurate scrolling rate. Similar to a modern day Garmin or Tom Tom, this device showed a motorist’s position in real-time.

Iteravto
Inter-Auto or “Iter-Avto”

 

 

Navigation systems today have come a long way since Cane Maps and Inter-Autos. With the addition of the GPS, geocachers today have numerous devices to choose from. As technology advances, it will be fascinating to see the direction navigation systems will head in the coming years.

 

What is your preferred device for geocaching?

Not done reading yet? Check the ghosts lingering in your GPS in this Who’s Hiding in Your GPS Device? post from 2010.

 

Sources and Images: Before There was GPS: Personal Navigation in the 1920s and 1930s, Cane MapsThe antique route show: ‘First ever built-in sat nav’ from 1930 which used a map on a scroll to guide motorists