Jack Kerouac’s On The Road Turned Into Google Driving Directions & Published as a Free eBook

A couple weeks ago, Colin Marshall highlighted for you Jack Kerouac’s Hand-Drawn Map of the Hitchhiking Trip Narrated in On the Road. Now we have another Kerouacian map for you — a map for our times. Gregor Weichbrodt, a German college student, took all of the geographic stops mentioned in On the Road, plugged them into Google Maps, and ended up with a 45-page manual of driving directions, divided into chapters paralleling those of Kerouac’s original book. You can read the manual — On the Road for 17,527 Miles— as a free ebook. Just click the image above to view it online (or click here). Likewise, you can purchase a print copy on Lulu and perhaps make it the basis for your own road trip. Wondering how long such a trip might take? Google Maps indicates that Kerouac’s journey covered some 17,527 miles and theoretically took some 272 hours.

Note: You can find lectures (1 + 2) discussing the importance of On the Road in Yale’s course, The American Novel Since 1945. It appears in the Literature section of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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via @SteveSilberman and PRI

Related Content:

Jack Kerouac Lists 9 Essentials for Writing Spontaneous Prose

Pull My Daisy: 1959 Beatnik Film Stars Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg

Jack Kerouac Reads from On the Road (1959)

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Comments (6)
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  • Joshua Kupetz says:

    Very interesting idea–too bad the author begins with the bus west instead of the actual beginning of the trip, which took him north to Bear Mountain in the rain–the location where Sal articulates the travel ethos of the novel (and Kerouac indicates his aesthetic project).

  • Linda says:

    Wow! What a road trip this would make!

  • William says:

    To be more authentic, however, you would have to avoid all interstates as they would not have been around in the 40s.

  • Derek says:

    I appreciate all the work that went into this… but why not include *maps* of the route?

  • Mike says:

    I took this trip 5 years ago back in 2009, just after I graduated college. I followed Kerouac’s route, stopped in every city, down, street corner, and cow town mentioned in the book, took a picture, and included the relevant passage. I had a blog about it, too, but that has since lapsed (as blogging endeavors usually do). http://www.aroadvision.blogspot.com

    If I didn’t already do this, I’d definitely check out this kid’s ebook, but I wouldn’t follow it blindly; I’d follow the original work.

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