This interview and background article profiles Tim Bray, "This map is very interesting," Bray begins, positioning his tall, imposing frame beside the chart. "It's from 1790 or so, and it shows part of Eastern Europe. Why is this map full of writing and not illustration? Because there's no common agreement on measurement. More than half of the map shows the scale of distance in all the different units of the day: Polish miles, Prussian miles, Ukrainian miles."
Yes we've come so far, still haven't decided on a standard measure of distance and now we have Word.