Jay Lloyd’s Getaway: The Limits of Electronic Navigation
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By Jay Lloyd
PHILADELPHIA, or maybe CLEVELAND (CBS) — A drive to Brooklyn could be a perilous passage, with a plunge into the East River, if you believe the electronic data.
The latest buzz over electronic mapping, suggesting that Apple’s new iPad application lost the Brooklyn Bridge, among other things (see related story), raises the question of paper maps versus navigation technology for travelers.
Fortunately, the Brooklyn Bridge is still there (see photo).
Still, there are numerous stories of drivers being taken by their GPS device onto roads that go nowhere or to the wrong place, just by listening to the sultry voices in their on-board systems.
So, what to do?
You paid for the technology. Should you waste it? No. In most cases it’s accurate.
But take a page out of a sailor’s playbook: never depend on just one system.
Celestial navigation may not be necessary for drivers, but carry and use paper maps for planning purposes — even if you have a GPS.
Do your planning before leaving for your destination. If you see a discrepancy between the map and the electronics, find out why, before hitting the road. The problem could be anything from construction to a local bridge removal.
The problem for a new generation of getaway travelers, raised in the age of GPS and smartphone technology, is that they may not have learned how to read a map. It’s a skill worth acquiring, and also worth refreshing from time to time.