Don’t be led astray by a GPS device

Written by Paper. Posted in Adventure, Life

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Published on September 30, 2014 with No Comments

Travel in the age of technology is so much easier than say, a hundred years ago when you probably had to bring along a machete, to make your own country road, to whatever place you thought you belonged – or West Virginia as the case may be. But now there’s GPS and it can get you to practically any address. At least that’s the theory. But of course, in practice, GPS has proven to be somewhat of a different story. Time after time we read about people who followed their GPS directions only to wind up in a body of water. Such a situation prompts us to wonder why they didn’t simply look out the window.

One such recent GPS related mishap occurred in Australia where a trio of Japanese students followed their GPS directions into a literal and figurative quagmire – or sticky mud. Though they could see they were off course, the students didn’t stop believing that the GPS would eventually lead them to a road. After all, it “told” them it would do that. Eventually they were stuck in more ways than one, including with a $1,500 bill from the rental car company. So much for GPS technology.

Sentinel Benchmark

Sentinel Benchmark (Photo credit: NOAA's National Ocean Service)

According to the folks at Lifehacker, all of us can help our GPS devices serve us better if only we would take a few precautionary steps – including perhaps looking out the window. Remember the woman that’s “recalculating” can’t really see your surroundings. You may want to tweak your settings so that you’re taking the “fastest route” rather than the “shortest distance.” You don’t necessarily want to “avoid tolls” because that could take you into the previously mentioned quagmire. Whether you’re using a GPS device or an app, it’s best to get the latest software update so you have the most current maps, yet, keep in mind that it can take time for new roads to appear on the maps. And perhaps carrying a map may not be such a bad idea for a trip to an unfamiliar place. Finally, use common sense because the GPS doesn’t have any.

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