GPS Takes Excitement Out of Travel. Agree or Not?

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    Jul 20, 2014 11:49 PM GMT
    NYT: GPS takes away the excitement and serendipity of travel. Real adventures read maps!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/20/opinion/sunday/using-maps-vs-gps.html

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    Jul 20, 2014 11:57 PM GMT
    After getting lost on the way to Myrtle Beach I found myself in the middle of nowhere (it might have been Cain's Land if not North Carolina) I'd replace the word "excitement" with "stress".

    I love maps and normally am a good navigator (when I have said maps) but prefer google map on my iPhone. The downside is that people no longer learn street directions properly once they start relying on GPS devices.
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    Jul 21, 2014 1:39 AM GMT
    I dunno, I've still had "adventures" using a GPS, since they aren't always accurate. My preference is still reading a map, which I'll often print from my computer for a specific local place I've gotta find, and take it in the car. I used to teach military map reading, which is harder, so a simple road map is very easy & natural to use.

    But I have met people for whom a road map is like reading ancient Greek. They have no ability to translate a 2-dimensional graphic representation into 3-dimensional reality. I have no idea why they can't use a map, it's second nature to me, but a map is simply useless to them. So for them a GPS is ideal, when it gives voice commands and textually displays driving directions.
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    Jul 21, 2014 2:20 AM GMT
    I dunno, they say that Electronically Aided Collisions can be pretty exciting...

    collisions.jpg

    And for some reason, the search and rescue teams are busier than ever, rescuing lost hikers... They can't seem to use the GPS features correctly, but at least they can phone for a rescue icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 25, 2014 2:04 PM GMT
    driving while reading a map is too stressful.

    Better faster; setup the iPhone for a nice male voice with a UK accent and get directions. Play some mp3's while your at it.

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    Jul 25, 2014 2:32 PM GMT
    Going out not knowing where you will end up can be both exciting or stressful depending on your mindset at that time.
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    Jul 25, 2014 2:45 PM GMT
    I'm more willing to go road exploring on my bicycle or motorcycle, than in a car. When my buddies were first getting their driver's licenses (I was the youngest and the last to drive) we'd all pile into a car and go for a weekend country drive.

    But I would be giving the directions on these obscure back roads. And the guys would ask me how I knew all these great scenic routes, since I didn't drive yet, and we were 30 miles from home.

    "I ride out here on my bicycle all the time," I'd honestly answer. They were shocked, and perhaps not without a little disbelief. They knew I was into long-distance biking, owning the only derailleur bike among us in the mid-1960s, but they didn't realize how far I really rode on my own during single day trips.
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    Jul 25, 2014 3:33 PM GMT
    We had maps AND GPS in La Marche, Italy, and STILL got lost. Maps are only as good as the signs on the roads, and when you get out into the countryside that can be very hit-or-miss. "Turn left at the bull who bears more than a passing resemblance to Mussolini" is a more helpful tip. But we also met a lot of great people by asking for directions. One guy drove miles out of his way to show us how to get back to the highway, and actually ASKED OUR PERMISSION to finish his business at the store where we met before doing so. I hate to think anybody would be rude enough to say no.

  • blueandgold

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    Jul 25, 2014 11:18 PM GMT
    On a similiar topic:

    Do doctors and modern medicine take the adventure out of health care?

    Sure, you're more likely to arrive at your destination healthy and disease free... but remember the good old days when the physician would tell you your headache was caused by bad humours and they'd just drain a ton of blood out of you? Or when you had a headache so it was time to bust out the old rusty cranial drill?

    Maybe you'd be cured... maybe you'd get an infection... maybe you'd end up lying on the floor twitching with sepsis and shock.

    But man, that was adventure.

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    Jul 31, 2014 8:26 AM GMT
    Following directions of a GPS can still be exciting - like when they take you down a rural dirt road slightly wider than the car, with 30 degree slopes and directly through vineyards.
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    Aug 05, 2014 2:43 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    But I have met people for whom a road map is like reading ancient Greek. They have no ability to translate


    LOL, I used to use maps! Started with Rand McNally. I used to sit and spend hours reading maps in the thick 50 states Map books, well before I even had a license or knew how to drive. As for GPS taking the fun out of travel? Not if you have a Garmin or other REAL Gps. Not these phone based navigationals. With my GPS, I've been able to safely navigate so many cities by car. I had got tired of getting lost, being late, and almost causing accidents by reading maps.

    GPS also helps avoid traffic, allows you to take (or avoid) the 'unpaved' roads (once drove 35 miles on unpaved road in Montana), and it just allows you to select different routes to take on your journey. So now, I absolutely don't agree. I think it enhances it, and makes it safer. Maps are good for surveying a state/region before you travel, but you use the GPS to get you there.

    ...And I NEVER use the GPS voice either. If I do, I make it talk in foreign language just for laughs.