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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, Mar 9, 2012.
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USAToday: Ten of the best travel inventions of all time
GPS is Mrs Sweet Willie's favorite travel invention, gone are her days of trying to read a map as the co-pilot while we bounce along some road, GPS has brought great harmony to our roadtrips.
i think gps is a nice thing, however, there have been many times when the gps seems to think i am miles away from my actual location. not to mention the lag time between directions and actual roads/markers.
we had one when we traveled in Germany. we could never tell if the gps meant the street we could see or the next one. by the end of the trip, we had dubbed the gps, "the lying b*tch" b/c we heard "recalculating. when possible make an authorized U-turn" a few too many times. LOL!
i miss the days of being the map reading co-pilot. there were so many cool things you could find while waiting to get to the next turn on the interstate. knowing how to read a map is important. many kids today haven't the first clue on how to do that. that is a sad thing IMO.
funny, we just had a gps in our rental car out of Munich, was terrific, no lag in our experience (nor with others we've used)
not just kids, I too am amazed that many folks don't know the basic main roads/hwys or compass headings of where they work/live.
My niece is just starting to drive, my brother is not allowing her to use the GPS on her phone when driving as he (like I) believe one should know the basic roads of where one lives (at a minimum)
i think the gps issue in Germany was due to them not updating something. perhaps it was an older model of gps? we seemed to have a better time of it the second time around, a few years later, driving in Austria and Germany with a different (our own) gps.
i agree, basic local road knowledge is important for all drivers. a novice driver using their phone for gps is a bit scary. they may as well be texting at the same time. (which is never a good thing). my daughter is quite directionally challenged. i think it is b/c she doesn't have the abstract/spacial reasoning skills that are necessary for navigation.
i have noticed in various parts of the country, locals use different methods of giving directions. ie: driving in Phoenix. the locals like to give you directions by compass points. for example: drive south on XYZ, then turn east on ABC. this amuses me b/c aside from the basic location of the sun when it is out, i have no idea exactly what direction i am going so such directions do not really help me at night. my favorite direction information is the country style. they like to say stuff like, "go to where the burned down store used to be, then turn". LOL! yeah doesn't help when the burned down store isn't there and hasn't been for 10 yrs, so you have no way of knowing where it was.
I vote for the airplane as the best.
Travel insurance?? Really? What are the best consumer inventions of all time, extended warranties? Oh right, USA Today. Nevermind.
Travel insurance is very important for foreigners visiting the US.. especially for medical coverage.. I wouldn't ever travel without it... YMMV of course.
Personally I'd say the jet engine. I think it truly changed the wolrd.
So much so in fact that (as I've said before) I'd love someone like Harry Turtledove to write an "alternative history" of the world today... premise being the jet engine had not been invented!
As to the GPS. . . As a former dealer of Garmin GPS, I know that a GPS needs to be set for the locale of use. That is, if you travel from LAX to Germany and use the GPS from California, it will not be as accurate for a day or so. The GPS has a memory that tracks the Satellites that is thinks it is supposed to see. If you are too far away from the last place you used it, it will still look for the Satellites it THINKS are available. If it can't find them, it will try to interpolate where you are.
Basically if you travel more than about 600 Miles (1000KM) then you need to reset the GPS to your new locale. You will be amazed how simple it is.
This would explain Blue Skye's deviation from reality and Sweet Willie's dead on readings.
However, All that being said. I hate GPS's (not just because I sell maps), because as a recent article on Gadling pointed out. "GPS is making the Road Trip a "Follow the Purple Line" trip." A map allows you to find stuff that may not be on the purple line.
Sorry for the hijack.
Nowadays every new car has been introduced with the facility of global positioning system, which has also been known as navigation system by the manufacturing companies. Many new cars come with a GPS system built in so the vehicle can never be lost and stealing. Vehicles with a GPS system can still be stolen, but they can be found in a matter of minutes.
actually the GPS was from the rental place (Hertz) in Frankfurt, so essentially, local. we had better luck with our own GPS unit on the second trip. we did downloaded maps before the trip and updated/synced once we were in Austria. not sure what the problem with their (the car rental's) unit. thanks for the explanation anyway.