Have you ever used GPS and gotten lost?
I get scared to use my GPS sometimes because if the thing has an off day I can end up miles from my destination. It has happend when I was looking for a particular mall. What is your experience?
I use GPS for hiking, backpacking, geocaching and sometimes driving. I have never become lost while using a GPS. GPS does not have an "off" day and decide to give you a random, incorrect destination. I have had the GPS suggest routes that are not the fastest or easiest to get to a certain location. It works on the very simple concept of measuring distance from satellites and determining your location.
The problems that can come up with a GPS are incorrect information entered and out of date software. First off, if you enter your destination incorrectly it will obviously not take you to where you were wanting to go. Also, if the mapping software is out of date or something was entered incorrectly, it may lead you in a direction that takes longer, or leads to a dead end.
Don't turn your brain off when you turn the GPS on. As it gives you directions, check them with what you know about the area. Pay attention to signs along the roadway, are they consistent with what the GPS is telling you? The GPS is a great tool for navigation, but it shouldn't be your only option.
The first time I used a GPS, I was on a trip from Harlow (England) to Nottingham. Half way through the journey the thing insisted in taking me through a place called, Alconbury, at one point it told me to turn right at the end of the road, had I blindly followed its instructions, I would have ended up in a river. I turned the thing off and got back on the main road and made my own way by using a road map.
When my husband uses the GPS he usually only gets lost when he thinks he knows better than the GPS so he doesn't follow the directions. So far the GPS has been right every time!
I have gotten lost before. If you don't do regular updates from the computer then you will not have the latest route changes, the new highways and expressways on your route.
I don't know why but sometimes the GPS will take us on a wild goose chase through the very rural areas instead using the road more traveled.
Finally, there have been times that it has just led us to the wrong place and I don't have an explanation as to why it did that. I tend to bring a copy of mapquest directions with me when I decide to use my GPS.
Yah! Most of the time! I actually don't use a GPS system, instead I do it with my Android. The problem occurs when I use 3G network. It gets disconnected at times. That's it! Then, the alternate option I have is to put the gadget in my pocket and do it the traditional way - "asking!"
It happened a few times to me that I was hiking far from my car and using GPS to search for geocaches when the GPS battery went low. In such situation it is always a good idea to know rough direction back. If you know the time and sun position it can help you to determine where is the north.
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