Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Technological obsolescence

A couple of times recently I've needed to give someone directions to my house.  Giving directions verbally seems to be easy enough but understanding them and actually successfully arriving at the desired location is not that easy for all of us.  With the popularity of GPS systems, I suppose that this problem will be resolved.  My wife has that capability on her iPhone but I haven't taken the time to learn to use it  . . . I'm still a "map guy".  I like to have a document in my hands that defines the plan and a map does that for me. I like to be able to see the route from beginning to end, as well as alternate routes.  I like to be able to fold the map to narrow the focus, if and when I want to.  I guess all of those functions are also available in electronic form now, too but I still like holding a paper map in my hands.  I'm sure that there are errors on paper maps but I've never personally been steered wrong by one.  The on-line direction applications are another story, however.  I can use one of those services to chart my course of a 1,000 miles and it will almost get me there.  The first 998 miles will be flawless but the last mile or so will invariably send me in the wrong direction. 

I suppose paper maps are becoming technologically obsolete.  I'm just going to have to give in and learn to use the GPS but not without some "wailing and gnashing of teeth."

What's your preference?

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