Friday, November 06, 2009


Dear GPS,

You are the guide for people wandering into the unknown.  Much faith is placed in your ability, the prowess to lead the unwary.  There is such trust that even the simplest of directions, offered by a person,  (rather than an electronic device)   is declined in preference to you.  You  have developed like an extra skin attached to homo sapiens ... "Me and my GPS  will find it, it will get me there".   When have I heard " Me and my partner will find it, we'll get there. "  In truth, I have not.

Why is it that you remain so dominant, ubiquitous,  in the every day traveller's life?  There have been some spectacular accidents caused because of the overarching faith in your directions.  Driving up dead ends is generally no major deal, but how do you reconcile leading someone up a garden path to nowhere, you surely don't expect a driver to drive on through someone's private property as if it were a through road!  Moreover, how do you correct  your mistakes?  I guess you know some of your GPS mates have even taken drivers over the edge.  That is, over the edges of cliffs, river banks and so on, when according to the guiding light, there should have been road.

I don't know who programmes in your information, nor do I know how well-informed or up-to-date it is; neither do I know how your electronic output capacities are quality assured. I am not convinced that a driver looking at you, GPS,  while supposedly observing the road conditions is a really safe activity to be engaged in.  Drivers may also be using audio equipment and hands-free telephones on occasion, to find locations you cannot truly guide them to.   It seems to me, GPS, to be too much reliance on multi-tasking around you and your mates,  while at the wheel of a car.

However, I accept that you are here to stay GPS; that you are imperfect, but  I also accept that there is room for improvement.  Will you rise to the challenge?




Anonymous said...

It was originally designed for use by the US military who presumably had few, if any, requirements for the precise system that road users have!
Have a look at the two Wikipedia entries on the subject 'Introduction to GPS' and 'GPS', the later of which is far too technical for me!
I don't have, nor ever used, one!
Flighty xx

ZACL said...

Hi Mr F,

I know a number of people who are not enamoured with GPS contraptions, they enjoy the art of map reading and, additionally, discovering things from Ordnance Survey maps.

There again, there are probably equally as many who are enamoured with GPS systems. Assessing their reasons for attaching themselves to the technology would be too long a process, but it probably has a lot to do with enjoying playing with gadgetry.

Transcribing a technology from use in a tank or a plane, to an every day road vehicle is a whole other level; it is surprising that there are not more frustrations recorded. I guess the smaller infractions could be too numerous to be interesting.