Author Topic: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills  (Read 3294 times)

Angle of Repose

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GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« on: March 03, 2014, 05:05:50 PM »
Excellent article about GPS use and the loss of of our navigational skills. Also includes a link to an online test where you can test your spatial skills.
http://thewalrus.ca/global-impositioning-systems/?ref=2009.11-health-global-impositioning-systems&page=


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Hobbo

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Re: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 06:31:24 PM »
I just had a weekend in the Lake District and thought about this very subject! I don't own a GPS device and refrain from using my iPhone whilst walking and have often wondered about how quickly it would take skills to degrade.

Also, I wonder how many people are emboldened into more risky hikes, venturing beyond their capabilities because they just have a device that is "guaranteed to stop them getting lost".

Top find thank you.

Mike
I don't know it all and when I think I do, I tend to find karma is just around the corner...

Angle of Repose

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Re: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 07:44:36 PM »
I had to look the Lake District up on google, looks beautiful.
Honestly the only reason I own a GPS is that I like electronic gadgets. Just can't help myself  ;)

I was hunting up in northern Maine near the Canadian border and was driving down a logging road when I realized my fancy $400 iPhone was no longer giving me directions. Lo and behold, no cell signal=no GPS. I do believe the newer models have an independent gps system built in, but regardless, I don't fancy taking an expensive cell phone in the woods where it can get lost or soaked.

I'm sure with the rise of PLBs and cell phones there is indeed an increase in people pushing the limits they normally wouldn't do.

I'm glad you enjoyed the article mike.
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Callum

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Re: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 10:52:07 AM »
I can bear witness to skills fade.

A few years back I was laid up in hospital for a few months and when I returned to work was confined to flying my desk for another couple of months. The first day that I took a group out on the hill, I found myself really having to think about the basics, especially explaining to the youngsters how to convert a bearing taken from my map, into one in the landscape, so much so that when I got back to the centre I dusted off my old copy of Pete Cliffs navigation book to check that I was right.

Oakleaf

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Re: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 10:04:59 AM »
That was a really interesting read - thank you.

There seems a fairly consistent agreement that there is a human trait of relying upon technology.  Product Liability was one of my study areas on my degree.  At the time air bags were just starting to come in here and research was showing a huge reduction in injury during collisions - but an increase in collisions and collision speed!  It was determined that drivers simply drove 'less safely'.  This effect has reduced as safety features have standardised and drivers have become used to them.

I guess what makes us different, makes us more the same!

Angle of Repose

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Re: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 05:30:48 PM »
As far as I know they weren't relying on GPS in this particular situation, it is quite tragic.
http://www.pressherald.com/news/maine-hikers-lost-car-accident-roque-bluffs-state-park-amy-stiner-melissa-moyer.html?pagenum=full

Already been rescued once, and then only to drive down a boat ramp into water. To their defense, the fog here in Maine can be really thick.
Still sad all around. :-[
"You can't get there from here"

Oakleaf

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Re: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 08:17:53 AM »
Utterly, utterly tragic.

Having been guilty of monumental goofs, suspension of brain function and bad decisions that should have removed me from the gene pool any number of times, I try never to look at such events with any sense of judgement. Looking at the 'placid' picture in the article, it seems an incredible happening. But factor in a traumatic day beforehand, the fog, dark and rain  and the situation becomes very real for many of us I suspect.

Such tragic stories always leave me with a heavy heart - but I never fail to take a positive from them. I use that same feeling to better put across messages when I am instructing.

The detail isn't sufficient to say whether it would have made any difference at all in this case, but ( no commercial link ) I would heartily recommend the 'Res-Q-Me'  belt cutter/ glass break device - one lives on all our car key rings.  Though happy to be guided to a better tool if anyone on here has views/ experience etc.

Thank you for the post.

MoonMan

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Re: GPS use and the loss of navigation skills
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 12:50:13 PM »
https://www.gettinglost.ca/content.php?s=c7778110463e4359855eba156affa75a

 I find that when I talk of finding direction without a compass, most so-called educated folk begin to babble about 'GPS', which I find intensely annoying & stupid. They have no idea.
Keeping Track of where Here is in relation to There.