“Recalculating…” – Maps vs. GPS

Truthful Tuesday

It’s Truthful Tuesday time again and the question this week is as follows:

When it comes to navigation in unfamiliar territory, do you shun technology, relying on traditional maps and written directions, or do you leave the atlas behind letting GPS and Google Maps guide the way?

We always have a road atlas on hand when we go on road trips to get an overall idea of the route, mileage, etc. When I plan trips (I do the planning, Dale does the driving!), I use a road map so I can map out where to go and how to get there. That way, we can wend our way through a state and see a number of things without having to backtrack. I use the Internet as well as guide books to plan where to go.

However, we use the car’s GPS system (in my car; in his car, we use Google maps on his phone) when we are on the road to make sure we don’t get lost.

This is good because Dale and I have had arguments in the past when we used paper maps – I would tell him to turn right but for whatever reason he turned left because he didn’t believe me. I WAS LOOKING AT THE DARN MAP!! And I was a good navigator too. But when walking, I tend to get mixed up using the GPS on my phone and am better off with a small paper map of the area. I’m thinking of the times we tried to find restaurants in Sao Paulo which were close to where we were staying but somehow the GPS disoriented us and we ended up going somewhere else we happened to find when we were lost getting to the place we were looking for. In Tel Aviv, we stood on a street corner with the phone GPS in hand, arguing about which way we were supposed to go to get back to our hotel after exploring a shopping mall.

I don’t have that problem with road maps or most of the time with the GPS in my car. However, we have gotten lost when the GPS didn’t know the way! Once we were going from Highland Park to Highwood, two north suburbs in the Chicago metro area very close to each other, but the GPS led us way out of the way and after driving for about 20 miles, I said, “I don’t think this is right.” My sister had said the restaurant where we were meeting was five minutes from the place we were coming from. It wasn’t a brand new street address, either, so I don’t know what “Jeanie” (which is what we named the GPS voice on my car) was thinking. The only other problem with GPS systems is that we may enter an address, the official address of the place, but we end up on a busy street with a wall next to us, and we know the place we are going is behind that wall, but where is the entrance?? The entrance is not always the same as the address.

Therefore, I recommend having a paper map if possible as well as the GPS. Locally, the GPS usually gets us where we need to go, even if sometimes Dale takes what he thinks is a shorter way (and turns out usually to be wrong). And imagine if something happens to the phone or the car and technology isn’t available? This can happen in remote areas when there is spotty Wifi service, and then the GPS may not work at all.

My favorite GPS system is Waze.

Wazeopedia - For the Community, By the Community

It’s a free app for your phone and works best when there are two people in the car – one to drive and the other to look at Waze. People can input problems they encounter on a road – police in vicinity, car on side of the road, traffic jams, etc. It also identifies red light cameras so you can follow the speed limit when you are near one! I recommend it for anyone who does a lot of city driving. You can earn points and eventually choose your own Waze avatar!

It’s much less nerve-wracking to have a GPS in the car one is driving than depending on a map and nowadays we can usually count on any rental car we get having one. The GPS in our rental in France was great, once we figured out how to use it – it was very counterintuitive and each time we got it right, we couldn’t remember what we did the next time we got into the car! That GPS voice was British and announced everything in meters and kilometers, of course, but I loved her – we dubbed her “Eleanor.”

Square Perspective: ‘The Bridge’

Most people on a cruise never get to see what the captain’s perspective is. But last summer, on our Viking river cruise, passengers were invited to go into the Pilot House, also known as “The Bridge.” While the passengers lounge on the deck with a drink in one hand and camera in the other, this is what the captain sees.

These are some of the controls and instruments that the captain keeps track of.
GPS technology provides the captain with various types of information – location, depth of the river, current, etc.

On the Hunt for Joy: Pastimes

Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy photo challenge this week has the topic mix play with every day.

Since I am retired, most things I spend time doing are things I like to do. I blog a lot about photography and travel, but not so much on my private pastimes. 

A few years ago, the coloring book craze for adults was big. At the time, I acquired several coloring books, but put them aside for a few years. Now I am doing them again, mainly while “watching” the news – instead of looking at a talking head, I have fun with gel pens, markers and colored pencils! It softens the news for me: things will be okay if I can sit here and color. I prefer designs and patterns rather than actual scenes. 

Shields 6-3-20 (gel pens & markers)
Flower Promenade 1-21-20 (markers)
Triangulation 4-28-20 (gel pens)

I also like to play word games on my cellphone (classic time waster!) I regularly do Wordscapes, Word Stacks and Words With Friends.  I was playing so many Words With Friends games that I decided to limit who I play with to people I actually know. 

Words With Friends – this one is my favorite because I play with other people.
Wordscapes

Sunday Writing Prompt: What Nonsense!

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie has a Sunday Writing Prompt, which today is “Uncontrollable Nonsense.”

Oscar Wilde

Menagerie suggests:

Some potential options

Write a poem or story using a lot of metaphor that sounds like nonsense but has a much deeper meaning.
Write something that is actual nonsense, means nothing.
Write about the day to day nonsense you have to put up with from other people.
Write about an argument or confrontation you had that degenerated into nonsense.
Write about a person who is full of nonsense and drives you crazy.
Write about a romantic situation that completely turned your life upside down and made you feel as if you had lost your mind.

While all of these options are great ones (which I may pursue later), I have always wanted to follow my phone’s suggested words when I am writing a text. I started a series of texts by writing a word, then let the word suggestions (which I picked at random) lead me where they would. Here’s what I came up with:

Where’s your father now, huh man? You know what to expect to spend Friday night at home. Forget about your accident and your future will be a replica of a Nubian.

What about your brother-in-law that was the last one to come over to our church? Why do we need a ride to a hospital where you are going to have a baby?  I thought you could get me involved with this guy and you have to do something else that would get us together for a while.

I’m going to take you out to the airport by the time we come here for the next day or so. Please confirm that the FBI director has been in contact with Europeans and other animals. What would happen if the weather was too bad for me and my pretty face? Always be careful about how many people are definitely candidates for president and then you will need to get to see the gargoyles.

**********

The words in boldface type are the ones I used to get the sentences started. There of course was some choice on my part as to where I let it go, but I always chose from three suggested words and tried to pick words that were first, second, or third at random or which I thought sounded the most bizarre or ridiculous.

The interesting thing about this is that the phone has some of these words (especially the more unusual ones like candidates, Nubian and gargoyles) already in its memory because I have used them in the past, whether in a text, on a Facebook post, etc. Although I don’t use these words in my everyday vocabulary, I’m sure I have used them in Facebook posts during my travels or when I comment about politics. It was quite funny what the suggestions were!

(BTW, I didn’t actually send this text to anyone, but if I had, it would have gone to my husband who already knows I’m crazy!)