GPS Navigation Systems are becoming increasingly popular. The last time I was in Radio Shack, a salesman tried to sell me one. He obviously did not recognize me as the editor of The Low-Tech Times, or he wouldn’t have wasted his time.
There are three reasons why I do not own a GPS Navigation System:
1.) TOO EXPENSIVE—GPS Navigation Systems cost hundreds of dollars, and once you have one, updates to the software can be very costly. Maps, on the other hand, are often free. Most of the time state maps are available free-of-charge from highway rest areas. Local maps also can frequently be obtained without cost from a city’s Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Center.
2.) LOSS OF KNOWLEDGE—If you depend on a GPS Navigation System to tell you where to go all of the time, you may not learn your way around nearly as well as if you drove without one. I believe that it is very valuable to have knowledge of an area and the ability to give directions without a hi-tech device. I want to know where I’m going.
3.) POSSIBLE ACCURACY PROBLEMS—ABC News recently ran a story covering accuracy problems with GPS systems, including one instance where GPS directions apparently directed a man to turn his vehicle onto railroad tracks. It is likely that users, not the GPS Navigation System itself, may often be at fault. However, there does not seem to be a shortage of GPS horror stories. Can you depend on GPS for accurate directions?