Friday, August 29, 2014

A paper map is as good as an iPad

Here's what I learned during my journey around Manchester:

A paper map easily allows me to mark a destination and various locations of relevance. Its weakness is telling me where I currently am in case I got lost. Which mostly only happened when I relied on other people's navigational sense.

A tablet PC or smart phone using online maps and GPS is great at showing your where you currently are, but I've seen it several times that a user would have trouble locating their destination on that map. Now I don't know whether that's just because they didn't make use of all features or whether it's a weakness in the software. But the fact is that I didn't see an advantage of those tools. Best results could be achieved by combining electronic and paper-based navigational means. ... At least as long as there isn't someone in the group who acts like they know exactly where they're going, but actually has no clue, hah.

The only time I got lost on my own was when riding the bus, because their indication of bus stops suck and their identification is nonexistant, and the route didn't match the official bus stop map. And then I actually managed to determine my location, but not the direction to my destination, and when I asked around, someone actively approached me to help, but then led me to his destination, which was only an orientation point for me, thus making a huge detour.

Yeah, I guess if I ever start traveling around more, it would really be worth getting a smart phone. Then, navigating would probably become a meditative experience for me. ... The world is so full of major communication deficits that things easily turn into an urban adventure.

As a counter-example: Airports are my heaven. Now that's professional information flow there. Fueled by the need to stick to tight schedules though, so it's only natural to find that degree of communicative excellence there.

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