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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Lesser of Two GPSs

It was probably a very odd site for other drivers looking into my friend's red VW bug. My two friends in the front of the car (I was in the back) were looking at not one but two GPSs...and a printed out map of directions from google maps.

What can I say, my friends like to be prepared. I mean, you never know when a really big bird might fly into your vehicle, steal one of your GPSs, and then poop on the printed out directions leaving them unreadable. Then, my friend, you'll be glad you brought two GPSs.

I actually encouraged the use of the two GPSs for our trip (from Scotia to Ogdensburg, NY near the Canadian border to pick up more people). I thought it would be amusing and educational to pit the electronic devices against each other.

I'm a bit biased though. I really don't like GPSs. Not too sure where the hatred stems from. I guess sometime around my East Coast road trip when I found the device completely useless - dur, we just follow I-95. Then, on my cross country trip, it really didn't help when our GPS estimated it would take 15 hours to get from Yellowstone to Aspen. It took 12 (which, by the way, was about what I estimated according to the road atlas).

GPSs, I'll admit, have their place in the travel world. They're good when you're in a city and don't know your way around. Or when you decide to switch routes and your printed out directions will no longer work.

But, my opinion, give me a road atlas any day. It's fun to plot your own course and forget the mapquesting, googling, and GPS-shizzle. Though, again, it's hard to do this in a city so I totally understand why GPSs, in phones and other devices, are so prevalent.

For those who care, between the Garmin and TomTom, the Garmin actually had us go a slightly faster route and estimated our arrival more accurately than the TomTom, which could have been because of differences in uploaded information.

And, for those who care further, the Danielle route on the way back was even faster.


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