Paper maps as backup for when the network is down

Stumbled across this picture of a helicopter crew surveying flooding along the Elbe while reading the news this morning: As far as I am concerned this is a perfect illustration of the fact that paper maps have been relegated to being a backup solution for when the battery is empty or the cellular network is down (guess as a helicopter pilot you can’t really afford this). Also amazing how much the military (or paramilitary, not really clear from the picture if this a federal police or an army hel…

More proof that GPS is evil

[see previous evidence here, here and here]. Over at BLDGblog Geoff Manaugh reflects on a feature in the last edition of WIRED that praises GPS and user generated map files for allowing rich westerners to travel through remote parts of the world (Namibia in this case) without the need for local guides. In ‘the digital replacement of the natives‘ Geoff argues that this trend – should it become more widespread – will probably be devastating for local economies based on tourism: I can’t help but wo…

The knowledge vs GPS

I have written about virtues of ‘the knowledge‘ and the dangers of GPS to human evolution before. Now the good old BBC is running an article that actually pits the one versus the other in some kind of technology versus humans death match. They held a race through London in which a cab driver (in possession of ‘the knowledge’) had to compete against a BBC hack who was following the instructions of a Tom Tom GO 720 navigation unit: We chose waypoints that took us through extremely busy parts of Lo…

Future generations will be lost...

And i mean this literally. I have already written about the degrading orientation skills of London cab drivers, but in the last couple of days i noticed a much more alarming trend. on three occasions i have spotted people using those irritating gps based car navigation units to walk(!) around town. Friggin’ insanity! what do people think they have brains for these days? First time i noticed this was in the phone shop where two female japanese tourists enquired about the stand alone gps units and…

The knowledge

Ars technica has a sweet little write-up about the fact that London cabbies apparently reject satellite navigation devices (which they are allowed to use since beginning of this year). The main reason seems to be pride in having passed the notoriously difficult exam (‘the knowledge‘) which is required to get a license: Cabbies have two basic reasons for not embracing the systems, one rooted in technology and the other in psychology. For one thing, the devices still do not give the kind of perfec…