Is GPS All in Our Head?

 

Perhaps

I may not NEED GPS but I sure do enjoy it !

No more arguments now with my S.O. over directions.

Now if we're wrong it's Jack's fault !

--
MrKenFL- "Money can't buy you happiness .. But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery." NUVI 260, Nuvi 1490LMT & Nuvi 2595LMT all with 2014.4 maps !

.

While I see what the author is saying, rats do not drive any type of vehicles, nor pay for fuel. They do not travel long distances, with a particular destination in mind. They also do not have to navigate a myriad of highways, freeways, and streets.

Rats are typically mobile in their own neighbourhood. I don't know anyone that uses a GPS for there own area, do you? So, humans do learn the mapping for their areas already. In that way, I feel the author is comparing apples and oranges.

That said, all those that want to go back to paper maps, or no maps at all, please raise your hands!

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

Me thinks

Quote:

Julia Frankenstein is a psychologist at the Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Freiburg.

She has too much grant money available.

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1490LMT 1450LMT 295w

I travel for work,and before

I travel for work,and before the days of GPS travel was always a hassle. Trying to find a hotel, gas station, restaurant, airport, customer address...all a nightmare before GPS.

--
http://www.poi-factory.com/node/21626 - red light cameras do not work

Don't really need it

I don't really need it. I got along pretty well before GPS, but it makes driving in a strange place so much easier than trying to use a map and look for signs, etc.

Enjoy Using It

I like to see what it comes up with even when local. It is also enteraining when drive donwn the highway and the wife is asleep. smile

--
johnm405 660 & MSS&T

Driving with GPS

When I was younger, I didn't have the GPS & didn't need one.
I would look at a map, and that was it.
As I get older, my memory is not as good as it once was. I would have to keep looking at the map for directions.
Now I just put in my destination and let the GPS tell me where I am and where to turn.
Yes, I could get where I am going without one, but it would be a lot harder.
So GOD bless it!

--
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!

No more map for me.

I don't use a paper map any more but the wife is holding one to see where we are and what is around us.
I used to make a list of the highways and exit numbers where I had to go and kept it behind the visor. I looked at it once in a while and tried to remember where to go. Those days are gone.

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GPSmap76Cx handheld, Nuvi 2557LMT, Nuvfi 2598LMTHD

Author basically wrong

It's an interesting piece but I think that experience shows the author to be wrong. I like to use one of my 3 GPSs when traveling and I keep one in each vehicle even when traveling around town. They are my bluetooth phone and non-radio music source. But when I navigate with the GPS I do not just blindly do whatever it says. I have at least a general idea where I am going and often check the route to make sure I agree. Even when I don't check it and the area is unfamiliar, I am still trying to note landmarks and understand what way I am going. I think that is natural. So my brain is still exercised spatially, just not in the same exact way. It's rare but I have had each nuvi direct me a way I could not or did not want to go. One time a bridge was out. Other times it directed me up a road with lots of lights. Other times it is just a road I don't like. I like having it on so I don't miss a turn but I am still gathering and storing information on my route and checking the nuvi against my stored knowledge. My brain doesn't turn off until I sleep. The nuvi certainly doesn't result in my brain sleeping.

Jim

Really, comparing us to mice

I kinda stopped reading the article when they started talking about mice.

Yes, we all develop a mental map of an area which allows us to learn shortcuts. We just do it faster with a GPS onboard instead of trying to drive while trying to read a map in our hands that should be on the steering wheel.

We don't always have to go where Jill tells us to go, which I don't! I make the decision.

--
Harley BOOM GTS, Zumo 665, (2) Nuvi 765Ts, 1450LMT, 1350LM & others | 2019 Harley Ultra Limited Shrine - Peace Officer Dark Blue

Have you ever

Have you ever been driving somewhere following a route perhaps and come upon an accident and the police send you down a road that you have no idea where it might take you?

That's when I appreciate the fact that no matter where I may be going, whether it's places that I go to regularly or to some unfamiliar place, I have my GPS on.

--
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

Yes

Last Mrk wrote:

Have you ever been driving somewhere following a route perhaps and come upon an accident and the police send you down a road that you have no idea where it might take you?

I had a weekly ritual of taking the same route through Manhattan every Thursday evening for work, and it got to the point where I decided I no longer needed GPS as I knew the route. The first day I chose not to use the GPS, was the same day I saw traffic cops directing traffic to go a different route than I knew. I begged him to let me turn, no luck. Had to go straight, find a place to pull over, and wait until I could acquire the satellites before proceeding. Took some time as the buildings made it difficult to acquire.

--
Streetpilot C340 Nuvi 2595 LMT

Agreed

I've found a GPS to be useful in a similar situation as well. While the traffic function of my 1490T can be hit or miss, there was an occassion where it "paid for itself" as far as I'm concerned. Going from Houston's Intercontinental airport to my lodging location in the Med Center area of town is about a 24 mile drive that I've done numerous times and wouldn't need my GPS if it came down to it.

However, on one trip, it suggested an entirely different route that I never thought it should have. Just to "humor it" I decided to try the new route. As it turns out, not only was the typical route congested from a truck turnover, in Houston that often means the road is completely closed off to traffic. So taking this unfamiliar route allowed me to get to my destination about 30 minutes later than usual. The "regular way"? It was shut down for over 5 hours.

Last Mrk wrote:

Have you ever been driving somewhere following a route perhaps and come upon an accident and the police send you down a road that you have no idea where it might take you?

That's when I appreciate the fact that no matter where I may be going, whether it's places that I go to regularly or to some unfamiliar place, I have my GPS on.

--
NEOhioGuy - Garmin 2639, MIO Knight Rider, TomTom (in Subaru Legacy), Nuvi 55, DriveSmart 51, Apple CarPlay maps

yep

Last Mrk wrote:

Have you ever been driving somewhere following a route perhaps and come upon an accident and the police send you down a road that you have no idea where it might take you?

That's when I appreciate the fact that no matter where I may be going, whether it's places that I go to regularly or to some unfamiliar place, I have my GPS on.

Had that happen a week ago outside Ocala. That's why I always keep my GPS charged and easily accessible.

Dr. J. Frankenstein's research on congitive maps and GPS use.

A somewhat lengthy comment on Dr. Frakenstein's research on GPS use and cognitive maps. By way of conclusion, I believe her findings validate how our brains work. I speak from the perspective of a hikers.

As a hiker, my recognition of a place is both general in the sense of a feeling I have been there before, and then specific as to an easily identifiable object that tells me my feeling is correct. Of course sometimes the specific object recognition comes first, but not always.

Before departing on hike I begin building a mental map by consulting a detailed topographic map to understand the area (peaks, valleys, direction of travel, etc.), Once at the the trail head I orient the map to north and locate as best I can distinctive geographic features and their relative position to my intended direction of travel. I then take a way point reading with my GPS and save it as our "start point". As I walk I pay continual attention to my surroundings both local and more distant, sometimes to the point of talking to myself and describing what I see and which direction to head when I reach this point (e.g. at the two trees that look like a Japanese "torii" turn left at largest rock". I frequently look backward to see where I came from. This makes sure I have a two way (in and out) map in my head. At key junctures we take compass readings and we consult a topo map. I also take a GPS reading and save it as waypoint.

Mistakes lead to the creation of the most vivid mental maps. The fear of being lost heightens all my senses (and I am sure this is true for anyone) and the recollection of these incidents in terms of the area's specifics is simply amazing. Recall up to the last point of correct travel and everything thereafter is vivid and months later my mind will bring back that "map" as it attempts to determine where the mistake was made. This recall is not volitional it just happens.

It might be interesting to determine if hikers (or other out door types) who do not rely on GPS have stronger and more finely tuned internal map making abilities. It would also be interesting to take a person who does not have a lot of outdoor experience and place them in a situation where they must create those maps. While it is not possible to truly create the fear of being lost, perhaps using a reward and punishment regimen (reward for getting out, punishment for failure) could serve as an approximation of reality. After all, this natural ability is likely strongly rooted in humans' ability to survive and those who recover from a mistake are not likely to want to repeat that mistake.

Regardless, the research was educational and conforms to my personal experience.

Last point, a GPS as a back-up can be a life saver. But no serious hiker would ever rely on just a GPS because one bad battery and you could end up dead. But despite the best mental maps and the most skilled map and compass use, mistakes are made or conditions are such that visual cues are not available (whiteouts, heavy fog, etc.) and in these circumstances the GPS can be the life saver.

Lastly, and unrelatedly, maps in the Japanese subways are not oriented north. Each station's map is oriented in what is considered to be the most natural sense of that station's area. It is confusing at first, but it works well after one accommodates to the system.

--
R.P. Tensai

Need?

Need - no.

Want - yes.

would rather not have to

would rather not have to pull over to read a map while on the road searching for the destination I need to go..

so for me/my family yes it is a great idea. Paper maps are hard to read and get ruined after 1 use...

--
GARMIN nuvi2350LMT...

I *need* a GPS so rarely as

I *need* a GPS so rarely as to make it an unnecessary device. But those rare occasions where I do need it offset the fact that it is as rare as it is.

Of course the fact that it also delivers traffic information and serves as the handsfree device for my cell phone make it the necessity that is - the navigation feature is almost serendipitous.

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Currently have: SP3, GPSMAP 276c, Nuvi 760T, Nuvi 3790LMT, Zumo 660T

Hand NOT raised!

Juggernaut wrote:

While I see what the author is saying, rats do not drive any type of vehicles, nor pay for fuel. They do not travel long distances, with a particular destination in mind. They also do not have to navigate a myriad of highways, freeways, and streets.

Rats are typically mobile in their own neighbourhood. I don't know anyone that uses a GPS for there own area, do you? So, humans do learn the mapping for their areas already. In that way, I feel the author is comparing apples and oranges.

That said, all those that want to go back to paper maps, or no maps at all, please raise your hands!

grin

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

mental maps

The author implies that we suspend our cognitive perceptions when using the GPS and that the GPS and our "memtal maps" are mutually exclusive. Why can't we use both? I know that while I rely on the GPS for directions, I also take in the landmarks and spatial relationships along the route. And if I repeat a route, I usually am less reliant on the GPS's instructions.

I bought the GPS to use, but

I bought the GPS to use, but it is never in my car. The gf has it in hers for the traffic updates and helping eliminate some stress when commuting.