Skip to comments.Mankind has lost the art of map reading, says the man who INVENTED GPS...
Posted on 02/13/2019 8:57:19 PM PST by Rebelbase
Full title: Mankind has lost the art of map reading, says the man who INVENTED GPS: Bradford Parkinson says world is 'too dependent' on smartphones that are vulnerable to failure
The inventor of GPS has lamented that people are unable to read maps because they are now 'too dependent' on using their smartphones or sat-nav devices.
Bradford Parkinson, the pioneer inventor of the navigation system relied upon by billions of people, said that he 'worries' about what impact its failure could have.
Professor Parkinson received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in London last night for his key role in developing the Global Positioning System or GPS, along with the rest of his team: Professor James Spilker, Jr, Hugo Fruehauf, and Richard Schwartz.
They originally began working on the system in the 1970s as a military project but were unaware of the revolutionary impact it would have on wider society.
GPS signal is made by a network of around 30 spacecraft in orbit that transmit positional information and precise timing to receivers around the globe.
It helps cars, trucks, planes, ships and trains to navigate as well as providing a timing reference for the financial industry.
Professor Parkinson said that many of the tasks it performs were not anticipated when it was created but that it is vulnerable to failure, the Times reports.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I guess I’m confused.
I’m of the older generation who learned to use maps.
But, with GPS, at least GPS on my phone, and in my car, a display of a map shows up, and a dot shows your position on that map display. Don’t you have to know how to interpret a map in order to understand where you are according to the GPS designation?
I love maps. Learned to read them as a kid. Robert Heinlein once said that you can give a man directions, but he still doesnt know where he is after arriving at the new location. Being able to read a map tells you where you are, where youre going, and everything you need to know in between and all around.
With a car navigation system or smartphone app? Not really. It just tells you where to turn, very little thinking / interpretation required.
I love to study a map before I go to a new place to get the general lay of the roads. Recently visited someplace we’d never been, and stopped in several places (WalMart, gas stations) looking for a map of the area. Nobody sold them anymore, and when I asked I got the “Bless your heart” look, like I’d asked to buy a floppy disk.
I wish someone could show me how my GPS works. I have one in my car and in my boat but haven’t a clue how to use it.
I’ve always loved maps. I am happy to have a GPS in my car, as it’s vastly easier to hear where to go and not have to look up. But if the GPS didn’t work, I could read the applicable maps. It’s like my former students shocking me by not being able to read the big classroom analog clock on the wall. No, the poor dears needed a digital clock.
How to cripple a generation:
Manual transmission, rotary dial phone, analogue clock.
Man how invented GPS talks a lot of crap, says man who knows how to read map.
I have over 100 topo maps, of mostly CA, and know how to use them.
That said I was an early GPS user and own some nice Garmin units, Magellan too.
Using a GPS absolutely reduces your ability to use maps because you use them so much less.
I have vacationed on a motorbike crossing the continent 3 times and never even touched a paper map.
If the lights ever do go out, everyone under 40 will be screwed.
So, if the electric grid ever goes down in America, the younger generation won’t be able to:
Find any location;
Do math without a calculator;
Read or write anything in cursive;
tell time on an analog clock.
I feel like a genius, I can do all those things, without electricity.
I too love maps, mainly because they give you the big picture. When I use GPS I want to see the entire route first, so I can 'approve' the route (If I know the area).
Thankfully, I can use all three. Heck, I learned to drive with a manual transmission.
They don’t really look at the map that comes up...they just click for directions and follow them. I taught my grandson (16) to read a regular road map and find things. Starting with places he was familiar with and he had a hard time. He at least has a basic understanding of how to figure things out without GPS.
GPS is great, but anyone who doesn’t carry a map or maps (and know how to use them) is asking for it.
The % of people over 40 who could use a map was pretty small. Roadmaps, maybe. Anything more complicated than that was strictly hobbyist - orienteering, or military. Back bearings, triangulation, allowing for local declination when converting a compass bearing to a map bearing etc. Fun stuff, but it’s a perishable skill, too.
I don’t want to think about how dependent aircraft or ships might be. Do they still carry charts and maps of their route? Contingency planning for complete loss of GPS? Yeesh.
In frustration she said: " Never mind. I will just drive home, then go there from home. I know how to get there from home."
She lived in Hollywood (30) miles Northwest). Santa Anita is about 20 miles east of Hollywood. Reading a map is a good skill to have!
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