[LINK] limits of technology in finding someone

rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sat Dec 9 08:11:47 AEDT 2006


> The bad news is that none of the GPS systems was convincing at finding 
> a number of randomly selected interstate destinations – particularly 
> those outside major centres.


> But with units costing between $499 and $999, CHOICE recommends 
> consumers carefully consider whether a GPS unit is value for money or 
> whether they should stick with their street directory.

And some personal observations.

- Sydney taxis are getting into GPS; the results are horrible. The units 
have bad information - such as out-of-date one-way streets - the routes 
are badly planned, and it's impossible to convince a driver that I might 
know where my home is better than the GPS system.

- A month or so back, I waited a very long time for roadside battery 
service. Turned out the GPS directed the driver about 10km out of his 
way between Sydney Airport and Leichhardt.

As a bushwalker, I have two attitudes: either walk where you don't need 
a map at all (Sydney has plenty of great day walks that are trail-marked 
all the way), or take a topo and a compass. The chances of my trusting 
something with a couple of inches of screen and a battery to go flat are 
exactly zero...


Roger Clarke wrote:

> At 14:28 +1100 8/12/06, Danny Yee wrote:
>> I had an interesting experience the first time I was on a bushwalk
>> where the leader had a GPS. ...
> I've asked a couple of people to use GPS to nail down the height 
> difference between my house and the trig on the ridge about 250-300 
> metres away as the crow flies, and 600 paces in 5 mins 40 secs +/- 10 
> secs.
> No-one's managed to get a decent reading at the house (which has a 
> clear northerly view, and is 100m above lake-level). Remarkably, 
> there's also been difficulties getting a consistent reading on top of 
> the trig, which is treeless (and blessedly telecomms-towerless) and 
> has vistas in all directions.
> I'll stick with the 650m to 725m that I estimate from the local 
> 1:100,000.
> The 1:25,000 says 727m, but the house elevation I don't know, because 
> within the built-up area the contours are smothered by the 
> cartographer's ridiculous preference for block-boundaries and colour 
> over topographical information.

More information about the Link mailing list