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Thread: navigating

  1. #1
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Default navigating

    I've always been interested in how people navigate from one location to another... probably the result of having a sis who couldn't navigate out of a paper bag and a SO who is in love with his GPS

    I always keep a mental map of the entire area so that if I'm trying to navigate to somewhere, even if I've never been there before, I can construct the best route to get there out of knowledge as to how the general layout of the road system goes... if driving somewhere completely unfamiliar (i.e. another city and state that I've never visited) I tend to look at a map once, imagine driving it and then toss it in the back seat and go... I've never been lost

    my sis has gps (can't remember how it works no matter how many times I show her/explain it/walk her through), I draw her maps with directions written out as well and she still has to call for directions... she's always been that way much to the chagrin of our parents and any of her boyfriends...

    the man KNOWS how to get around in most cases if he's been there before, but still feels more comfortable using the GPS... enthusiastic force meets immovable object when I decide to point out that there's a more efficient way to get there and he is stuck on his GPS

    my mother continually consults maps because she's afraid that she WILL get lost (and calls my dad or me for directions to confirm that she's headed the right way... poor lady hates travel!) and my dad operates on approximately the same principle as I do...

    how do other people navigate? is it any different if you've been there once before?

    just curious!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    If I have been there several times, I just remember how to get there, gauging my position by key landmarks and street names. If something throws this off (e.g. road closed), I can usually get there just by knowing the general location of the destination relative to my current location. It is especially easy for me to get to a familiar location (e.g. home) from an unfamiliar one.

    If I have been somewhere only once or twice, a quick look at a map to remind myself of the street names/exits usually suffices. If I am going somewhere for the first time, I prepare well. I look at online maps, print one or two out if needed, and take them with me. I prefer these to GPS because I can take them wherever I go, any car, rest stop, etc. I can mark them with phone numbers or other details. I dislike the aspect of GPS feeding me instructions as I go. I want to see the whole route at once, either mentally, or on paper. I also often choose routes other than what GPS recommends.

    I should specify here that I follow this method both for local driving and for long (hundreds of miles) road trips. I find I can make a trip of many hours and arrive at my destination within 15 minutes of when I plan to arrive, barring major mishap. I enjoy driving places and navigating my way around, and especially going somewhere for the first time.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #3
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    @Coriolis... interesting! details without GPS obsession! I've never been a big fan of the GPS because I know that there's better routes out there and exploring them is half of the fun

    it's never occurred to me to look at details like rest areas though... it seems like a good idea though...

    and navigating is half of the fun of a trip in a way
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #4
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    I don't usually look ahead to where the rest areas are, rather I look at my maps while making a rest/gas stop. For long trips, I will sometimes mark my map (or even my paper road atlas) with the location of good gas stops, restaurants, other features, or even areas to avoid, for future reference should I travel that way again. I will be aware, for instance, that a certain ~90 mile segment of a drive has expensive gas stations and few worthwhile restaurants, so best get food/gas before, or be able to wait until after.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #5
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I tend to cheat and use Gas Buddy to find what's the cheapest if I have the time to do so... otherwise I'll pay extra just to not run out of gas at the last possible minute

    pretty much, I'm happy to use any smart phone travel app as long as it isn't GPS

    some more planning on trips may be beneficial though... I've run out of gas before about a quarter of a mile from the gas station (that I'd passed) and had to walk back
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  6. #6
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    just curious!
    I love maps ever since I discovered the map is not the territory. So each map is a unique way of looking at the territory. So I use maps to give me a different perspective.

  7. #7
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    when I was a kid I would read our giant copy of the world atlas for hours, imagining what all of the different places in the world might be like and which ones I wanted to travel to when I grew up and could do so... now, I'm planning on actually taking a step towards seeing if some of the particular pages of the map are anything like I imagined... exciting!

    I like maps better than GPS because it gives you a bird's eye view so that you can form an entire mental layout of the area... then you know how to reroute if there's an accident, or if you need to go somewhere nearby in the future you know how to do so
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    when I was a kid I would read our giant copy of the world atlas for hours, imagining what all of the different places in the world might be like and which ones I wanted to travel to when I grew up and could do so... now, I'm planning on actually taking a step towards seeing if some of the particular pages of the map are anything like I imagined... exciting!

    I like maps better than GPS because it gives you a bird's eye view so that you can form an entire mental layout of the area... then you know how to reroute if there's an accident, or if you need to go somewhere nearby in the future you know how to do so
    Of course there are different maps of the same area. And each map tells us something different. And we can even make our own maps - yes, yes, I can see you as a creative cartographer.

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    any map I draw is adorned with terrible drawings of what I'm attempting to convey

    exploring and mapping somewhere unexplored has a real draw though... unfortunately that's confined to underground, the ocean floor and bits of the siberian plateau by now

    gotta sympathize with the narrator in Heart of Darkness sometimes
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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