I just completed a lengthy road-trip with CaffeineFuelled, which once again brought to the forefront our differing views on technology. I, for my own view, love GPS units. I have one built into my car, and I use it all the time. Just to find an address in town, I will punch it in and let the GPS guide me. Frequently its advice seems counter-intuitive, but more often than not, just when I’m doubting its ability, that wonderful little computer spits me out somewhere I least expected, and I find my destination within a few meters of my location. If I don’t have my GPS, I find that I stick only to major routes so I don’t get lost.
CaffeineFuelled, on the other hand, prefers her own navigation. She’ll read a map beforehand, or rely on routes that people have told her are faster. Frequently this seems to work, but there have been times when we’re following her route, with GPS as a backup, and I’ve watched forlornly as the “Estimated Arrival” time keeps getting later and later. I can’t put too much faith in that measurement, as I know that even when following its route, that time is never accurate, but it always keeps me wondering whether her route or mine would actually prove faster. This is, of course, compounded by the fact that in our part of the world, there are always dozens of possible routes to our destination, so it’s also possible that there is another route, still faster, that neither of us knows about because a map error keeps us from trying it. Sometimes ducking across a parking lot — something neither of our techniques factor in — can shave ten minutes off a trip, but you won’t know that unless you live there.
What is your tried-and-true technique that you swear by? Do you trust colloquial knowledge, or leave your faith in the powers of Skynet?