Sunday, December 13, 2009

The New Luddites, Part 3

The New Luddites have stuck their heads up again. This time it's the Economist whining about information overload in mobile GPS units. The correspondent is, he assures us, a longtime lover and user of maps, but somehow all those curvy lines on the display just overwhelm him. He compensates by dimming the display and just listening to the spoken directions. The barely-below-the-surface theme is that maps have no business being digitized anyway. After all, people have been getting along with paper maps for centuries.

Is this a problem anyone else has? The GPS display seems perfectly clear and informative to me, even without a lifetime love affair with maps. I just don't get it. Every once in a while you glance at the display to see how far it is to your next waypoint. Actually, you don't even have to do that because the GPS unit will warn you in plenty of time.

If the GPS unit overwhelms you, turn the damn thing off and use paper maps or your memory or whatever. Just leave the rest of us in peace. Please.

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