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Old 04-02-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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Trust your GPS?

Woman follows GPS, gets stuck in snowmobile trail

Apr 1, 9:01 PM (ET)

LANGLADE, Wis. (AP) - A motorist relying on a GPS navigation unit found out the hard way that technology is not always the answer.

Sheriff's officials said a woman was driving when the best routing from the GPS sent her onto a road that forked into a snowmobile trail.
Several miles down the frozen path she stopped and couldn't turn around in about a foot and a half of snow surrounding the car.

She called 911 at 10:44 a.m.

Deputy Keith Svoboda said it took a while to find her and much longer to get heavy equipment in to free the vehicle. Deputies dropped her at a motel for the night.

Svoboda said the lesson is, "People shouldn't believe everything those things tell you."
---
Information from: Antigo Daily Journal,
http://www.antigodailyjournal.com
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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A road is a road is a road. She is the one who decided to go on the snow covered road. If she would have used her brain and said no and tried another road it would have rerouted her. Just because you have a GPS does not mean you do not have to make decisions.

Mapquest used to route people to Apple Valley via Big Bear and then Forest Service roads - Jeep trails. Sure was fun telling people who were in their family sedans as it was being ripped by rocks and tree limbs that it would have been much easier to take I-15 and that they probably should turn around. Some were so confused we had to lead them out and then to highway 18 going down to Lucerne and then AV.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:40 AM   #3
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I have found the locations of stores, campgrounds to be off. here is a campground we go to in St. Augustine, Fla the GPS show it about a half a mile down the road on the wrong side of the road. Nothing there but a vacant lot. I understand the mapping is done by one company, so not mater what brand you got the information will be the same.
Mine will not show the best or shortest route. I still use a road my in planning my route. On a trip in Florida the GPS tried to send me down HWY 301 , where I 75 was just a few miles west and no towns or stop lights to slow me down. I do have the GPS set to use interstate but it don't always do it.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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Hey you have to use your brain. It is a GPS not an Autopilot.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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Ours has picked dirt roads, tried to take us the wrong way on a 1 way street and routinely tries to send us down a closed road that has been in place for many years. I love the convenience of the detailed view of roads that the GPS program provides but believe that its ability to guide me on them is limited- sometimes very limited. 50 foot variances in complex intersections can make a huge difference in whether you are on the correct road to get where you want or not. The GPS positioning on some map areas just isn't precise enough. Probably the most difficult areas are where a significant number of turns are required in a very short space of time and roadway.

All that said, I don't want to travel without a GPS. To me, their best use is in responding to an unexpected problem on the roads. I've been caught a number of times in traffic jams resulting from accidents and found that our GPS was a great way to find a different way that I planned to use. The risk that it will try to take me down a dirt road or worse is always present in those situations but our experience is that, at least so far, it hasn't done that during an unexpected re-route.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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Hey you have to use your brain. It is a GPS not an Autopilot.
Stupid is as stupid does.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:03 PM   #7
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Stupid is as stupid does.
Hey watch it! I resemble that remark.

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Old 04-03-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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From the book "Counting on Frank" - "My Dad said if you have a brain, use it."
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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Most GPS units have a statement in the startup that says, essentially "This device is not intended to replace your brain." I have been "told" to go all kinds of strange routes. If I ignore it, it will reroute me to a route I like.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:09 PM   #10
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A local body shop chain here in South Jersey has several billboards showing a smashed car followed by the quote;

"But my GPS told me to turn left"
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
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A GPS unit is useful if the user realizes the mapping software is not accurate, as stated in the start-up warning. This past weekend I drove from my home to Highland, IL, to Minooka, IL, then back home. I knew the route from reading my Truckers Road Atlas. My GPS told me many times to take winding state roads, while the most direct route was interstates.
Avoiding personal responsibility seems to be the goal of some people today, ie: "the dog ate my homework".
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:02 PM   #12
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A GPS unit is useful if the user realizes the mapping software is not accurate, as stated in the start-up warning. This past weekend I drove from my home to Highland, IL, to Minooka, IL, then back home. I knew the route from reading my Truckers Road Atlas. My GPS told me many times to take winding state roads, while the most direct route was interstates.
Avoiding personal responsibility seems to be the goal of some people today, ie: "the dog ate my homework".
I suggest it is not inaccurate mapping software, rather it is improperly set up guidance. You may have it set for shortest distance route. Without knowing the GPS unit and map S/W, it is hard to analyze totally but I have mine set to use best route not fastest. I have had it misguide me a couple times but I force the alternate.

In fact, I always map the route in advance so I can see where it takes me and insert waypoints should it go astray. Prepare ahead!
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:25 PM   #13
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... In fact, I always map the route in advance so I can see where it takes me and insert waypoints should it go astray. Prepare ahead!
I use Garmin Road Trip to route my trip on my computer then download it to my GPSs. That way there is no surprises or dirt roads that I don't want to take. I like to know the route I'm going in advance and use the GPS to give me advance warning of turns, distances involved and time of arrival.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #14
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I suggest it is not inaccurate mapping software, rather it is improperly set up guidance.
I agree - when we're in the motorhome I set the GS to avoid U-turns and other things, which I change when we're in the toad - usually. Last week I forgot to change it and we were routed about 3 miles out of our way when a simple U-turn would have got us to our destination easily.
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