Sunday, September 18, 2011

AND WHERE IS THAT AGAIN?

Around two years ago, a rather spiffy gadget walked into my life and ever since then, things seem so much clearer. My life suddenly had direction. And the gadget? (Drumrolls please! The GPS unit. Ha ha) 

Now, I've had a friend of a friend say that GPS usage makes you stop thinking as you try to make your way to a certain destination, and although I am the kind of person who is all for thinking, I just cannot toss the GPS unit away. You see, in the old days (before google maps and all), if I had to go somewhere new, I'd pick up the street directory and study it like I was going to sit for an exam using it's contents, copy important directions down neatly and store the copy as well as the original map in the car. One day before having to make the journey, I'd take the car, and the map and the copy, as well as the whole family and we'd all ply the route together to get it right before I attempted it on my own the next day or so. This method worked fine most of the time, but there was once, even with the one day before trial route, when I took the wrong ramp, realised it a bit too late and ended up in a long road to nowhere and didn't know how to turn back. I stopped at a petrol station to ask for the way back to not much help as the man at the petrol station himself wasn't sure which way I had to take. Thank goodness I had a colleague who knew the area well and he guided me out of the road to nowhere (it was actually leading to this place called Jinjang) via phone.

I just cannot bring myself to relive days like that.

Earlier, I was looking up the directions to a book warehouse sale, thinking that I should at least just go and check it out, but as much as I searched, I couldn't seem to find the given address on the GPS unit. In fact, the name of the street given leads me all the way to Singapore! A search on google maps indicated the same problem - not that it led me to Singapore or anything, but the name of the street just didn't exist on the map. After some more searching, it turns out that when you search for the place with the address given in the newspaper ad - Jalan Bersatu, Section 13/4, Petaling Jaya, google maps just gets all confused. Referring to an older map on the official site of the sale organiser to the following - Jalan 13/4 Section 13 Petaling Jaya, and suddenly, google maps and the GPS unit nod their imaginary heads and say - 'easy peasy' ;)

Anyway, some time back, a friend put up a google map *glitch which I thought was hilarious. This is what you do:
1. Go to google maps
2. Click on get directions
3. On A type China
4. On B type Taiwan
5. Get Directions
6. Check that it's on G70
7. Scroll down to direction no 56
8. Laugh.

*for the lack of a better word

11 comments:

  1. Terra, I have similar directional challenges. In shopping centres when I use the bathroom I invariably come out and turn the wrong way. I rely heavily on my Melway, which is street maps etc of Melbourne, even then I often get it wrong, so a GPS would be an excellent birthday present if only someone would be me one!
    Stella

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  2. Yes, I'd like one for my birthday too

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  3. Stella: I have similar problems with shopping centres I'm not familiar with, not so much the bathrooms, but finding people I'm supposed to meet up with. Poor things will have to wait for a bit as I make my way from one corner to the other.

    Thanks for visiting :)

    Nurse: I certainly didn't expect the GPS unit to be in such popular demand. Feels good to know that there are others who find it as much as a necessity as I do :)

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  4. In the UK we call them satnavs...is this unique to us? I had a hire car in the US a while back and I asked for a car with a satnav and they didn't know what I meant.

    I've had one for a couple of years. I think they're very useful but looking at a map gives you a better overall picture of your journey.

    Driving through London, technology will rarely find the fastest route.

    I laughed at no. 56 :)

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  5. Oh I've had those days when I was supposed to go to Shah Alam and ended up in Klang! *In my defense there wasn't a u-turn on the highway

    But I have to admit, GPS makes lift a lot more easier - especially if you're overseas :)

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  6. I love maps and have always loved the way you can find out where to go even if you've never been to a place before. I love the map app on my iphone... I feel I need never be lost again. I think though most people dont think about direction a lot - they generally wander around until they find it, so gps really just makes people more efficient... also less dependent on bad directions. Although gps and google maps both refuse to believe that the place I currently live exists... its like living in a swamp or something!

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  7. King of Scurf: Interesting question... Personally, I think I'd understand what a satnav is if someone mentioned it to me.

    sriyani: LOL. Yes, there's no U-turn on the highway! So very frustrating if you miss your exit.

    LMC: :)

    AHD: Yes, you definitely waste less time wandering around when you study the route beforehand/use the gps.

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  8. My GPS tried to send me in the wrong direction on my way up the East Coast. It also thought I was driving off road a few times. I lol'd.

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  9. I have to admit, sometimes the glitches on the GPS just can't help but make you want to laugh

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