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Apr 29 2011

The Shortest Route May Not Always be Fastest

A quick tip for tonight for those who use GPS.

Sometimes, when we are in a hurry, we can often make hasty decisions such as choosing the shortest route between two geographical locations for the purposes of GPS navigation. Without local knowledge of the roads sometimes you can sent down minor roads, unsealed roads or down a route that may have slower speed limits. This could potentially put you in a situation where you can be driving beyond your means or the capabilities of your vehicle in the case of gravel roads particularly after dark.

Conversely, we should try to avoid putting blind faith in GPS devices when we punch in an address and set off. It’s always good to verify a rough plot of your journey against something else like Google Maps to make sure you know where you should be headed. The added benefit of Google Maps is that you can overlay current and estimated traffic densities for a given time of day to influence your decision. Unless your GPS has realtime traffic updates (which some of the latest models do) then your GPS will be none the wiser about traffic conditions.

GPS devices are great gadgets and they have certainly worked a treat for me in the past but they should not replace the use of the old grey matter and a little bit of research for those longer road trips and trips into unknown territory.

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