Stupid Phone GPS Use

Submitted: Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 10:47
ThreadID: 134058 Views:4458 Replies:17 FollowUps:17
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I stopped to see if some international tourists, who were driving a BMW, needed a hand on the Dargo High Plains road. Their problem was a squeeching sound from a front wheel.I checked it out and it seemed to be a worn brake pad.
The time was 4.30 and I asked them where they were heading to. A young woman got out her phone and showed me their intended route which was from Mt Hotham to Frankston. The phone must have been set to shortest route as south of Dargo it showed that they went to Maffra which is across the mountains.
I knew that this section at least to Briagolong was dirt and not their best route and advsed them to say on the bitumen and drive straight down to the Princes Hwy them stop at Sale and have the car checked out. I told them to drive slowly and we left for Dargo where we waited for 3/4 hr before they arrived knowing that they had got this far safely.
I took their intended route the next day and twice had to back up for oncoming traffic as many sections were one car only.
My point of this post is that I could not believe that people use their phone GPS mapping to travel in country that they don't know and has happened many times before gotten themself into real trouble.This time it didn't happen as they were advised better. Phone GPS is fine in the citiy areas and country driving generally,but not for long journey's when you don't know exactly where they are sending you,especially when set to shortest route mode. Also if they had of gotten into trouble there was no phone service to call for help.
Hope that they made Frankston OK

Murray
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Reply By: gbc - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 11:13

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 11:13
There's an old disused (but gazetted) cobb and co/timber route through the state forest from Conondale over to Crow's nest in QLD that catches out plenty of weekend warriors. The local dairy farmer has put up a sign there are so many. You even see 'ignore GPS directions' signs being put up at roadworks these days - really?
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 12:44

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 12:44
GBC
there are a lot of gazetted roads down as well that are fenced off or no longer exist andyou need to find another way.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 11:48

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 11:48
If people take it seriously and get an app that uses say Open Street Maps a phone GPS can work quite well. There are other decent mapsets available too.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 12:29

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 12:29
Murray

IMHO, nothing beats an up to date good paper map for overall route planning, particularly for the more uninhabited parts of the country [which includes the Vic HC].

However, the problems you outlined re the use of phone map apps are not confined to just these apps. Many of the well known GPS navigation systems are just as likely to give people a bum steer if they have, knowingly or unknowingly, the wrong settings.

In addition, many [most?] of the maps have errors and if you know a particular area well, it is not hard to find them. For example, there are quite a few locations in SE SA that are up to 20kms from their actual position and neither Google Maps nor Garmin are in the slightest bit interested! You would think that a quick glance at Google Maps would help them get it right.

On top of all this is the addition problem of overseas visitors not knowing of the hugely variable conditions here and having no experience of remote travel. Their phone nav apps may well work very well in their own more densely developed country and they would have no reason to suspect they would not work here. Mind you, such naivety is not confined to o/s visitors :-)

Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 12:46

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 12:46
Once we hit the dirt the street navigation is shelved. It's very rarely used any way.

We use maps scanned into a data base and a program that shows where we are and in what direction we are travelling, on those maps. And a very handy "paper trail" so that we could back up if needed.

Hema and Garmin come to mind but we prefer Oziexplorer. The only skill needed is to know how to read a paper map and and some very basic skills with your chosen program.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:07

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:07
Andrew
I agree with every thing you have said, but if they did have paper maps they would probably be state maps that only have different coloured lines and line sizes on a white sheet which don't show what the country is acturally like and think that these lines are drivable no matter what you drive.

Murray

Phil
Unforturnatly I will say that most people are not prepared with navigational equipment when they go bush, but one if using a GPS is that if they have trip log switched on which I think mst wouldn't at least they could find their way back.This does still not stop them from getting into trouble.

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:18

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:18
Hi Murray

And that's why they get into trouble; "are not prepared with navigational equipment when they go bush". Will help anyone out, but no sympathy for ignorance and stupidity.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:21

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:21
Murray

I agree that many paper maps now available leave a lot to be desired.

Shell used to put out a series of very good state maps that were generally accurate and had a fair bit of detail, with different classes of roads clearly differentiated.

A good sign of rugged terrain is how winding the road is on the map but even that might be a bit too sophisticated for some :-)

Cheers
Andrew
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Reply By: TomH - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:01

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:01
Nearly as bad as the tourists who drove into the tide because their GPS indicated they could drive to Stradbroke Island from the mainland, Faced with the ocean what would you do Naive or Stupid Your pick
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:15

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:15
I will leave that one to you

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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:12

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:12
It is the way people are being conditioned to think.

Smart phones and Apps are dumbing people into thinking all you need to do is ask and you’ll get the answer you are looking for – whether it is the correct one or the one you need is another matter altogether.

One needs to be ever vigilant not to fall into the trap…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:21

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 13:21
Baz
Thats right, all people have to do is Google it weather its navigation or whatever and the answer may not be in their best interests.

cheers Murray
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 19:13

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 19:13
Gday Murray
Its a lot to do with home work as well, asking people that might know what the roads are like , even asking on EO forum, how embarrasing would that be.
Muzbry
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 09:28

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 09:28
Hi Muz
You know that I get lost every time I call in at your place and have to use Gloria as I have no one to ask.

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Follow Up By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 13:25

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 13:25
Gday old son
I get misplaced most time i leave the city, Laurence comes to the rescue and tells me to do a "U" turn when possible, many times , over and over. But i work my way through and find home base , eventually.
Muzbry
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 21:25

Reply By: Member - Blue M - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 21:36

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 21:36
One of the best trips I have had as far as seeing things that I would never have other wise seen.
I was in Gundagai and set a route to Stanthorpe on my trusty old Navman, the shortest route, dirt roads allowed.

I travelled down the highway about 50k's and it (Navman) said turn right, I looked at where it wanted me to go and it was just 2 wheel tracks down a fence line.

The Hilux had a full tank of juice (140l) 40 litres of water and enough tucker for a few days, plus we had time to kill, so I thought why not.

After about 10k's I hit a half decent dirt road, it said turn left, from then on I just went where it told me to go, we were out in the boondocks and driving thru some of the best scenery I had seen.

It took me down a lot of less than desirable roads and some good ones as well that led to lovely little towns off the beaten track that one would never detour to see, had you been traveling down the highway.

Doubt you would find some of them on a paper map.

The wife had her Ipad with the Hema 4wd maps on her lap as well, so we knew exactly where we were at any given time, and would have been capable to navigate us back to the highway or a major road if necessary.

I sometimes do this just for the fun of it, I call it "an adventure to the unknown", where as others may call it "stupidity" to venture into the unknown without all the relevant planning.

I do carry paper maps with me but rarely use them.

But back to what the OP originally stated, it sometimes can be dangerous for unsuspecting people to rely solely on digital mapping, that may not be prepared for what is to come or, do not have the right vehicle for the suggested trip.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 22:50

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 22:50
I've done exactly that, Blue. Took a nostalgia trip to my roots in western Victoria and afterwards took the most direct route home to Sydney. Went through towns that I'd only heard about on the "wireless" in the 50's and 60's.

And we do it often when we're touring. It's a great way to see places that you'd otherwise never see.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 09:39

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 09:39
Blue & Frank
Yes your Gps can take you to some intersting places if your set up to go that way and be safe, but inexperienced travellers can get caught out as may have happened in this case.

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 22:06

Friday, Jan 06, 2017 at 22:06
Murray
Maps aren't much use if they are in a language you can understand.
Not sure about this instance and how many of that party of international tourists could read a paper map in English.
GPS proved a godsend to me when travelling and driving in the UK, let alone in a non English speaking country. Perhaps you need to look at things from their perspective?
For the record I love paper maps for long distance trip planning or fire trails, I only bought a 1:25k topo map yesterday of some country 150km NE of where I live.
Mark
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 07:37

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 07:37
That's correct, language is an issue. We've relied on GPS to navigate a lot of Europe. In most countries you've got Buckley's chance of reading any street sign, even a lot of the towns aren't the same name in English. For instance, you won't find Florence on a sign anywhere in Italy, it's Firenze. The gps made the trip so easy but not infallible....we did end up in the middle of a paddock in Bavaria which was a bit of a laugh.
It would have been a lot harder trying to do it with paper maps and they would have taken up too much space in the car. Imagine having the Gregory's/Melway for every city in continental Europe in your luggage? We had every street in every town for Europe, UK and Scandinavia on our phones plus a voice to guide us, simply amazing almost beyond belief. Asian tourists here would be completely lost without the gps and probably have only rudimentary English a lot of the time so asking directions is somewhat out of the question. The gps is one of my favourite inventions even with its sometimes comical faults.
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Reply By: terryt - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 06:49

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 06:49
GPS maps are based on paper maps. They are no worse than the map they are based on. Just because a road/track or whatever shows on your whizbang paper map doesn't mean it is actually a road. It may have been gazetted long ago and then never developed. It may have been resumed as farmland legally or not legally. The issue is not so much what shows on your GPS or map but the attitude of it says go this way or it shows a route going there and I will blindly blunder along following it.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 09:22

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 09:22
They were lucky Murray , and thanks to you.

We were up there just after boxing day and as we headed north past Blue Rag turn off towards Hotham we entered heavy cloud and rain , conditions on this popular dirt road got so that I had to go 4wd , visibility went to near zero , but my gps helped a lot because we had to drive sections using my own preloaded track file. At least one car slid into ditch and when we got to Hotham it even hailed.

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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 10:04

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 10:04
Hi Robin
I was over at Mt Beauty when that storm went through, not sure what day you were at Hotham but we got 180mm of rain in two days with some down pours making visability only 50mts. Glad I was under my awning and not no a dirt track on the side of a hill like you.

Murray
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Reply By: DiggZ - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 11:15

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 11:15
Google maps are now showing private roads/tracks on private property. I noticed this recently when I was planning a route from home. We have 20 acres and the house is at the rear of the block and out track/road in was marked on the map. So I looked a bit further and yes a lot of properties have roads marked and also buildings.

I'm sure that this will cause confusion and probably unauthorised access because it "is marked on the map". This is just one example, I looked at a few farms that I know and they all had their roads marked

A screen shot of google maps.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 13:19

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 13:19
We suffer the same fate at our place:

The road to the run through (and about 200m beyond) is a gazetted roads . The track from the gate down to the house is a private road, as are all the tracks through the farm. These all show on Google Maps.

We often get up at 3:00 am to load stock out to find people parked up for the night in the middle of one of our paddocks. Normally we don't have an issue (if it is an overnight stop), but do draw the line at them cutting down trees for firewood, removing wooden posts that mark drains or poly joiners and lighting fires.

Had a few disgruntled campers whom we've asked to move on (because they couldn't respect our rules). The worst resulting in a firearm being produced and what I like to call a "tactical disengagement". An hour later the police arrived and invited them to spend some time in a better class of accommodation.

Google Maps take a lot of their information from aerial photos. They don't bother to check the accuracy of their maps.

Cheers

Anthony

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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 11:28

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 11:28
In navigational terms the Dargo High Plains road can almost be done with your eyes shut.

The wrinkle is the road surface, and when paper maps where the only kind around many small-scale versions didn't indicate the nature of the surface either.
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:10

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 at 20:10
Sigmund
The Dargo High Plains rd was not their problem, it was where they were directed after turning off that may have brought them unstuck.

Murray
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 22:49

Sunday, Jan 08, 2017 at 22:49
Nobody should be entirely dependent and trusting of GPS navigation of any form ..... the marine navigation systems often pop a disclaimer to that effect every power up.

When the work is on, I travel distances long and short every day ........ some of the things my GPS tells me I know are not efficient or ill advised.

A couple of things that amuse me.

When set to shortest route, the GPS will often direct me to exit and re enter the highway, because the service road is marginally shorter than the highway.

Also when set to shortest route, it will direct me to go thru convoluted detours rather than the main road which would have been quicker.

One of the things I have learned is to look at the route offered near main roads ...... the GPS will often direct a route via some small side street, that is almost impossible to get out of when there is a traffic light controlled intersection 2 streets up.

Several times I have been directed into dead end streets, where a street of the same name has been divided or has yet to be completed as a thru road.

and all this is around or within 1 hour of the GPO....... get out a bit further and you realy have to mind yourself ...... a wrong direction on some highway sections and you could find yourself traveling a hour out of your way before you can turn around.

GPS is a great thing ....... but you certainly can not trust it.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 21:31

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 21:31
You've just described a great failing of this mad rush to self driving cars. Add in Council and others changing all sorts of things to road conditions such as one way, speed, intersections etc and disasters may happen. Ford are wanting to start producing a car with no pedals and steering wheel in 2021. As James May said, there's already a self driving car, it's a Taxi.
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Reply By: Dean K3 - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 20:41

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 20:41
Had a similar how far is it to as well.

Bloke came up behind me rather quickly so i pulled over north of Mt gould lockup and before Landor to let him through. Except he kept driving alongside me, so stopped let window down once dust had buggered off - can you tell me where we are and how far to Mt Augustus was the query

Looked at him rather quizzical after he explained was using his mobile phone as guidance, so using both Oziexplorer and 4wd atlas estimated 120-150 kms to go yep thanks and took off in another cloud of dust never to be seen again

as a experiment I turned on the get lost device to find out where i was and sure enough stated " location unknown road not present" or words to that effect

Give me a map any day of week and if i want to have a current location yes GPS helps but only as good as you are with a map
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Jan 15, 2017 at 06:35

Sunday, Jan 15, 2017 at 06:35
If a person hits their thumb with a hammer because they can't use it properly is it the hammer's faulty design?

If a person cuts their finger off when using a saw is the saw faulty?

Sure - maps have errors, and all instruments have errors.

The problem is not the GPS, it is the idiots that use them in blind faith.

Regrettably something like 3 - 5% of the population are complete fools, but nearly everyone uses a GPS. So those GPS fail stories will be common when the 3% use a GPS.

When you click "I agree on those google or Apple maps, you confirm that you know how to use the map responsibly and acknowledge that there may be errors. No one reads that stuff though, then blame the GPS when they get into a difficult situation.

When these people get lost in remote locations in the cold, it's just nature taking it's course. ( That's a Joke Joyce)
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Follow Up By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 15, 2017 at 14:15

Sunday, Jan 15, 2017 at 14:15
Hi Boobook
I'm not saying that these people were idiots, far from it. They just had to much blind faith in the mapping system that they were using in an area that they had on clue about.as have alot of other people. Just glad that I stopped and helped them by pointing them in the right direction instead of their blind faith in their phone to get them to Frankston.
My point of the post is what you have said, people putting to much faith in their phone or street gps and getting into trouble. Joyce is LOL.

Murray
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Reply By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2017 at 21:14

Sunday, Jan 22, 2017 at 21:14
I had decided to drive from Singleton to Wisemans Ferry down the Paynes Crossing Road. When I got to the wooden bridge crossing the river, I found a fully loaded fuel truck sitting at the crossing with the driver worried about the weight the bridge would handle. I asked him where he was going - he told me Sydney. I asked what was he doing coming down this road instead of the main highway. His reply was that his GPS had sent him here.
I stressed to him that while useful, a GPS should never be taken at it's word, and a familiarity with where he was going gleaned from a paper map was imperative.
He replied that he had only been here a week, just started the job, and was from New Zealand. I don't think he had a SOH when I told him "That's OK, we can teach you how to read a map"
True story
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