Friday, December 17, 2010

Bless GPS

Being in a totally new place, I seem to have approximately one million errands to run in locations that are foreign to me.  Thankfully, there is navigation to gently advise me when I need to turn in 1,000 feet to get where I need to go.

Relying so heavily on GPS, and being directionally-challenged, made me think about how I ever found anyplace before.  Immediately preceding navigation in my car, I used Mapquest or Google as I planned my route and printed out the instructions.  But what came before computers?  

Way back in the day (and it really wasn't all that long ago), we simply used maps.  There were two kinds:  (1) the comprehensive spiral bound books where you had to turn to multiple pages to figure out your route and always seemed cumbersome to use and (2) the fold-up map that was even more cumbersome than the book version because there was never really room between you and the steering wheel to open up the entire map.  The fold-up map always seemed to be torn just where you needed to look.

So I'm still wondering how we ever did get anywhere we needed to be in the pre-GPS days.  Do I just not remember being lost all the time?  Or was there some other magical means for finding destinations?

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