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A cautionary tale re: GPS's

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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A cautionary tale re: GPS's

Folks, we remind you time and time again, please don't rely 100% on your GPS's in this part of the country. I know that's hard for some of yout to believe, but the fact is, this part of the country was one of the last to be mapped in the age of pen and paper, and the same holds true in the digital age. In a place where major cities are as few and far between as they are in the Southwest, buying a good old fashioned road atlas or paper map or just stopping at a gas station and asking for directions can be the best investment of your time/money on your whole trip.

And if you don't believe me, read this article ->:

azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/08/23/20110…

GPS & SatNav's are only as good as the information that's programmed into them!!!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

Thanks K-bot. I think I'll add this to the Top Questions so we can pull it back up very easily.

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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4,638 posts
144 reviews
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2. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

Thanks RRx! This is such an important issue that unfortunately a lot of folks, especially those visiting from the city, really need to be aware of. It's a different world out here!

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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3. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

Why GPS ("SatNav") devices are sometimes inaccurate in remote areas I do not know, but I do know that they are, and from firsthand experience. They are great for finding locations in cities, and city to city driving on major highways, but one should not rely on them in remote and rural areas. Be sure to have maps. Since most travel is on paved maintained highways, if you suddenly find yourself on a dirt road, which sometimes happens following GPS instructions, then you're in the wrong place. Verify with a map that the GPS is taking you in the right direction and road, or just use a map, in rural areas. There are several tales in TA of travelers using GPS and ending up somewhere they did not expect, or simply getting lost.

Brantford, Canada
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729 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

A woman up here ended up in a swamp back in 2010..

theglobeandmail.com/news/…

St. Augustine...
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472 posts
132 reviews
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5. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

We used our GPS out there only as a guide to speed limits, mileage, general location and entertainment. Good thing, too. We would still be digging out of the 4 WD only road into Goblin Valley. And, oddly enough, for some reason, she didn't lke Phoenix! It took us out of Phoenix on arrival just fine, but returning was a different story. Fortuately, I always print Google maps for each section of the trip, as well as one good large map. If the maps and GPS disagree, go with the map! (I love to hear "RECALCULATING!" When we don't do what "she" says! Entertainment for the long drives.)

fti
MN
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for Alaska
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27 reviews
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6. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

Interesting post, and for the most part true.

>>just stopping at a gas station and asking for directions can be the best investment of your time/money on your whole trip.

That probably works in AZ. But I found that to be the worst advice in GA. The people in GA are way too nice to say, "I don't know." So I stopped in THREE gas stations within a matter of 1 hour and none of them gave me the correct directions. So when in AZ do as the AZ'ans do, but in GA don't ask for directions.

I carry a GPS more for telling me how far I have traveled, average speed, etc. Using it for navigating in remote areas can be dangerous!

Edited: 25 August 2011, 01:00
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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20,799 posts
52 reviews
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7. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

I always rely on old fashioned paper maps!!! Road atlases are very cheap and worth a purchase.

Arizona
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for Scottsdale
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4,461 posts
35 reviews
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8. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

Amen, CasaAzul, me too!

Kitchener, Canada
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9. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

I don't know if they did this because I was from out of the country, but about a year ago, I wrote AZ tourism, and they sent my a lovely map absolutely free. I wasn't expecting it. You're going to pay less than $5 for one at any bookstore. (in Canada at least) I'm glad we had it for our trip to GNCP though, as you said - GPS didn't work. It kept going off the road, saying we were in the middle of a bush, etc.

Rockwall, TX
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151 posts
255 reviews
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10. Re: A cautionary tale re: GPS's

My husband just loves his GPS but I'd rather rely on paper maps or google/map quest even in the city. His GPS sometimes takes us the strangest ways to get somewhere, even in town.