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#192191 - 12/30/09 08:01 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: clearwater]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
“We thought it was strange,... But then we just figured it knew something we didn't.”

"They turned right onto a country road, passing a sign that warned drivers the route was not maintained during the winter. They drove about 40 kilometres without seeing another car, house or sign of civilization. And that's when they got stuck."

They drove 25 miles in snow without seeing any signs of civilization and thought this was a good road??? I knew better than that on my first road trip at the age of 19.

Voltaire was right: "Common sense is not that common".

Sue

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#192193 - 12/30/09 08:07 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: Susan]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077


Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (12/30/09 08:09 PM)

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#192200 - 12/30/09 09:17 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: clearwater]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: clearwater
I don't see the plan B unless it was the cell phone.

Plan B was having several days of food and water, and a way to survive freezing temperatures for days.

I tend evaluate these things in terms of "did they assume things would go right?" This is not usual idiot case since they did _not_ plan for everything to go right - they had food, water, etc, in case something went wrong.

Originally Posted By: Susan

They drove 25 miles in snow without seeing any signs of civilization and thought this was a good road??? I knew better than that on my first road trip at the age of 19.

It was a good road for less than a mile. I can't tell from the aerial picture if it's still paved after that but it is narrower. I can't tell where the warning sign is or where the first "Forest Service Road" designation is.

But within a few miles after that it clearly narrows down to not much more than a one-lane path, crowded by trees. They're got to have traveled 20+ miles with the *trees* telling them this is wrong, even if they can't see ground boundaries because of snow-cover.

Another thing is that the aerial photos show that there are many such roads in the area intersecting each other. Even if they decide to turn around and can't right there, an intersection is likely within 3-5 miles. They aren't much, but it's enough room to turn around.

I don't fault them for turning onto this road because it looked like a main road where they turned. And they might have missed the sign (given the condition of the road, I doubt much more effort goes into signage). But certainly within 5 miles it got to be obvious this is a one-lane dirt path, not a small county road between towns.

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#192202 - 12/30/09 09:28 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: Susan]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4766
Loc: SOCAL
Something to remember is that since a Garmin Nuvi is just a computer that derives its recommendations from an algorithm, if you have it set up for shortest route and it finds a route that is shorter by just a little bit, it will make that recommendation. Mine has a detour function which directs the GPS to find a plan B. Compare the first recommendation to the second and you may find that staying on a main road only costs a mile or two over a great distance -- stay on the main road or at least know why you are leaving a main road. Saving a minute or two off a long trip just isn't worth the security of a main road.

Originally Posted By: James_Van_Artsdalen
. . .Lesson: Google Earth is your friend and it's free. I don't go anywhere new, even in town, without looking over aerial pictures of the entire route. The car's GPS gives me an arrival time estimate but I know where I'm going before I get in the car.
I do the same thing using GoogleEarth combined with the Garmin/Mapsource software. Mapsource makes this easy by providing a "View in Google Earth" function. Compare multiple sources and look at the date of the source you're using -- things change.

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#192215 - 12/31/09 12:06 AM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: Russ]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
This is more towards urban errands, but I have an app on my iPhone called 'AroundMe'. Get free app for finding a home or business. In any regards, I have to be careful to make sure it is on the auto feature because it also has a walking feature. This walking feature avoids freeways and generally takes a more direct approach, 'as the crow flys'.

This hasn't much to do with this thread but its critical when using any technology that the settings are correct.
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#192333 - 01/01/10 01:12 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: comms]
UncleGoo Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 347
Loc: CT
Apparently they weren't the only ones, lately:

"GPS-led travel goes amiss; 3 Ore. parties rescued"

http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/GPS-led-travel-goes-amiss-3-Ore-parties-rescued-305849.php

Snippet:
"The most common advice was high in "duh" content:
"You can't follow GPS blindly," said Hyde of the national AAA."
_________________________
Improvise,
Utilize,
Realize.

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#192352 - 01/01/10 04:11 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: UncleGoo]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
The issue here is the limitation of the current GIS technology. Each "path" is just a segment that has attributes. Unfortunately, you're pretty much limited to "dirt road", "two-lane", "four-lane", "four lane divided", etc. You might have other info like speed limit, but you don't have truly useful attributes like: maximum safe speed in dry conditions and level of service. It's really useful when you can get the real-time updates, but even most states don't have a computerized automated way to disburse their road closings. Most have a "state warning point" where they get calls about road closures, but I don't believe most have a way to present that information to everyone.

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#192353 - 01/01/10 04:17 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: ki4buc]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
Plain and simple, I think this is the first experience that many folks have had with detailed maps. Most people are used to picking up a road altas at wally world and going wherever they like. Most unmaintained roads weren't documented on the ole road altas so most navigators didn't have to apply much of a filter.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#192369 - 01/01/10 06:51 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: 7point82]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2004
Loc: NE Illinois
I wish Google Maps would add the display of 24K USGS topo maps. That would provide people planning a trip with a LOT more information about the kinds of roads involved, though good paper maps should mark limited-use roads.

I currently use Geobuddy (the "brother" of Expert GPS with added geocache-tracking features) to view topo maps on-line. Here are their respective web sites if you're interested (I have no connection to the makers):

http://www.geobuddy.com - $59.95
http://www.expertgps.com - $59.95


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#192379 - 01/01/10 08:25 PM Re: Bad GPS Directions Strand Couple for 3 Days [Re: KenK]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
We have a large (very large) segment of our population who expects to be rescued from flat tires, wrong orders at McDonalds, making the decisions to smoke and drive while drunk, etc. And now these same people have access to a GPS.

Sigh.

We ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Sue

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