...except in the crowded Lower Mainland, where some two million people live in Vancouver and within an hour's drive. Instead of using our GPS, we find it more convenient to access Google Maps, let it find a route for us, and then print it out -- all in less time than it takes for the GPS to warm up.
I was reminded of this when All Points Blog's Adena Schutzberg linked to John McKinney's article, "Why Paper Maps are Better for Foot Nav that GPS."
A study comparing paper map users versus GPS users yielded some surprising results. Dr. Toru Ishikawa and colleagues at the University of Tokyo found that people on foot using a GPS device make more errors and take longer to reach their destinations than people using an old-fashioned map.
The problem is that GPSes are not designed for the slow pace of walkers. I had my share of misleading directions from my European GPS, because its directional arrow points at random while I am standing at an intersection, trying to figure out which of the five streets to take.
The article describes the testing performed Mr Ishikawa. He surmises that GPS users take their directional instructions by looking down at their device, rather that taking in cues from their surroundings, creating an internal map from landmarks that they link from observations made while they walk.