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Is GPS All in Our Heads?

#3
read somewhere that men are generally better at map reading and sense of direction (this obviously excludes officers) than women, something to do with us out hunting mammoths far from the cave and such.
 
#4
No thoughts about it yourself then?
Not really, bit late here and I've had a beer or few.

Thought some people on this site might be interested or could use it as a feed for 2/Lt jokes though.

I reckon you do build a mental map of places though, based upon the number of times I ignore what my GPS tells me what to do but still get to my destination ok.

What do you think, as I should imagine in your game, you could not afford to get lost in a mined area. :=)
 
#5
Not really, bit late here and I've had a beer or few.

Thought some people on this site might be interested or could use it as a feed for 2/Lt jokes though.

I reckon you do build a mental map of places though, based upon the number of times I ignore what my GPS tells me what to do but still get to my destination. ok.
Oddly, if I drive or walk anywhere I can still find my way there again even years later. But if I am a passenger in a car I have to try real hard to memorise a route.
 
#6
Oddly, if I drive or walk anywhere I can still find my way there again even years later. But if I am a passenger in a car I have to try real hard to memorise a route.
I normally only have to go somewhere once, normally because I am not invited back. But when I am I have no problems getting there.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
I normally only have to go somewhere once, normally because I am not invited back. But when I am I have no problems getting there.
Me too even places I am adamant I havent been to before and when driving up to the gates the light bulb comes on!
I managed a similar human sat nav once to get to 4 wentways from Foxton level crossing. never been to the hotel before yet the daft buggers all followed me and we drove straight there no wrong turns!
I did a little commercial driving for a while and sat navs ruined my sense of direction!
 
#10
I had a great sense of direction, however the older I get the more I seem to loose. Know what you mean about satnav ruining sense of direction but I think it is we plan in our heads shortest route between A and B. Satnav goes by the roads quickest route, sometimes with plesent surprises. (assuming your not driving a 40 ton truck)!
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#11
I'm just glad that a certain ex-moderator isn't so active on the boards any more lest he tells the tale of me setting out to find the train station I'd arrived at the previous night. Despite it being five minutes from the hotel I'd slept in, I still ended up walking twelve miles (Kilsyth to Falkirk) in the vain hope that it'd be "around the next corner"

In built GPS is clearly nonsense.
 
#12
I'm just glad that a certain ex-moderator isn't so active on the boards any more lest he tells the tale of me setting out to find the train station I'd arrived at the previous night. Despite it being five minutes from the hotel I'd slept in, I still ended up walking twelve miles (Kilsyth to Falkirk) in the vain hope that it'd be "around the next corner"

In built GPS is clearly nonsense.
You are obviously part female or officer or shock horror!! BOTH
 
#13
A few years ago after using my TomTom for about 6 months I had the shock of my life, my boss phoned me and asked where I was, I knew I was on a Motorway and my satnav said I was about an hour away from destination, but other than that I did not have a clue... Since then I force myself to keep some sort of location awareness whilst driving..
 
#14
A few years ago after using my TomTom for about 6 months I had the shock of my life, my boss phoned me and asked where I was, I knew I was on a Motorway and my satnav said I was about an hour away from destination, but other than that I did not have a clue...
If not knowing where you were on a motorway was the shock of your life you must have a right exciting life.
 
#15
I have never used Sat Nav. Well I say never but I tried one for a few days and then took in back to Tesco as being unreliable and distracting. How come we [that is to say, some of us] managed for donkey's years without these and now all of a sudden they are necessary? Maps, distance and simple direction seem to do the trick for me.

How, I don't know for certain, it just seems to work for me. I normally sleep on a North/South line with my feet pointing North so maybe I've become some sort of Compass or gyroscope! [Ironic comment - doesn't require lengthy discussion , ok] I'm perfectly aware that the sun rises in the East, Sets in the West and that shadows point north at noon. Local TV arials tend to point South East. I know which main roads run North-South or East-West and so on and so forth, so where is the confusion? Can't everyone just point in the general direction of a place or town from where they are? As I sit here, Kent is forward of me, Southend is over my left shoulder, carry a straight line from here through my bathroom and it leads to Chatham. The nearest postbox is in the 1 o'clock direction, carry that on and it leads to Tesco, etc, etc, etc...

Then again maybe it's something inherent in a person. Yonks ago I was a diver and always had a scence of distance and direction whatever the visability, and would return to a point or shotline without trouble.
 
#16
Most of my journeys are long distance to varied destinations and I must admit that apart from the last few miles a road atlas would do the job.. Where a satnav can be useful is pinpointing speed cameras, petrol stations, eaterys etc. on route.. Also certain satnav models can route you round current hold up's and road closures with minimal action by the driver.
What I have found that is fairly stupid is a reliance on Post Code locations. Examples:
A) Broke down at the then newly built Wetherby Services, AA asked me to find out the postcode...
Told them that I was sure their patrols knew where it was.
B) Got in a taxi to go to a small railway station, driver asked if I knew it's postcode, told him I was hoping to catch a train and not posting a letter. Ended up me finding the station for him on his satnav..
 
#17
Interesting
"When exploring a new territory, we perceive landmarks along a route. By remembering their position and the spatial relations between the streets, locations and landmarks we pass, we are able to develop survey knowledge (stored in the mind like a mental map), which enables us to indicate directions, and to find shortcuts or detours — in short, to react and navigate comfortably."

I used to travel up and down the A1 quite a lot, my mum lived in Ripon an it only took one trip up there to memorise the landmarks etc etc, Dishforth , the Rainton services and flyovers, you get the picture.

Drove up there last weekend and I had no idea where the turn off was, long stretches of the road had been altered, flyover demolished and services, embankments etc etc all gone. Had to follow the road signs instead.
 
#18
Ha we used satnav to find a hotel near faslane using the post code. Sent us to the wrong side of the Loch as the postcode was out by 200 meters :p
 
#19
I didn't realise humans had maps in the Mesolithic period. Cheers for the edjamucation.
Earliest known maps

The earliest known maps are of the heavens, not the earth. Dots dating to 16,500 BCE found on the walls of the Lascaux caves map out part of the night sky, including the three bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair (the Summer Triangle asterism), as well as the Pleiades star cluster. The Cuevas de El Castillo in Spain contain a dot map of the Corona Borealis constellation dating from 12,000 BCE.[2][3][4]
Cave painting and rock carvings used simple visual elements that may have aided in recognizing landscape features, such as hills or dwellings.[5] A map-like representation of a mountain, river, valleys and routes around Pavlov in the Czech Republic has been dated to 25,000 BP, and a 14,000 BP polished chunk of sandstone from a cave in Spanish Navarre may represent similar features superimposed on animal etchings, although it may also represent a spiritual landscape, or simple incisings.[6][7]
Another ancient picture that resembles a map was created in the late 7th millennium BCE in Çatalhöyük, Anatolia, modern Turkey. This wall painting may represent a plan of this Neolithic village;[8] however, recent scholarship has questioned the identification of this painting as a map.[9]
Whoever visualized the Çatalhöyük "mental map" may have been encouraged by the fact that houses in Çatalhöyük were clustered together and were entered via flat roofs. Therefore, it was normal for the inhabitants to view their city from a bird's eye view. Later civilizations followed the same convention; today, almost all maps are drawn as if we are looking down from the sky instead of from a horizontal or oblique perspective. The logical advantage of such a perspective is that it provides a view of a greater area, conceptually. There are exceptions: one of the "quasi-maps" of the Minoan civilization on Crete, the “House of the Admiral” wall painting, dating from c. 1600 BCE, shows a seaside community in an oblique perspective.
[edit]Ancient Near East

Maps in Ancient Babylonia were made by using accurate surveying techniques.[10]
For example, a 7.6 × 6.8 cm clay tablet found in 1930 at Ga-Sur, near contemporary Kirkuk, shows a map of a river valley between two hills. Cuneiform inscriptions label the features on the map, including a plot of land described as 354 iku (12 hectares) that was owned by a person called Azala. Most scholars date the tablet to the 25th to 24th century BCE; Leo Bagrow dissents with a date of 7000 BCE.[page needed] Hills are shown by overlapping semicircles, rivers by lines, and cities by circles. The map also is marked to show the cardinal directions.[1]
An engraved map from the Kassite period (fourteenth–twelfth centuries BCE) of Babylonian history shows walls and buildings in the holy city of Nippur.[11]
In contrast, the Babylonian World Map, the earliest surviving map of the world (c. 600 BCE), is a symbolic, not a literal representation. It deliberately omits peoples such as the Persians and Egyptians, who were well known to the Babylonians. The area shown is depicted as a circular shape surrounded by water, which fits the religious image of the world in which the Babylonians believed.
Examples of maps from ancient Egypt are quite rare, however, those that have survived show an emphasis on geometry and well-developed surveying techniques, perhaps stimulated by the need to re-establish the exact boundaries of properties after the annual Nile floods. The Turin Papyrus Map, dated c. 2500 BCE, shows the mountains east of the Nile where gold and silver were mined, along with the location of the miners' shelters, wells, and the road network that linked the region with the mainland. Its originality can be seen in the map's inscriptions, its precise orientation, and the use of colour.
[edit]
History of cartography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mesolithic |ˌmezəˈliθik; ˌmē-|
adjective Archaeology
of, relating to, or denoting the middle part of the Stone Age, between the Paleolithic and Neolithic.
• [as n. ] ( the Mesolithic) the Mesolithic period. Also called Middle Stone Age .
In Europe, the Mesolithic falls between the end of the last glacial period ( c. 8500 bc) and the beginnings of agriculture. Mesolithic people lived by hunting, gathering, and fishing, and the period is characterized by the use of microliths and the first domestication of an animal (the dog).
 
#20
... the South Sea Islanders would weave sticks to make maps of the constellations to allow navigation at sea.

In terms of in-built GPS, we're better built than I think most people realise. Inner ears and all that, and situational awareness even with the eyes shut. Look at how affected the balance is of those with severe inner ear conditions - inability to stand and nausea ("Honest, officer, I have a severe inner ear condition...").

It'll need a bit of digging, if I can be bothered, but one of the UK universities quite some years ago conducted tests based on magnetism.

A bus-full of test subjects were hooded and asked to remember their journey in terms of left or right turns. Some of those hooded had magnets on their heads, some didn't. Those without magnets made a fair job of remembering the directional changes; those with magnets struggled.

That said, I still don't feel any particular attraction to pigeons.
 

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