GPS and One-Way Streets
Every couple of weeks I stumble upon an article on the web and I scratch my head. Truthfully, it happens more often than that, but it isn’t always about GPS. So here is my head scratcher for today. Yes, GPS devices do indeed differentiate between one way streets and two way streets. And so long as the map data matches the current physical world, they won’t route you the “wrong way” unless you are in pedestrian mode.
It turns out that GPS receivers and their mapping programs don’t know which streets are one-way and which are not. – James Foster, timestranscript
I’m hoping that he meant this in a sarcastic way, as people reading the article might get the impression that GPS devices in general do not know about one-way streets. Mapping errors do exist from time to time, but in my tens of thousands of miles of travel with GPS per year I’ve never had a GPS route me the wrong way on a one-way street. Click on the map on the right and you will see a screenshot from a GPS device which clearly marks the one way streets.
James goes on to say this:
The best part of a GPS is that, as long as you have sufficient batteries to power the machine, no matter where the GPS leads you, it will always show you the way back, no matter what. I say again: As long as you have spare batteries.
This almost makes me wonder if he was using a handheld GPS device that likely wouldn’t have included detailed auto routing maps. Every auto GPS on the market today I can think of comes with a car power adapter so you don’t need to rely on the battery power. In fact, the vast majority of them don’t come with replaceable batteries instead using batteries that are permanently sealed inside the device.
Again, I hope the article was written with sarcasm in mind, but it is points like those about GPS that leave me spending so much time trying to debunk myths.