Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting lost in the preciseness of GPS

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The title of my blog post sounds oxymoronic, but there is a reason for it.

For a couple of years I've been against the idea of getting a GPS system for my car, especially so since I do believe that the roads in this tiny island that I am residing in isn't that really too difficult to navigate. There seems to be a great degree of logic and rationale built into the road network system over here, and so far, barring one or two instances where my judgements were a little off, the journeys that I have undertook have so far been reaching its intended destinations.

But alas, I think I have to forgo that idea of going GPS-less very soon, given the higher propensity for me to drive up north in the immediate future, for both my weekly/monthly groceries shopping, and perhaps to run an errand or two for the family. Yes things are definitely a little cheaper up on the Malaysian side of the border, and it would be stupid of me not to leverage on favourable currency exchange rates to get a good deal...or two.

But it is precisely this dependency on a device that makes me comfortable. Yes, I read somewhere that the current GPS technology is pretty reliable within an accepted level of accuracy, but it is precisely this 'preciseness' that runs counter to my spirit of adventure. I have lost count the number of times that I have made a turn too early (or too late), and have discovered new routes and roads that would prove useful in my latter sojourns. I have also lost count the number of times this has lead me to appreciate the very people who have put in a high degree of logicness in the arrangement of the road networks here, compared to perhaps some other places. My appreciation grew whenever I have opportunities to travel opportunities, when I see what a haphazard road system can contribute to a country and her economy. I've also reflected on the numerous times that an illogical road system (or road naming system) can contribute to. A case in point would be the estates in Punggol and Sengkang. But that would be another point altogether.

But I guess, at the end of my long resistance to having one, I would eventually get one. I do hope that that would not reduce the spirit of adventure within me. In fact who knows, maybe the very preciseness of using a digital tool such as a GPS would open up new possibilities, that perhaps were absent and invisible to me, or that were not made aware to me when I was still a compass-bearing and map-memorizing driver for the last 1.5 decades.

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