Column: GPS needs a local app for visitors
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2018 16:52
-by Frank Macdonald
For people dependent upon GPS to get from A to B, the digital co-pilot is a handy tool. Until it isn’t.
The urban stories/legends around GPS misdirection are multiplying. Someone is instructed to turn right by the device instead of left, and winds up in a lake. People have been directed onto runways and railway tracks. There are stories of south becoming north, of west becoming east, of highways disappearing altogether. Frequently these tales of misdirection have to do with people who are familiar with street signs and numbered housing, people who venture off into the wilds of rural wherever, and becoming hopelessly mired in some farmer’s pasture. Google Maps doesn’t always get it right.
Last October, we had family visiting us from Ontario for Celtic Colours. Tickets to various venues were wisely purchased online in July. Delaying the purchase of tickets for the popular October music festival can result in a lot of Sold Out signs when you do go to buy tickets. The biggest problem with this otherwise wise practice of early ticket-buying is that far-away fans of Celtic Colours study the venues they wish to attend, then buy the tickets.
They purchase tickets online while being relatively, or wholly, unaware of Cape Breton’s geography. They are perhaps purchasing their tickets while consulting a map of the island, a map on the screen of a smart phone upon which Inverness and Ingonish are practically neighbours. So they wind up with accommodations in Inverness and tickets for concerts in Ingonish or St. Anne’s or Meat Cove.