Enter the Address and Press Go
Remember using maps?
I used to have an awesome collection of them in the glove box of my car. My friends and I were all road trippers and would collect maps on every outing. I had maps of every state along the west coast, most of the southwest states and all the states that got me from Oregon to Atlanta, Ga. and back. I even had the large atlas with maps of every state for additional reference. That was a real investment.
Then along came the GPS and all of my maps were moved from my car to a lovely spot on my bookshelf to collect dust because I just can’t throw them away. They hold too many memories as my trusty road trip companions.
For those who are interested in the evolution of GPS, check out these great resources:
- History of GPS – by Miotm
- History of the Global Positioning System – by About.com
- Global Positioning System – by Wikipedia
No more collecting road atlases
The first GPS I’m familiar with, I bought for my husband in 1998 at a military surplus store for $200. It was really cool, but way too complicated for me. The husband really took to it and used it to map routes when we were mountain biking and hiking and when he remembered to bring it along mapped out our road trips, too.
After a few years we saved up and purchased a Garmin and that thing was awesome. It was almost like live video game playing. We’d enter in an address press go and follow along with the directions it gave us. I’d always set the cruise control a mph or two faster to see if I could knock minutes off the predicted arrival time to make a game of it without getting a speeding ticket.
I think we’re on our third GPS by now and they have gotten me to the French Quarter in New Orleans, up and back along the Alaska Canadian Highway, through the south to Cocoa Beach, Fl., to Lake Powell and all around Utah. The list is too long to include.
Now I’ve got an iPhone with navigation, but even with it, our dashboard GPS is still my favorite. And I love how it takes you right to the door, no guesswork or drive bys needed to find the place we’re looking for. The accuracy of these devices is just incredible.
And, you know these GPS devices are truly important to us and something we’ve come to rely upon. Remember when Apple changed up its maps app on the iPhone? People were crazy mad. And now, all those people who always get lost, well now there’s no longer any excuse because if you’ve got a smartphone you’ve got directions in your pocket. The most popular, Google Maps, can be found for iOS and Android.
Thanks to GPS, geocaching has become a craze that is completely enabled by its use (learn more about it here!). One of my road tripping friends is now a complete geocaching addict along with his two boys.
Advancements in technology during my lifetime has been incredible and changing and evolving and improving faster and faster and faster. GPS is one technology I’m thrilled came along for my use and road trip adventures.
What do you use your GPS for? Share your thoughts in the comments below.