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The joy of maps

1 year ago

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Gavin Green | Journalist


24 February 2023

An early memory of satellite navigation was being stuck on a river crossing. Friend James had recently bought a TomTom – the early one with the 2D graphics that looked like they were done by a 10-year-old with a box of crayons – and it took us on a minor road that crossed a brook.

I could have sworn the TomTom told us to take the adjacent bridge but, no, James insisted the parallel back road was the way. A few minutes later his Focus RS had its electrics doused by a few inches of slow-flowing river. The AA had to tow us out.

That must have been about 20 years ago. Since then, satnavs have told me to ‘if possible’ make a U-turn on the M1 and I’ve been guided down farm tracks, rail tracks and across fields. And we’ve all been nagged by the high-tech harridan after repeatedly ignoring dodgy voice-synthesised directions.

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