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Old 04-05-2016, 16:24   #16
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Re: Death by GPS

GPS does not equal navigation, direction, speed, or anything else - those are all proprietary computed derivations of a series of position signals.

My general feeling is that masters and crew that don't use chartplotters correctly probably never used a compass correctly either.
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Old 04-05-2016, 16:51   #17
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Re: Death by GPS

I'm old school navy trained in navigation when GPS was new. Back then,besides running a dead reckoning plot, we always has several alternate methods to fix position. Even now I occasionally check GPS against other methods. I keep wide area maps or smaller so I can plot a DR course in case of a major electrical/electronic failure.
In the even of a war breaking out, however unlikely, GPS will become less accurate by design. All the major possible combatants have GPS jammers and the ability to destroy satellites. My luck, I could be 1/2 way thru a voyage.
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Old 04-05-2016, 16:54   #18
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Re: Death by GPS

It really is .... Death by Complacency!"
If you rely on a calculator to do all your Maths, pretty soon that person's ability to recognize a glaring operator mistake becomes dulled and dangerous.
Exercising your brain and training to remain alert to discrepancies requires you to know how to assess your situation independent of those electronic Aids.

I think that is what Boatie was on about on the 'Weather' thread.....but in that case I disagreed because receiving weather updates enroute is very useful......BUT....you still should have Boaties skill and experience at recognizing local conditions and discrepancies in the weather predictions to decide when to batten down and ride it out.
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Old 04-05-2016, 17:02   #19
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Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
I personally don't believe people driving with GPS are loosing their power of reasoning.
If you have time, read the article (it's long, but fascinating). The title and the examples about these deaths are somewhat of a teaser for the rest of the article, which talks about early research into cognitive reasoning as these devices are becoming widespread and people are becoming more dependent on them (sometimes with their lives). Unfortunately, I am one of those who'd still be driving on and off the freeway right now trying to figure out where I am. I needed GPS even back when I used to print out maps and still got lost. Not everyone has either learned that skill or have the ability to train themselves, but that's exactly what the article is getting at: is the ability to navigate learned or is it innate?
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Old 04-05-2016, 17:11   #20
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Re: Death by GPS

I would start with observing that, on average, we suck at navigation, big way.

Hence, there is not so much as any 'skill' to degrade if we start using gps. You can only become less proficient in something if you start with being proficient at it.

Does gps limit or degrade our otherwise abilities? Yes. Every tool does. People who open coconuts with knives seem to develop weaker nails over time.

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Old 04-05-2016, 17:17   #21
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Re: Death by GPS

Ok I'm not a young guy anymore and when I started sailing offshore it was all celestial navigation and basic navigation. We'll along came GPS and we no longer navigate, we sort of play video games so the art of old time navigation is pretty much dead. I'm quite happy to give it a proper burial, it's never been easier and I don't miss the old way of doing things for a single minute. Yes if needed I could be back in the celestial saddle again after some brush ups on sight reductions but it's unlikely to happen. I love the new ways of getting around.
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Old 04-05-2016, 17:20   #22
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Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
It really is .... Death by Complacency!"
If you rely on a calculator to do all your Maths, pretty soon that person's ability to recognize a glaring operator mistake becomes dulled and dangerous.
Exercising your brain and training to remain alert to discrepancies requires you to know how to assess your situation independent of those electronic Aids.

... snip...
This is a nice summary, and leads me to an anecdote that may be relevant (and that I'm going to tell whether you like it or not, because this is the Internet and you can't stop me) .

When I was in my first year of Engineering everyone used slide rules for calculation. A technological revolution happened, and in second year everyone used calculators.

A slide rule forces you to estimate the result before doing the calculation; a calculator doesn't. What I saw a couple of years later when marking assignments was people punching in numbers and writing down the answer with no idea whether they were in the ball park or not.

So I'm back to "understanding the underlying principles". If you know you should be going roughly East and your GPS points North, you might check the details. If you don't know what the words "East" and "North" mean (I've hiked with people like that) you won't.

But, still, the article talks about people driving into lakes because the GPS told them there was a road there. Maybe people drove into lakes before GPS and we never heard about it?
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Old 04-05-2016, 17:35   #23
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Re: Death by GPS

I think the ability to navigate is innate to some, ever since I could remember I seemingly instinctively both know where I am roughly and I can tell you direction, even at night. I also grew up in the woods, wandering around and never got lost. I have never understood how people got lost, I had to look for my then girlfriends Father who couldn't find his way from the stand back to the truck. I still can't imagine he got lost, but he did.
I have rarely been mis-oriented, but never lost
Only time that I had trouble with that was well above the Arctic circle in July, there the sun never set, but sort of rotated around and I think that confused me.


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Old 04-05-2016, 17:40   #24
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Re: Death by GPS

That is the crux of it barnakiel and well said.
However, the real danger to the modern sailor is a mindset that they have gone from an ' Assumed Position' to an 'Exact Position' by using GPS.

The older more experienced navigators still treat it as an assumed position.....and I believe that still needs to be encouraged.
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Old 04-05-2016, 17:46   #25
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Re: Death by GPS

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Only time that I had trouble with that was well above the Arctic circle in July, there the sun never set, but sort of rotated around and I think that confused me.
Only time I had trouble was in Australia, where I constantly had East and West backwards. Something to do with the sun being in the wrong part of the sky.
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Old 04-05-2016, 17:50   #26
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pirate Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
If you have time, read the article (it's long, but fascinating). The title and the examples about these deaths are somewhat of a teaser for the rest of the article, which talks about early research into cognitive reasoning as these devices are becoming widespread and people are becoming more dependent on them (sometimes with their lives). Unfortunately, I am one of those who'd still be driving on and off the freeway right now trying to figure out where I am. I needed GPS even back when I used to print out maps and still got lost. Not everyone has either learned that skill or have the ability to train themselves, but that's exactly what the article is getting at: is the ability to navigate learned or is it innate?
I think its down to ones age.. once upon a time kids used to make their own way around.. school, friends houses, the park, swimming pool etc.. they learnt a sense of direction and how to recognise landmarks to help guide their way.. the last 30 odd years have seen all that change.. today they're driven/bussed, escorted etc so no need to concentrate.. someone else does that for them while they bury their nose in comic's or mobiles.
The natural senses are like the three R's.. they need work and development to be any use in later life..
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Old 04-05-2016, 18:07   #27
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Re: Death by GPS

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I think its down to ones age.. once upon a time kids used to make their own way around.. school, friends houses, the park, swimming pool etc.. they learnt a sense of direction and how to recognise landmarks to help guide their way.. the last 30 odd years have seen all that change.. today they're driven/bussed, escorted etc so no need to concentrate.. someone else does that for them while they bury their nose in comic's or mobiles.
The natural senses are like the three R's.. they need work and development to be any use in later life..
And our kids learn what we or their other influences think is important. One more anecdote and then I'm done for the evening:

My daughter is currently on a short road trip in Nevada / California. Her mother is a geographer by training; I am one by nature. Before leaving she wondered about renting a GPS, then decided she would be better off with road maps and a good understanding of where whe was going.

People who do serious cruising are probably geographers by nature, probably like to know where they're going, and are probably ready to learn what they need to know to get there.

So I'll stop worrying about losing my cognitive abilities, and any further questions will be more specifically about how to use the tools.

Entertaining feedback, as always.
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Old 04-05-2016, 18:09   #28
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Re: Death by GPS

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If you have time, read the article...... (..... but that's exactly what the article is getting at: is the ability to navigate learned or is it innate?
I am pretty sure it is BOTH!

it used to be called.. 'The Art of Navigation '

in ancient times as explained in We the Navigators where Pacific islanders were guided by not only teachings handed down by their Elders, but a heightened sense of taste, smell and feel, as they calculated their position without much scientific support.

Like all Art, some are more gifted than others and inspire confidence in their work
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Old 04-05-2016, 18:22   #29
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Re: Death by GPS

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I think its down to ones age.. once upon a time kids used to make their own way around.. school, friends houses, the park, swimming pool etc.. they learnt a sense of direction and how to recognise landmarks to help guide their way.. the last 30 odd years have seen all that change.. today they're driven/bussed, escorted etc so no need to concentrate.. someone else does that for them while they bury their nose in comic's or mobiles.
The natural senses are like the three R's.. they need work and development to be any

use in later life..
Well said!
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Old 04-05-2016, 18:22   #30
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Re: Death by GPS

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My general feeling is that masters and crew that don't use chartplotters correctly probably never used a compass correctly either.
Exactly, it's fun to write articles about how technology will be our downfall but the people who turn right off a cliff edge because the GPS told them to probably wouldn't have survived in the days before GPS either.

I suspect most of the stories of GPS induced death are more about after the fact excuses rather than it being the GPS.
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