Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-05-2016, 00:55   #76
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 1,231
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
And lack of GPS would have made that better how? Even if scaled out to view the entire world, Ireland would have clearly showed up on the map with a line thru it (assuming by GPS most of us are presuming an electronic chart plotter is involved).

While people can make mistakes with GPS, I'd be willing to bet for every mistake due to misuse of GPS, there were dozens of mistakes from not having accurate positioning.

I have the strong suspicion that 1 or 2 stories of drivers running off a cliff or captains running into the breakwall because the GPS told them to do it get retold so often that people start believing it's a statistically significant issue.

It's probably a lot more like the old kids game of "telephone" where you would line up the kids and whisper something in the first kids ear and it would pass down the line and at the end there would be 20 different versions many with no relation to the original story.
Hey, don't kill the messenger. I love GPS! I'd be the the first one to line up for a computer implant so I never get lost, never forget a face or name, and have Wikipedia at my constant beck and call. But we're losing the point of the article here, and if anyone had read it, you'd see it's about possible changes to the neurological linkages in the brain and how that might affect cognitive thinking skills. Not whether GPS, per se, is a helpful tool or not.
__________________

__________________
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 02:15   #77
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 1,373
Images: 7
Re: Death by GPS

I coastal cruise single handed full time and hardly go anywhere these days without the boat being on autopilot running a route under the control of a computer running OpenCPN. This allows me to spend most of my time at the wheel keeping watch and not below at the nav table mucking about plotting positions.


I find I am much better able to monitor speed, depth, observed positions etc whilst relieved of steering a coarse all the time. Allowing the electronics to steer the boat does not require one to ignore all the other prompts like depth changes, transits, bearings to landmarks etc it actually helps you do it more diligently.


As to the skills loss and dumbing down question - no way. We live far more intellectually and conceptually complex lives today than during the pre-electronics ages, navigation by compass, chronometer and sextant did not require that much thinking rather it required rote learning and application of procedures.
__________________

__________________
RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 03:20   #78
Registered User
 
adoxograph's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ 'ʇsɐoɔ ǝuıɥsuns
Boat: Landlocked right now.
Posts: 355
Images: 1
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
... navigation by compass, chronometer and sextant did not require that much thinking rather it required rote learning and application of procedures.
Tedious procedures if you ask me.
__________________
adoxograph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 03:30   #79
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,877
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Hey, don't kill the messenger. I love GPS! I'd be the the first one to line up for a computer implant so I never get lost, never forget a face or name, and have Wikipedia at my constant beck and call. But we're losing the point of the article here, and if anyone had read it, you'd see it's about possible changes to the neurological linkages in the brain and how that might affect cognitive thinking skills. Not whether GPS, per se, is a helpful tool or not.
First the article brings these discussions on by using an inflammatory headline, so that's why this line of discussion follows. There isn't a line of hundreds of cars all running off the end of a partially completed bridge because the GPS system told them to do it and they've all lost their cognitive abilities.

I do agree, that there are likely changes to cognitive processes. The problem arises when they imply that these changes are a bad thing by linking it to people doing something stupid without the statistical basis to suggest it's worse than the system that was in place before. Change by itself is a neutral issue. Crash rates for example have been on a steady downward trend for decades with studies showing a lot of it is due to new technology. Electronic brains doing some of the driving tasks for you (navigation, staying in your lane, not rear ending the guy in front of you, etc...) is still a very new area but initial results suggest it will make the last 40-50yrs of improvements look like nothing.

For example: around 1/3 of all car crashes are rear end crashes. There are several technologies available to take over and stop you from rear ending other cars (they are quickly propagating but it will likely take 10-15yrs before most cars have them). Once all cars have the systems, that is 1/3 of all crashes that will be eliminated...yet someone will complain because even though it eliminated tens of thousands of crashes, there was one time the system had a bug and a guy didn't bother to hit the brakes, so we should all fear that technology is ruining us.

In the boating world, it might be nice to have a basic understand of celestial navigation but is learning it the best use of limited time? For offshore cruising, there is still some argument that it is useful (though that fading). For coastal cruising, it's arguably a waste of time unless it catches your fancy as an interesting subject.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 04:12   #80
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,887
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post

.... For example: around 1/3 of all car crashes are rear end crashes. There are several technologies available to take over and stop you from rear ending other cars (they are quickly propagating but it will likely take 10-15yrs before most cars have them). Once all cars have the systems, that is 1/3 of all crashes that will be eliminated...yet someone will complain because even though it eliminated tens of thousands of crashes, there was one time the system had a bug and a guy didn't bother to hit the brakes, so we should all fear that technology is ruining us.
.
I agree with that summation and I imagine there will be a time when all modern vessels will have an automatic avoidance system that prevents collisions with everything else from other vessels, bad weather to unmarked reefs.

I just wonder if the future sailor will experience the same feeling of accomplishment when the anchor automatically drops at the predetermined waypoint and slowly pays out as programmed by the automatic ground tackle and maneuvering system.
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 04:25   #81
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: Death by GPS

I haven't read all the comments nor the article. GPS is a useful position fixer and quite reliable. Sailors should know of to do traditional navigation and plot a course on paper charts and definitely have them on board in the region they are sailing.

Even old technology for navigation is technology... a sextant is technology and relies and manual computation using tables.

A sailor needs to be aware of his environment, the weather and the hazards to navigation... in his path to his destination. GPS doesn't tell this... it's only a 2 axis and in some case 3 axis location. We now have this location imposed/imported onto a digital or scanned map or chart... which can have all manner of embedded useful data.

If you do not let your GPS control your boat but simply report data to you... it is useful. YOU make the decisions.... using all the data at your disposal...
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 04:34   #82
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,877
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
I agree with that summation and I imagine there will be a time when all modern vessels will have an automatic avoidance system that prevents collisions with everything else from other vessels, bad weather to unmarked reefs.

I just wonder if the future sailor will experience the same feeling of accomplishment when the anchor automatically drops at the predetermined waypoint and slowly pays out as programmed by the automatic ground tackle and maneuvering system.
I'm working on a few Connected Vehicles projects and other than radio range (which by the rules limits you to around 1 mile range, not a technology issue), it's completely transferable to boats. They even have a vehicle type definition that allows for other vehicle types, including non-road vehicles.

What you describe for boats is coming to cars. It's just a matter of how long it takes to fully develop and implement. Cars will be broadcasting position and speed information (along with other data). That data will be used with an onboard GPS to have the car take over collision avoidance and a host of other functions.

As far as accomplishment...people used to take learning to drive a stick as an accomplishment (I personally love driving a stick) but reality is unless you've learned to drive a stick, you probably don't care about the satisfaction of running thru the gears manually. I suspect, we will have the same situation when on entering the marina fairway, the computer takes over and places the boat in your slip perfectly never bumping the dock even slightly. The old codgers will lament the days of when it took real skill to dock in a cross wind but as the old codgers pass on, no one will care that docking used to be the greatest challenge most boaters ever faced.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 05:12   #83
Registered User
 
adoxograph's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ 'ʇsɐoɔ ǝuıɥsuns
Boat: Landlocked right now.
Posts: 355
Images: 1
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
...
I just wonder if the future sailor will experience the same feeling of accomplishment when the anchor automatically drops at the predetermined waypoint and slowly pays out as programmed by the automatic ground tackle and maneuvering system.
I for sure will. I am not that passionate as a sailor, rather a gypsie on the water. I want to be somewhere else - all the time and I want to have my house with me. As easier travelling becomes the better. Comfort over performance. I'm landlocked right now for as long as I'm working on my PhD. Nearly unbearable I can tell you. But I plan already the next condomaran.
__________________
adoxograph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 13:52   #84
Registered User
 
rgleason's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: 1981 Bristol 32 Sloop
Posts: 9,356
Re: Death by GPS

Keep looking out the window. Use the charts to help you keep a mental/visual reference of where are and your heading. Keep cross checking and updating that mental note, particularly in thin or variagated waters.
__________________
rgleason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 14:35   #85
Registered User
 
jeremiason's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Punta Gorda, Florida
Boat: Sea Ray 270
Posts: 1,427
Images: 2
Send a message via ICQ to jeremiason Send a message via Yahoo to jeremiason Send a message via Skype™ to jeremiason
Re: Death by GPS

Asking if GPS is good or bad.... Well lets say it will be about as lively as asking which Anchor is the best to use.

I have been sailing on and off for over 40 years, mostly on the San Francisco Bay and Northern California. That included driving commercially for five years on dining yachts and ferries. I also taught sailing and powerboating, including teaching electronic charting and radar classes.

I also have completed a 10,000 NM cruise from San Francisco to Florida over three years and still sail around Southwest Florida. I also occasionally drive for money or teach on other boats here.

I have used Chartplotters and/or hand-held GPS for 20 years now and believe they are a good and efficient way to navigate.

Frankly, when the wife and I were cruising, I used the chartplotter primarily and carried two additional handheld GPS in the microwave for emergencies. We also carried Small Scale Charts for plotting, if I went I had to use the hand held GPS. I never had too...

Over the last 20 years, I never had problems with the GPS failing, but did experience places where the Electronic Charts were out of date or wrong. Places like the Petaluma River, Sacramento Delta, Sea of Cortez, the Las Pearlas Islands and basically anywhere there was no commercial shipping done.

To compensate for bad charts, I used the radar overlay, forward looking sonar and depth sounder... As a result, I never went aground while cruising.

Many old school guys tend to poo-poo the GPS or ask what happens when they turn off the system. Or they say you are not a real sailor unless you can navigate by the Stars & Sun. To them I say... That is your opinion and it differs with mine :-D
__________________
Tom Jeremiason
Punta Gorda, Florida

jeremiason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 14:42   #86
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,936
Re: Death by GPS

I'm old school and I have zero interest in dragging out the sextant again. No matter how you choose to find your way around you'll still be a sailor but these days not a navigator and there is nothing wrong with that, I love it.
__________________
robert sailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 14:56   #87
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,352
Re: Death by GPS

Near land I always have a paper chart. And understand what's around etc. Look at it constantly.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2016, 21:27   #88
Registered User
 
svmariane's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Currently in South Pacific. Home Port: Vienna, Austria
Boat: Celestial, Stay'sl-Rigged Sloop, 48 ft
Posts: 1,163
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Hey, don't kill the messenger. I love GPS! I'd be the the first one to line up for a computer implant so I never get lost, never forget a face or name, and have Wikipedia at my constant beck and call. But we're losing the point of the article here, and if anyone had read it, you'd see it's about possible changes to the neurological linkages in the brain and how that might affect cognitive thinking skills. Not whether GPS, per se, is a helpful tool or not.
Hmmmmm...... For consideration: Might not the article's author use this thread as a case in point, where technology (access to the internet/the Submit Reply button on CF) has us drifting off course and, lemming-like, following along on the GPS Good/Bad/Useful/Depends-on-situation arguments rather than evaluating WHAT using GPS might do for/to our thinking skills vs WHY/WHY NOT use GPS?




I'll leave now.....
__________________
"Being offended is not the same thing as being right." Dave Barry.
Note: Offense is always taken, never given.
When life hands you lemons..... add gin & tonic!
svmariane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 02:00   #89
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Afloat - Mediteranean
Boat: Lagoon 450 F
Posts: 204
Re: Death by GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
Some years back (before I had a GPS nav system in my car) I got a letter from the state DOT telling me I had to stop by an emissions testing station, to have my emissions tested.

The closest testing station was about 30 miles away on a county road in an area with which I was unfamiliar. But I knew the county road and the street number. So I got on a county road than ran in the right direction and drove I intersected with the county road on which was the testing station.

I had no idea whether I needed to turn north or south, or whether I needed to drive two miles or 10, but I was on the right road, all I needed to know was the street number where I was. So I pulled into a small strip mall.

Unfortunately, none of the businesses had their street numbers posted, so I went into a video rental place, to ask.

There was a young kid at the counter, and a younger kid holding a skateboard talking to him. I asked the clerk what was the street number of the building. He didn't know, and asked me why I wanted to know.

I explained my circumstances, and that I simply needed to know whether I needed to turn north or south. At which point the kid with the skateboard pointed out the front window, directly at the setting sun, and said "that's south."




I was entirely unable to comprehend the mental processes that could have lead to such a conclusion.

I mean, yes, it's easy enough to lose track of the cardinal directions when you're inside a building. Or even when you're in a downtown area where you only occasionally see the sky. Or when there's cloud cover, and you can't see the sun. Or at night, when the city lights are hiding the stars.

But to point straight at the setting setting sun, bright orange, on the horizon, in a clear sky, and conclude "that's south"?

I still don't know how to respond.

Seems even movie directors get this problem with todays reliance on 'hi tech' navigation, must be an in joke.....

Avengers 1 - Helicarrier....

Fury: "Get us over water"
Helmsman: "Navigation system is rebooting "
Fury "Is the Sun coming up ? then put it on the LEFT !"


Last I checked, GPS was an 'AID' to navigation, not the whole story...

When I first went to sea, the only way to navigate was to DR constantly, with intermittent satellite fixes... Not a lot of star sightings or GPS signal 1000ft underwater, nor desire to leave a mast up and get spotted at periscope depth. Old navstar or modern GPS dosn't track very well with a 2.5 second exposure....

Though the aft periscope did actually have a Sextant built into it. which was amusing.

I'm more concerned about the accuracy of charts, than the GPS itself. How many have used a chart into a harbor or anchorage, where, if you followed the GPS exactly (even with the supposed chart corrections), it put you 100m onto the rocks. I've seen this in the past with even big, supposedly well surveyed harbours. Though I'd hope its fixed these days.

Coming into Sydney harbor, using the Transits to turn into the channel and stay there, is, in my opinion, far safer than trusting the GPS !.

However, on the open ocean, GPS is invaluable.

I find GPS an invaluable tool and would never leave home without several on board, but it is one tool as an aid, not the total answer.

Regards
__________________
Catapault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 07:17   #90
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Death by GPS

I do not have much doubt that any new tool may render older tolls less used or obsolete. Sets of skills are also but tools.

A GPS person who lost their GPS may be 'more lost' compared to one who navigated all life by other tools.

However this says nothing about the influence of the GPS on our INNATE abilities.

You do not expect the innate to change one generation to the next. Innate is 'given'. Except for a dramatic genetic shift, we will always be able to navigate tools-free as much as our forefathers did thousands of years ago.

We only lose one skill as we acquire another. The innate remains there as our fall back at all times.

There may be some gps vs. sextant competition but there is no gps vs. innate navigation competition.

b.
__________________

__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gps

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Witnesses tell of freak death of Steve Irwin CaptainK Off Topic Forum 7 04-09-2006 16:06
Bahrain death boat: Search goes on CaptainK Indian Ocean & Red Sea 0 02-04-2006 12:10
Indonesia: 22nd Bird Flu Death CaptainK Pacific & South China Sea 0 11-03-2006 00:01
Fla. Death Rate Up GordMay Health, Safety & Related Gear 1 21-04-2005 14:45



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:09.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.