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Old 09-05-2016, 07:24   #91
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Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
...

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.

...

b.
Except that the research cited in the original article states the opposite of this.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:54   #92
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Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
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..
I learned nav the old way when electronics were not allowed in racing, I enjoyed stealing a march on faster boats by dint of smarter navigation. Then they allowed the electronics to flood in and I have to admit to being one of the first to install a Decca set! I enjoy modern GPSs and plotters, radar, AIS etc but also think I get much more out of them by understanding the basic first principles too.

I have a pretty good 'sense' of direction, possibly from doing mountain walking/climbing as a youngster and a bit of rally driving/navigation too. I argue out load ( curse) with 'Betty Boop' who I call the mercan GPS voice in my car and whilst I am usually right I still switch the dumb cow on, if only to remind me when a turn is coming up and I need to get into the right ( as in correct) turn lane

mathematics or basic arithmetic suffered from the introduction of calculators for sure, in taking away awareness of the most obvious error. Can we go back however? I doubt it.
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:01   #93
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Re: Death by GPS

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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.

You should have said, "For the benefit of all mankind, always wear protection."
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:57   #94
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Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by Catapault View Post
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
I was enlightened by reading "How to Read A Nautical Chart" by Nigel Calder. In the first section, The Limits of Accuracy, I came to know something I had never thought about. The electronic chart comes from one place and the GPS position from another!!! Thus you can be in the sea and show up on dry land on your plotter, or worse, visa versa.
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Old 09-05-2016, 13:09   #95
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Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by iyamwhatiyam View Post
I was enlightened by reading "How to Read A Nautical Chart" by Nigel Calder. In the first section, The Limits of Accuracy, I came to know something I had never thought about. The electronic chart comes from one place and the GPS position from another!!! Thus you can be in the sea and show up on dry land on your plotter, or worse, visa versa.
Absolutely.

If a chart isn't surveyed to WGS-84, you MUST adjust any point you put on it from a GPS. All modern charts include this correction information of course, and many have already been adjusted to it. (And yes, it can get way more complicated than that if you start looking at proper geodetic datum conversions !)

One would hope that all Electronic charts have been for sure. But I know this isn't always so.

Also, any number of locations were last surveyed before GPS was invented and in common use. Just because the numbers line up, dosn't mean it was surveyed correctly in the first place.

For a little blue marble fairly covered by satellites, this planet of ours isn't mapped nearly as well as some people think it is..
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Old 09-05-2016, 13:12   #96
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Re: Death by GPS

Oh,

And not forgetting, things change, constantly.

Land grows (See iceland + Volcano) , shrinks (erosion, tidal waves), gets dredged, adjusted, or built a-new (Spratleys anyone).

As an example: I drive weekly across a causeway that links Bahrain to Saudi Arabia. They are currently building a string of islands right next to it, we've watched them grown from open water, to a couple square km worth in the past 3 months. They even built a small dock for a cargo ship that brings rocks. ON the new island...

Guessing the harbor chart for the marina right next door hasn/t been adjusted yet.....

Rgds.
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Old 09-05-2016, 13:28   #97
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Re: Death by GPS

Coral grows.
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Old 09-05-2016, 13:31   #98
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Re: Death by GPS

I moved to a marina in a new town. I didn't know where anything was. I relied heavily on my GPS. I found that, as a result, I did not pay attention to street names, landmarks, etc. I found after a long time that I still didn't know my way around.

What is worse is. I find it allows you to begin to ignore your 'relational awareness'. I have a very good sense of direction. particularly if I've looked at a map or chart. I can tell you where North is at all times. Relying on the GPS i a car, I don't keep track of my turns. I stopped using GPS and went back to going 'the long way' or getting lost.
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Old 09-05-2016, 13:49   #99
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Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
Except that the research cited in the original article states the opposite of this.
We do not have to take for granted that something is correct only because it is written down. It is just one of the alternatives.

If we all agreed with what others believe they have found, soon there would be no progress. And we would still be navigating the flat earth.

The research makes observations. The interpretation of the findings is another story.

There were those British scientists who have invented the greenhouse effect.

There were others (ooops, Brits again) who have invented nuclear weapons in Iraq.

It is a known bias that you may discover what set off to find.

Think of our innate ability to swim. Do you believe that pdfs in any way affect our innate ABILITY to swim? Our swimming skills may get affected, but not our innate ability.

If something is innate, you are born with it and you will die with it, even if you happen never to develop the corresponding skill.

If we are born with any innate navigation skills, then we can just keep on using our gps toys and stop worrying.

b.
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Old 09-05-2016, 16:20   #100
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Re: Death by GPS

Gps is a thousand times more accurate than navigating manually. If you have a chart plotter, a tablet, and a phone, you have three layers of redundancy. Keep a log so you always know where you were an hour ago. Have a paper chart and situational awareness. You need to know the navigational hazards and restricted areas. No worries, we are navigating at 6 knots.
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Old 09-05-2016, 17:35   #101
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pirate Re: Death by GPS

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post

There were others (ooops, Brits again) who have invented nuclear weapons in Iraq.
b.
Damn... And there was me thinking it was Israel, Bush and Chaney... but its been a few years and most folks cant remember past the last America's got Talent episode..
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:53   #102
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Re: Death by GPS

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Gps is a thousand times more accurate than navigating manually. If you have a chart plotter, a tablet, and a phone, you have three layers of redundancy. Keep a log so you always know where you were an hour ago. Have a paper chart and situational awareness. You need to know the navigational hazards and restricted areas. No worries, we are navigating at 6 knots.
You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.
(Paul F. Crickmore -test pilot)
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:29   #103
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Re: Death by GPS

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You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.
(Paul F. Crickmore -test pilot)
A drug seductive to even the fiercest Luddite, GPS makes skill, knowledge and intuition obsolete. It makes us at once infants and Gods. Observer and observed, we watch from on high as our icon, a digital metaphor of self-awareness, creeps across the map. With GPS, there is no longer such a thing as “lost.” Navigation, a great and noble art whose traditions stretch back into prehistory, has been replaced by a computer game. Its tools, the products of so much experience, ingenuity and self-sacrifice, will soon become curiosities; its methods and skills, so recently separating life and death, will eventually be forgotten.
— Peter Garrison, contributing editor Flying magazine, The Importance of Being Lost: We Lost Something When We Lost "Lost", July 2014
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:50   #104
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Re: Death by GPS

Anglaishull, I was in the same boat as you a year ago. I was recommended a chartplotter app for my phone on this forum, by Belizesailor and a couple of others called Plan2Nav. I am happy with the app, and I sail in your neck of the woods.


I find I don't really have much use for the app on open water because laying out a course on a paper chart is so easy and gives you a good big picture view of what's going on.


Where I find the chartplotter useful is the Canadian side of the Thousand Islands. There are just so many channels and shoals, if I get distracted for a couple of minutes I can totally lose track of where I am. Previously, the strategy would be to get close to a bouy, find the number on the buoy and then find that buoy on the chart, now, I use the chart plotter as a kind of crutch until I can find my channel again. So, I think they are very useful.


However, I can't imagine finding my way through all that granite if the only tool I used was a chart plotter, I am certain situational awareness would be completely eroded with that approach.


Used properly, they are a nifty tool and they do reduce my fatigue. Used independently of other navigational tools, the most important of course being your eyes, yes, I believe they can be very dangerous. I have seen inexperienced navigators stair at chart plotter and RADAR screens for hours without ever looking out the window, comfortable in the belief that their virtual positions layed down on virtual maps is as good as complete situational awareness.

I think the risk of degradation of skills exists for experienced navigators, but I think a much greater risk exists for people who were too lazy to learn the correct skills in the first place.

I think a Chartplotter will be a benefit to you, since you thought to ask this question in the first place means you are aware of the dangers and short falls and will take steps to mitigate the inherent faults in electronic navigation and you will therefor be better placed to take maximum advantage of the benefits.

I disagree with the age comments above, I know some very good young navigators and some very bad old navigators I think it's more of a lazy vs not lazy issue than anything to do with age.
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Old 10-05-2016, 17:46   #105
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Death by GPS

Helped a lady deliver her trawler to the boatyard today. I took it out of the marina then gave her the helm.

She has spent time at the wheel when they traveled the GICW bringing the boat from Florida to Texas. Like many people she got a little flustered following a heading with no landmarks in sight and the wind and waves knocking the bow around.

The approach to the yard was wide but the channel narrow. The channel was well marked on her plotter but not on the water. 5' of water 20' wide and 1' deep just outside the channel. It twisted like a snake for almost a mile. I watched as we wandered out the channel and ran aground.

We had been easing along and the big Cummins backed us off easily.

I had been pointing out the importance of the depth sounder and physical channel markers and the secondary importance of the plotter all day.

As it turned out the plotter and GPS brought us home.
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