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Author Topic: an idea, a suggestion, a neologism...
Grummash

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 14:23      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK - let's be clear about this from the outset, polite at this may be, it is a rant, nothing more nothing less [Wink]

So - SatNav - what is the point of that??? Have we really reached the stage where we can no longer think for ourselves?

I propose an alternative - Flat-Nav - based on a technology that has been with us for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In essence it consists of a large piece of paper with a graphical representation of a landscape printed on it. An agreed set of symbols and graphical conventions confer meaning on the image.

The key to this system is an end-user who is prepared to read, consider, visualise and engage with the Flat-Nav system.

Gentle reader, you may dismiss Flat-Nav as nothing more than a mere map.... but when set against the hand-holding, nannying, dumbed-down, wilful surrender of personal responsibility that constitutes Sat-Nav, I believe that Flat-Nav is a vital weapon in the struggle for self-determination.

I suggest that people should shun any technology which disempowers and devalues important skills - so will anyone join me in calling for a wider recognition of Sat-nav as a much inferior technology to the purer, more life-enhancing joy that is Flat-Nav?

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 15:24      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would be with you, but some of the areas I've hiked don't have maps, unless you count satellite images, and being lost increases your chances of being eaten by a bear. Having a GPS with a trackback function with me has probably saved me from getting lost on a couple of occasions when I had to hike out using a different route than I'd hiked in on.

"Hmm... wasn't that stream several feet shallower when I crossed it yesterday? I don't remember it having so many large tree parts floating about, either. Maybe it rained harder than I thought last night."

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 16:09      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
I would be with you, but some of the areas I've hiked don't have maps, unless you count satellite images....

Steen - I don't wish to sound facetious, but...are you really saying that you live in a country that makes satellite images available to the populace, but then can't be bothered to make decent maps available to the same citizens???

Meh.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 16:23      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maps are for dweebs.
Real Men can navigate by the sun, stars, landmarks, flocks of sea-birds.....

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 16:34      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD - you missed out "which side of the tree the lichen grows on"... [Wink]

(actually, that one works....) [Smile]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 17:34      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grummash: I found some prior art, and I have to say, it was a cunning trick that worked very well. [Razz]

I'm afraid the patent office will send you back to the drawing board. [Razz]

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 17:45      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grummash: Sorry, I'd forgotten you live in England, suggesting you navigate by the sun was kind of cruel [Wink]

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 17:52      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grummash wrote:
Steen - I don't wish to sound facetious, but...are you really saying that you live in a country that makes satellite images available to the populace, but then can't be bothered to make decent maps available to the same citizens???

That depends on how you define decent. It may help you understand if you know that I live next to the Smoky Mountains National Park. 800 square miles or so of lovely undeveloped wilderness area with few roads. There are developed trails, but there is also the magic of the backcountry permit, which is free and serves to tell the park rangers that you intend to go to a certain area and stay there for a bit. Makes it easier for them to find the people who foolishly get lost. Or their bodies.

As for maps... they're available, but it's a bit hard to navigate when the nearest landmark is a few miles away and tree cover blocks any view of the sky you might have. And a few areas... well, it's entirely probably that nobody's ever gone there before, so what would you put on the map? Other than trees... we definitely have trees.

you missed out "which side of the tree the lichen grows on"...

(actually, that one works....)


Unless you're in rain forest (temperate or otherwise) and every side of the tree is completely covered with moss. Not such a problem here, but I went on a hike through the Golden Ears park in BC that was like that. I'd scan pictures and put them up, but the humidity fogged up the camera lens so badly that almost everything came out blurry.

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 20:56      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would like to own a GPS eventually, but, in my experience, they are supplementary tools, and don't replace maps. However, I think Steen has a point. Getting lost in many of the wilderness areas in the US is no joke, and it's been known to even happen to experienced back-country hikers.

Edit: I should add that they also come in handy for other purposes. They are used on trail crew for marking the exact location of work to be done when scouting trails.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 22:26      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
June 24, 2006 16:09
...are you really saying that you live in a country that makes satellite images available to the populace, but then can't be bothered to make decent maps available to the same citizens???

Yes.   [Wink]   Making and printing maps is expensive. Google Earth is cheap.

quote:
(from here and there....)

Although Terrain Navigator utilizes the most recent topographic maps from the USGS, these maps are often outdated, especially for rapidly growing urban areas. The base maps are often a few decades old and the latest photorevision for the USGS maps is usually ten years old or so.

Making a topographic map
Producing an accurate topographic map is a long and complex process. It can take 5 years from the identification of a mapping requirement to the printing of a large-scale map like one of the USGS 7.5-minute, 1 :24,000-scale quadrangle maps. This process requires a team of professionals and a series of closely coordinated steps.

A big reason for "old, outdated" topographic maps is that not enough people buy them. Printing 5000 copies of a map can mean that only a thousand sell over the course of 10 years. Road maps sell thousands of times the number of topographic maps, so it's not unusual for new road maps to be revised and published each year.

The "currentness" of the topographic map for a state park in my area is 1979, with a version year of 1984. My experience is that you can trust contour, elevation, major roads, and water features on the maps. Do not trust tree lines, shrub/open field coloring, isolated buildings, and secondary roads (although they may be correct).

EDIT: Hmmm ... it's time to Google Earth a State Park.   [Big Grin]

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2006 23:32      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Constrution, tolls and shortest travel time.

With the advent of newer technology there are sites that take these things into consideration when planning a course with fresh information in mind... In formation that could be up to the minute.

That said, a map is map...

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 00:14      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I suggest that people should shun any technology which disempowers and devalues important skills
Smash the stocking frames! Hail General Ludd!
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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 00:49      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nothing beats a good topo map for hiking/hunting (I do the latter often in the fall and winter). A compass will take you a long way; a GPS will help you find your way to all those cool waypoints you have marked down (for me: home, Grandpa's Grave, Cow Creek).

I have Glacier Nat'l park to my north, and Yellowstone to the south; I like to be prepared when I go 'wolf hunting' (with a CAMERA! You seriously get in more trouble killing a wolf than you do a man) with a photographer friend of mine. A map/compass[/GPS unit], matches, knife, flashlight, emergency blanket at the minimum.

For longer treks, you need to pack several more items and make sure the local constabulary knows your plans.

While I have nothing against firearms, carrying a handgun with you in the wilderness is pretty pointless, unless you plan on waiting for a cougar to attack you face to face; most times, they'll sneak up behind you, and if it's anything more threatening than a cougar, a handgun is only going to piss it off more than it probably already is at seeing you.

The best defense against being eaten by an animal is to take someone along with you who is slower than you.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 00:50      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bear and I are going to be honeymooning in Gatlinburg, so I guess we should register for a GPS unit if we want to go hiking in the mountains, aye, Steen?

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 00:51      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Bear and I are going to be honeymooning in Gatlinburg, so I guess we should register for a GPS unit if we want to go hiking in the mountains, aye, Steen?

You dont have to register a GPS...

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 01:12      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Register FOR one, nwnf. We're registered at Target and Linens 'N Things for wedding gifts. (PM me if you want our ID to shop for us. [Wink] ) Target sells GPS trackers. [Smile]

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 02:42      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
That depends on how you define decent. It may help you understand if you know that I live next to the Smoky Mountains National Park. 800 square miles or so of lovely undeveloped wilderness area with few roads. There are developed trails, but there is also the magic of the backcountry permit, which is free and serves to tell the park rangers that you intend to go to a certain area and stay there for a bit. Makes it easier for them to find the people who foolishly get lost. Or their bodies.

As for maps... they're available, but it's a bit hard to navigate when the nearest landmark is a few miles away and tree cover blocks any view of the sky you might have. And a few areas... well, it's entirely probably that nobody's ever gone there before, so what would you put on the map? Other than trees... we definitely have trees.

Steen - I take your point about wildeness hiking in the States, it is certainly different to wilderness hiking in the UK where, if you can walk in a straight line, you are never more than a couple of hours away from a major road.

I didn't really make it clear in my original post, but I wasn't really complaining about Sat-Nav for wilderness hiking. What annoys me is lazy drivers who buy a Sat-Nav and then throw a tantrum if they then have to actually think about the route they are driving.

...and I did say it was just a rant, so YMMV etc.

Two minor points:

1) dragonman97 - prior art? Bah! they've stolen my idea [Frown]

2) TFD - what is this "sun" of which you speak? [Confused]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 09:32      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonwyyn wrote:
Bear and I are going to be honeymooning in Gatlinburg, so I guess we should register for a GPS unit if we want to go hiking in the mountains, aye, Steen?

Not unless you're going to do a lot of hiking. A good GPS for hiking is a lot less useful for other purposes because you have to give up a lot of features in order to obtain the most desired ones (small, light, conservative on battery use).

Stick to the well marked trails and you'll do fine. Backcountry hiking is something that you work your way up to because you need knowledge of the area and skills at spotting signs of danger (signs of bear and wild boar activity, for example). The park service does a fairly decent job of relocating problematic bears and shooting the boars (they're not native to the area anyway) in areas with developed trails.

PM me if you need any help or suggestions on things to do or see, by the way, as I live about 35 miles from gatlinburg and know most of what's available in the area (although I have no clue what interests you). If you include a time frame, I can tell you about any special events that fall in the period you're interested in.

Grummash wrote:
I wasn't really complaining about Sat-Nav for wilderness hiking.

Oh, I know, but a part of me just has to be annoyingly argumentative sometimes [Smile]

What annoys me is lazy drivers who buy a Sat-Nav and then throw a tantrum if they then have to actually think about the route they are driving.

Took me a couple of tries to find the story, but... a GPS is not able to correct for stupidity.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 12:01      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Danger, Danger, Young Will Smith Danger_____________

Do Not, I repeat Do Not use a GPS as your sole sourse of navigation. Carry extra batteries and always carry a compass and an area map. On occasion the Military shuts down the Civilion part of the GPS system, During a fishing tourament on the Saginaw Bay some anglers were left without a way home because the GPS system was shut down, these clowns didnot look over their shoulders to see what the shoreline they were leaving looked like so they had no idea what to look for when returning.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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maybe.logic
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 13:14      Profile for maybe.logic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Now I have always thourght that getting lost was the best part of a long walk...
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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2006 15:03      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by maybe.logic:
Now I have always thourght that getting lost was the best part of a long walk...

On a walk, possibly, but on a long hike, getting lost could mean that they never find your body.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2006 05:48      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
GPS navigation will be worthless once I get my spaceship up and running. I'll ask for a ransom of 100 million not to deorbit various satalites then do it anyways... expsecially satalites that carry tv channels. [evil]

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-Assif Mandvi

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maybe.logic
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2006 05:48      Profile for maybe.logic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
yes that is a possibility, but still getting lost makes for a good adventure, and I bet you get too see alot more of the landscape [Razz]
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2006 06:38      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ashitaka______________________________Please put the correct spaceing between letters and words in your sig. and I think you have delusions of grandure.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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David Rogers
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2006 10:27      Profile for David Rogers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have yet to use GPS navigation for road travel. I buy a new road atlas every few years, for some reason they seem to get worn out quickly in my travels. I also learned to use a map and compass as a child and try to keep current with the practice. If I had the opportunity to use a GPS based navigational aid I wouldn't hesitate to use it. I like the idea of technology providing better tools to make tasks easier and this is one example of such a tool. One problem with electronic tools however is that when power is not available the tools stop working. This means that if you are relying on a GPS navigational aid in the wilderness and the batteries die, or you drop it and something internal breaks, you had better have a back up plan like having and knowing how to use a map and compass.
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