Losing Our Way


With the ubiquity of GPS these days, Alastair Bland fears for our collective sense of direction:

A study conducted in Tokyo found that pedestrians exploring a city with the help of a GPS device took longer to get places, made more errors, stopped more frequently and walked farther than those relying on paper maps. And in England, map sales dropped by 25 percent for at least one major printer between 2005 and 2011. Correlation doesn’t prove causation—but it’s interesting to note that the number of wilderness rescues increased by more than 50 percent over the same time period. This could be partly because paper maps offer those who use them a grasp of geography and an understanding of their environment that most electronic devices don’t.

(Image: "Up to Speed" by Arden Bendler Browning, from the series "Clickpath" which opens at Bridgette Mayer Gallery on December 12th, via The Morning News.)