Saturday, July 24, 2010

GPS Is In Its Infancy

We headed out to Houston before 4:00 AM. As we got closer, Vanessa set her GPS to find the location of the doctor we were visiting, and guide us there. Now, her GPS is on her phone, not her car, so we had to keep track of it. Every time a bump knocked the phone over, the app would fail and have to be started over.


It seemed as if it lost signal whenever we passed under a power line, let alone an underpass. It kept recalculating routes. "Turn left. Go for point four miles and turn right." By the time we had circled through the campus of Blinn college a couple of times, I was beginning to lose faith in the technology.

We watched the sun come up over Houston, punctuated with awesome thunderheads. I thought, "Good. We found Houston. Nice." We did actually find the doctor, but not until after V said (more than once), "OK, this looks familiar." I didn't have the heart to tell her that Houston is like that. Lots of it looks familiar, because it mostly all looks like the rest of it.

However, once we were through at the doctor's office, and headed out, we decided to have GPS find us an IHOP so we could have breakfast. It told us there was one within one tenth of a mile. I said, "Well, gee. We should be able to see that!" Sure enough, it was across the street and two doors down from the place where we were parked.

By the time we were fed and on the road again, I was sick of freeways and looking for a back road out. We switched to the map function on V's phone, and that was as problematic as the GPS. It gave us a tiny area of map, surrounded by miles of grey grid. Not helpful, except I did find the name of the surface street that would take us out of there. We were actually on a street that would do the same thing, so it was all good. We didn't get on a freeway again until we came to Austin.

All in all, I'm sticking with my Road Atlas!