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Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

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Badger?

Badger!

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Facepalm

Re: Badger?

Bastard, the 10 hour one!

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Re: the 10 hour one!

At that many views (3.6M), I make it about three and a half thousand eyeball-years of fun!

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Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

Last weekend, driving round Birmingham the satnav (recently updated by Honda) took us to a Tesco, which turned out to be the one that closed three years ago when my older child was living near there. And on the way home tried to take us off the M6, because the link to the M1 changed a while back and you now have to come off (left) instead of just carrying on until they merge. The last time that I went that route I didn't avoid it. I was in the wrong lane. But then the satnav couldn't work out how to get me back to a motorway, because it couldn't work out why I wasn't already on the Mway. It was an interesting country drive though.

They are also remarkably unhelpful if a junction has more exits than normal. "Turn Right" "Which fucking right, there are two of them". (These tend to be the junctions where looking very carefully at the map would help - mostly help you get killed by oncoming vehicles.).

Added to which, whatever setting you use they always seem to want you to drive/walk a significant distance out of your way to get to a major road that is three miles further away from where you want to be, and goes through the heaviest patch of traffic in the whole area.

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Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

Even worse are "store navs".

"Our app will show you exactly where to find the things you want to buy"

Assuming there's no promotion that week. And the inventory is up to date ("shrinkage" doesn't get automatically logged, you know). And the mucketing dept. hasn't had a brainstorm and decided to move everything around.....

Why do they offer stuff when they have no control over outcomes?

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Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

Garmin is humorously wrong in northern Spain. When I drive through a motorway tunnel that was completed before I moved here four years ago it shows me driving through a field, it hasn't a clue about the one-way system in Leon and in Oviedo it recommends driving straight through the old town, which has been pedestrianised for 20 years. Google, whose map pp I crises earlier, does not make these mistakes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

"Last weekend, driving round Birmingham the satnav (recently updated by Honda) took us to a Tesco, which turned out to be the one that closed three years"

In general, reviews I have seen of in dash satnav systems provided by car companies have reported they are both quite inferior, and very expensive when compared to systems from vendors of dedicated satnav devices.

For that matter. I find dedicated satnav devices significantly more usable than smartphone implementations.

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Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

Garmin is humorously wrong in northern Spain.

Our Garmin device in the car is regularly fed OpenStreetMap updates which are only occasionally incorrect, and then rarely beyond the next update. That said, it still wants me to get off a particular main artery, then straight across the crossroads at the bottom of the slipway and back on the main road again, as it has done for at least the past five years. Probably more of a routing calculation quirk than a mapping error, I expect.

From the 60Csx I expect nothing more than remembering a couple of waypoints, and showing a direction pointer to the one selected.

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Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

"Garmin is humorously wrong in northern Spain".

Not just Spain. I've run into some places in the US that have been unchanged for at least 2 or 3 years, yet Garmin still have not updated their maps, despite the fact that they release new maps at least once a year.

Open Streetmaps are a viable alternative to Garmin, which I've been happy to use on trips to Iceland, Norway, Italy, etc. on my North America maps only equipped mapped Garmin units. I've been loathe to spend $100 for a set of maps that I will be using only for a short time, and have low confidence in their accuracy. And because the data are crowdsourced, I'm fairly confident in its accuracy, at least the POIs aren't going to be years out of date (and if they are, I can do an instant edit).

http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl

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Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

"For that matter. I find dedicated satnav devices significantly more usable than smartphone implementations."

Assuming you keep them up to date. I'm sure I could dig out a 10-15 year old satnav from my old tech cupboard that would get very confused at some updated motorway junctions.

Whereas screen sharing a smartphone maps app to your in car entertainment screen (whatever those tablet-y stereos are called now?) at least means you'll have an up to date map. Even if the marketing does try to get you to visit car dealers and fast food emporiums along the way.

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Coat

Can't

I used my sat-nav around Woburn Safari Park.

It said bear left so I looked left, but it wasn't a bear, it was a monkey having a w**k...

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Boiling water from the espresso machine

In a cafe or hotel, put teabag in cup and ask them to fill it from the espresso machine. Saves a ton of hassle trying to explain how the water should be boiling when they pour it on the tea. Works anywhere they have proper espresso machine and know how to make a decent coffee

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Don't get lost without it

Florence (Italy), Samsung Galaxy (i.e. no compass),Goober maps say to "walk north!"

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EJ

Brilliance.

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I never have any problems with navigation, but that's just me, no need to use GPS. What I do have problems with is pedestrians being second class citizens in the eyes of town planners. Around here it's trains at the top, buses (they have their own roads or lanes half the time), all other motorised vehicles, push bikes, pedestrians, and way down the bottom is barefoot pedestrians (like me).

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Thumb Up

"braised slug provençal"

Mmmm. Nutty.

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One of the towns nearest mine is accessible via a back road, at the end of which is a very narrow single track bridge which won't take anything bigger than a transit van. Since the invention of the sat-nav there are signs every 100 yards telling lorry drivers to ignore their sat-navs cos they can't cross the bridge, but at least twice a year a wagon gets stuck and has to be towed backwards back up the hill from the bridge.

I don't like tea at all, but I'm always amused by how it's depicted on American TV. The Big Bang Theory for example, they pour hot water out of a kettle in to a mug with a tea bag in it, then immediately drink from it and the bag is always left in the cup. My thermos travel mug has a hook on the bottom of the lid for hanging a tea bag!

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"Since the invention of the sat-nav there are signs every 100 yards telling lorry drivers to ignore their sat-navs cos they can't cross the bridge, but at least twice a year a wagon gets stuck and has to be towed backwards back up the hill from the bridge."

That's because the drivers or company cheaped out and bought car rated sat-navs rather than the more expensive HGV/PSV versions which are far, far better for the job, ie they have data about narrow roads/lanes and height restrictions.

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Anonymous Coward

Since the invention of the sat-nav there are signs every 100 yards telling lorry drivers to ignore their sat-navs cos they can't cross the bridge

-------------------------------

This may be because of truck drivers using the less expensive consumer automotive GPS systems and maps, rather than truck systems that take into account clearances, load limits, curve radii, 'no truck' regulations and the like.

Sort of like someone complaining that their tiny 1000 kg car can't do an adequate job pulling a 3500 kg trailer... it's just the wrong tool for the job.

In such cases, the fault lies with the user, not the tool.

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TBH I tend to leave the bag in. I just don't drink it straight away. But then when people ask me how I like tea I often say wait till the spoon floats.

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Cycling instructions from Google can also be mad

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/52.2342283,0.0706996/52.2150565,0.0503632/@52.2317612,0.064394,5483m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m2!4m1!3e1

Now try changing the direction. There's a 2.8mile off-road route, but it'll send you on an 8 mile trip via the A14 (practically a motorway). Depending on the time of day, this requested route will even take you there and back between two junctions on the A14! Yes, the starting point is contrived because I know it's next to a bridleway (though it does involve crossing various bits on the A14 on foot - this being an officially signposted path).

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I also dont understand what is this walking thing

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Hot water...

We here in parts of the USA have nice little devices near sinks that produce bloody hot water on demand. While it may not be exactly "boiling", it is HOT. Oh, they also get their funny kilowatts from a normal 15 amp/120 volt outlet with room to spare. No need to even get out a kettle or wait. It is very instant. Oh yes, it is bloody HOT.

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Pint

Re: Hot water...

but not hot enough & the water out of it is as furry as hell.

Fortunately work provides a rather nice kettle & filtered water dispenser (On the one time it failed I took ice from the ice maker instead).

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Re: Hot water...

15A x 120v is 1800W. Here in Blightly we get 13A x 240v = 3120W, almost twice your "plenty to spare".

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Re: Hot water...

And yet an 1800W household can power an on-demand water heater. Why aren't there Insinkerators in the UK so there wouldn't be so much of a need for kettles?

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Re: Hot water...

Those "instant boiling water" taps are convenient but also bloody wasteful, continually keeping water up to temperature in the off chance that you are in and want a cup of tea.

Until the free energy revolution arrives (what happened to the unmetered energy promised by the atomic age :p ) I'll keep boiling a kettle. (And yes sometimes too much water in it, the outlaws have a 1 cup kettle which is even more efficient)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hot water...

"Those "instant boiling water" taps are convenient but also bloody wasteful, continually keeping water up to temperature in the off chance that you are in and want a cup of tea."

No, they do not.

That's the idea... no power gets used until you attempt to get hot water, which is heated as it flows through the device.

No energy is wasted by avoiding creating any hot water that is not being drawn from the system.

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I’ve had good results from Google

It usually has me navigating on foot, like a local*.

* Ok, that would be the local goofy foreigner, who doesn’t speak the language, and is constantly looking at his damned phone.

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Facepalm

Wait, what?!

" it would have spotted that it was too dark to see anything and therefore not try to lead me to walk across a wooded park in the middle of the night."

Now normally you have sense Mr Lister... but you're totally going at this problem the wrong way. Why use a server farm of NVidia Teslas, eating a countries Wattage of power, sending 7 camera (you seen the next phone release ;) ) 4D VR, omni direction video tracking with IR and UV ray tracing...

...when the app can just check what time of day it is! (And possibly the location of streetlamps XD )

[Icon for when you walk into said lamppost]

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While minding my own business driving in Wiltshire

My car suddenly transported its perceived lication to somewhere in Brussels.

And that's without the messing about with buildings reflecting or blocking signals.

I'm still a fan of taking a quick look at a map and just remembering some waypoints...

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N2
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Why are sat-nav directions always so hopeless?

Because they are, mine once suggested I divert and take a round tour of an open prison (you might call them council estates) on my way home along a route I drove frequently.

I sensed something malevolent and carried straight on, locking my doors, just in case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why are sat-nav directions always so hopeless?

Hark at the middle class bloke. Poverty doesn't automatically make you scum, yknow.

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Re: Why are sat-nav directions always so hopeless?

Locking the doors of their PCP'd Audi A3 TDi no doubt, lest the locals glance a glimpse of his 4 ringed marketing triumph and descend on him like a pack of badge obsessed zombies.

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Crowdsource

Wonder why they don’t just buy all the data from Strava about where people have actually been able to walk or run?

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Re: Crowdsource

Yes! This even allowed ne'er-do-wells to map out military bases.

I thought Google/Android was able to differentiate between walking, busing, driving etc.?

Certainly my phone is unable to differentiate between me visiting a shop and the dodgy pub across the road, asking me to rate it.

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Anonymous Coward

Americans don't drink tea

They drink brown water.

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Re: Americans don't drink tea

They drink light brown water. FTFY

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Re: Americans don't drink tea

"They drink light brown water. FTFY"

When my doctor told me I should start drinking tea for health reasons, for the first few months I would say it just tastes like dirty water.

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Anonymous Coward

1. Having moved to the UK over 15 years ago I can say that both tea and coffee are of good quality now. 25 years ago it would have been hard to find a decent cup of coffee.

2. Satnavs for walking are OK and getting better. Main problems are that they can have trouble detecting where you are (closer to buildings than one is in cars) and they can find it hard to see what direction you are moving in. Aside from that routes can be unknown.

3. As a cyclist I can add that using combinations of Google-maps, OSMand and Navmii have served me very well finding my way as both a pedestrian and a cyclist. The quality of the maps and the hardware has kept improving rapidly. The ability to know where you are and have insight into the environment is awesome. The ability to find alternative routes if a bridge happens to be closed, to find shops that may sell tyre repair kits etc. are fantastic.

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25 years ago, for the most part, the height of coffee culture in the UK were the glamourous couples in the nescafe Gold Blend advert, or perhaps Maxwell House. Granulated coffee that you made with boiling water and throw in some sugar and milk from the fridge.

Then an American "sitcom" (the -com bit is debatable) showed characters in a social location a bit like a pub, but not drinking alcohol. A coffee shop. (Note, this differed from a traditional UK 'cafe' that may be closer to a US 'diner' in that it served hot filling food but rather than a waitress patrolling with a coffee jug it had a big silver boiler for instant tea).

Soon these coffee shops sprang up in every high street, shopping centre and retail park. Soon they spawned branded machines so that even backstreet petrol stations could offer their wares. It's got to the point where even the likes of Maccy D's offer a perfectly adequate cup of coffee.

In trendy places (London), this even took off as people started wanting different exotic varieties. Almost like the tobacco shops of old.

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Pint

"Used to be"

"Turn left where the chocolate factory used to be. Then proceed three miles past where the oil refinery used to be. Then turn right into the parking where the fish and chips place used to be."

GPS sold in Nova Scotia need to offer the "where X used to be" option. Every single reference point must be something that isn't there anymore.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Used to be"

There will be a market for that in post-Brexit Britain too.

"Turn left where Jaguar-Landrover used to be"

"Turn right where Nissan used to be"

"Go straight on where the Airbus factory used to be"

etc...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Used to be"

Did we not already have a Brexit?

"Turn left where the Rover factory used to be."

"Turn right where the Talbot factory used to be."

"Go straight on where Woolworths used to be."

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Multi level towns

Living in an extremely hilly city, walking directions are next to useless. I usually get directed to my final location ,only to find I'm not where I'm supposed to be, with my actual desired location at the end of a bridge 20m above me. The routes it picks can be equally arduous, not taking into account changes in elevation, what looks like a direct route involves going up and down a valley when there's a pedestrian bridge to the side that's been ignored. Not knowing what elevation you're supposed to end up at frequently complicates things so you're never sure if you should be going up or down except when you get to the wrong destination.

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Re: Multi level towns

When I've used satnavs round cities (various of each) I've noticed that even though they calculate the times for walking the routes often seem to follow busy car routes. So it'll route me to, then along a busy main road, when I was already on a quiet parallel road that goes to the destination. In many ways the same way as it would take me on a circuitous route to the nearest main road when there's a more direct route closer to where I am , when I'm driving.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Multi level towns

"So it'll route me to, then along a busy main road, when I was already on a quiet parallel road that goes to the destination"

In some cities, that would be a prudent survival strategy.

I was visiting a friend in one US city, who told me we were safe on the main street where we were, but if I walked a block away from it, I would probably not make it back.

I also remember a similar warning a decade earlier while on a university exchange at a city 2000 km north of the first mentioned city. I do recall that the university residence I was staying in had 4 armed guards in the entrance lobby... and I don't mean batons, tear gas, and tasers.

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Pädo

.. is even more attention-grabbing ...

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Acacia Park Drive East

Wrong location to aim for Dabbsy

Should have been Acacia Avenue, number 22.

Easy to find, the light will be shining bright

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