The Downside Of In-Car Navigation Systems

We love the 2008 VW R32 we got back in August. And one of the things we like the most is the nav system. I’ve read reviews that say it’s not the best navigation system, but it does the job pretty well. The most important thing is we never argue about directions…  I was raised in a family where the answer to “are we there yet” was to pass you a map and tell you to find where we were, where we were going and calculate the distance and divide by the speed. Dan has improved his navigation skills considerably since we first met, but before the nav system there were still times I’d have to either grab the map and look at it while I was driving, or pull over to look at the map… Now with “Mildred” (the name we’ve given our nav system) – none of that is necessary.

You’d think the nav system is completely wonderful, but I’m on a trip right now in Chicago and I gotta say there are times I love the nav system, and times I wish I had a map on me. What you lose with navigation systems is a sense of place and location. With a map you get a big picture and see things in relation to each other. Coming into a new city I feel a bit lost using a nav system to get me around. Sure it does a good job, but I don’t really have a clue where I am, and I miss that. I want to understand the city and the nav system doesn’t do that for me. I tried Google Maps and that helps a little, but for really getting and understanding a big map with lots of information density will beat Google Maps any day.

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