Friday, 29 August 2008

Orienteering vs GPS

While still travelling around Johannesburg earlier in the week, met up with Mark Roach from Gismap who handed us a Garmin Nuvi 310 personal travel assistant and was nice enough to spend a bit of time explaining how it works.

With this very user friendly and remarkable GPS gadget in hand, it is seemingly impossible to get lost, hence it has become a must have, for road travellers and adventure seekers alike. After losing our bearings on more than one occasion; and in addition to how to keep oneself amused in very slow moving traffic, the Johannesburg highways did teach us, just how desperately we needed to get ourselves one.

As with the introduction of any technology aimed at making life simpler, like the third umpire in cricket, there are those purist types who will jump up and shout “Fowl.” In this case it’s likely to come from persons who are passionate, about rally driving, overland 4x4 or orienteering where mapping skills is big part of the fun.

Orienteering is about walking through unfamiliar terrain using a specially prepared map and applying common sense. It generally happens in a cross country surrounding where using a Garmin is likely to result in name throwing, such as “Cheat” or “Spoilt Sport”

Nonetheless for us heathens who believe that applying common sense is making sure the battery for the GPS device is fully charged, visit Mark’s site for all your on-line GPS requirements.

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