Scouts are better than drivers at map skills!!

  Brumas 14:43 15 Aug 2007

According to the motoring supplement in Saturday’s Newcastle Journal.

"A new generation of drivers cannot read maps and older drivers are also losing the skill because they now rely upon in-car satellite navigation systems. When tested on map-reading skills, just1% would pass the cub scout map reader badge aimed at 6 to 17 year olds”

I do not have a sat-nav but I do have an up to date road atlas and the necessary skills to be able to use it effectively. I like maps, I like planning a route and, without sounding big headed, my geographical knowledge of Great Britain ensures that I can get from A to B economically by using the most logical route.

Like many of my age group I learnt the geography of Great Britain at school and the finer points of map reading in the Forces and as a consequence, think of it as second nature. Navigating across the USA and Canada on a Fly/Drive holiday years ago was both enjoyable and challenging – and we thought nothing of it.

“a third of motorists in the UK do not have basic map-reading skills. They struggled to read a four figure grid reference and 83% failed to identify the motorway map symbols”

It’s alright having the ‘state of the art’ in-car navigation systems but would you be able to manage if it broke down and if, like the quoted 1 in 6 who no longer carried up to date maps in their cars, would you be able to find your way home?

Apologies if this has been thrashed to death before - I didn't check.

  dukeboxhero 14:56 15 Aug 2007

i used street maps for years in my job (black cab driver) and all was well untill my eye sight started giving me problems,so the sat nav was a god send to me and many other drivers, i also now go for jobs outwith glasgow because i know i will get there in time, so sat nav has earned me more money, but if it fails i can always go back to my maps

  Curio 15:25 15 Aug 2007

Nobody can read a map unless they understand the icons thereon. This is the main reason those people stopped in the street failed the questions. It needs study to understand anything. Cubs and scouts are taught before their test.

  sinbads 16:09 15 Aug 2007

Its progress times change,when i was at school calculations were done on paper, now its the calculater, we move with the times.I use satnav they are brilliant.I'm not suprised few of us can map read, no real incentive to do so.

Threw my map away a long time ago

  Brumas 16:21 15 Aug 2007

So what happens if the satnav breaks down miles from nowhere?
What happens if the power/batteries fail on the computer and all that is available is pencil and paper?

Progress by all means but not at the expense of 'unlearning' old skills.

  alB 16:33 15 Aug 2007

Going back many years ago I used to navigate for a rally driving mate, trying to read pace notes and a map at God knows what speed down forest tracks soon teaches you how to do it correctly, I have satnav in my car today, also an up to date OS Landranger map and a compass ...alB

  Brumas 16:39 15 Aug 2007

That's the way to do it - belts and braces ;o)

As a matter of interest, just how the heck do you manage to map read, refer to notes and hang on to the seat of your pants all at the same time?

  sinbads 16:43 15 Aug 2007

Sorry ;but this happens old skills die off (not required etc) I can read maps polan a route find co ordinates etc, i am able to use pen and paper to do my calculations, even still know how to use a sliderule; but whats the point nowdays.

I've used my satnav for a longtime now, never had any problems with it. Ok it could breakdown ,even those with no map reading skills would get home beit the long way round. Its not as if were in the Austailian outback.

The old cooking skills are dissapearing all covenience foods and take aways.
Computers make us lazy, Those that don't have a backup system soon find themselves in a mess.

I'm afraid a lot of old skills die out in the name of progress.

  Brumas 16:56 15 Aug 2007

I hear what you say but old skills only die out if they are allowed to - I, for one have no intention of allowing that to happen.

  HCOOH 17:50 15 Aug 2007

...After the recent Centenary Jamboree it seems quite a few "visiting" Scouts have failed to return to their own lands and it's not even Bob-a-Job week.

  sinbads 19:01 15 Aug 2007

"old skills only die out if they are allowed to " Seems from the survey that this is already happening.

I understand where you are coming from I've spent years learning the hard way, only for it to be taken over by technology.

Tell me have you ever tried using a satnav instead of route planning from maps? Think you may be suprised at the accuracy and amount of information these units can give you that maps cannot.

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