I Met A Man From MA On Prospect Mountain, Alton, NH, Looking For ‘Ragged Mountain’ Ski Resort On His GPS. He Was 40 Miles Out!
I was on my run this morning, sans Maya (who Deanna had taken to the beach), up Prospect Mountain Road. I hear a car pull up behind me and stop. Sign of the times, but when this happens I always expect the worst. Does not happen often. Maybe 3 times a year and I run up that hill most days.
It was a father and son. The son was probably 13. They had MA plates. He was clutching his phone, with GPS on it. He wanted to know where ‘Ragged Mountain‘ ski resort was. I couldn’t place it immediately BUT I knew it wasn’t around here. I have never skied Ragged so was not really familiar with it. He kept on saying that it was ‘right here’ per the GPS. I felt bad for him. I remember taking Matthew skiing and rushing to get there as early as possible. I assured him that Ragged wasn’t even close and that he was better off going to Gunstock. So agreed. I gave him rough directions. He turned around and headed back towards Rte 28. I told him that he could be at Gunstock in 30 minutes. I hope he made it. He could have got there by 10:30.
That is the problem with GPS. I love GPS. As somebody who has worked with computers since 1969, I think that GPS is the epitome of computer technology at its very, very best. The amount of computation that is taking place, unbeknownst to the user is staggering. It is incredibly clever. But, as with any computer application it can only work with the data it has, in this case mapping data for the region. GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. NH is not a state that is that well mapped by GPS, Google Maps or anything else. That said, the likes of Google and the good GPS companies do have enough data to do a good job — provided you don’t rely on them for directions. Just the maps. I got my first GPS in 1998 or 1998. It was big, heavy and in black-and-white. It worked well. In those days, pre-9/11, you could take GPSs on planes. It was amazing to use a GPS on a plane. We now have GPS, multiple different APPS, on the two Google Nexus 7 Android pads the kids have. We use it. They work well for us. But, I am still a map person.