Monday, August 27, 2007


We live in a society that relies heavily on information. And for the most part, that information is readily available with the simple click of the mouse or a quick search on Google. Don't worry, this isn't a rant on the evils of the information superhighway. In fact, I'm very grateful that all this information is out there.

Now, I will admit that I complain from time to time about the directions I get from Mapquest. Occasionally I'll search for a route to a place of business and I'll get directed through a parking lot or some road that seemingly doesn't exist. For the most part, the good people at Mapquest get it right.

But I have to ask: what did we do before Mapquest and/or GPS? I've only been driving for 11 years of my life, but most of that time has been in the age of Mapquest. These days we can go online, input our starting point and destination, and, click, we have turn by turn directions and even a rough (sometimes very rough) estimate of how long it will take to get from point A to B. Crazy right?

So what did my parents do when they were my age? If they had to find somewhere in town, did they just rely on a rough mental image of the city layout and drive around 'til they got lucky? I'm sure long distances were a little simpler, take out a road atlas. But then when you get to your city of choice, what happens then? I mean, if you're driving to Boston, the standard atlas can get you to the greater Boston area, but what about side streets and secondary roads?

This brings me to another point: kids today don't know how to read a map!

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