How I Got Lost Using Google Maps and the iPhone

Over the years chances are you’ve seen stories about Google Maps or similar services sending people off course, sometimes by hundreds of miles. When you use any of the mapping or GPS services you always have to use common sense, but I’ve always wondered if this happens because these people maybe aren’t the most technologically savvy people out there. However now that I’ve had a first hand experience, I can tell you yes it can happen even to the uber geeks. Every year after SES San Jose, we usually stay a few days extra and tack  on some family vacation time. This year we decided to go to Yosemite National Park. After leaving SES we drove towards Tenaya Lodge just outside of Yosemite National Park, but stopped for bite of In-N-Out on the way (mmm monster style fries). Following the directions from Google maps on my iPhone we eventually reached concrete road that turned into a dirt road and this sign


Google Maps, and other GPS systems it appears, lead you to road that doesn’t really have access to Yosemite. This happens often enough that some kind soul took it upon themselves to give you the proper directions. Normally this isn’t a problem you drive a little ways, recompute your directions and continue on … normally. If you’ve ever been to Yosemite you’ll know that cell phone service is spotty at best, if you try and use Google maps when you don’t have service you have the experience of being a blinking blue dot on a gray grid.

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Eventually we did find our way to Tenaya and onto Yosemite but it took about 90 minutes longer than it should have. The lesson here is even if you are tech savvy you can still get lost using GPS mapping the proper way.

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