I have written before (here and here) about my mystification with people who blindly depend upon and follow their GPS instructions even in situations where common sense would tell them to double check or have a plan B. This can lead them badly astray and even end in tragedies.
The latest example of a GPS-induced error is a driver who followed his GPS navigator right into the waters of an Alaskan harbor.
The problem is that while the GPS satellites can pinpoint your location with great accuracy, the directions it gives you depends on the level of detail and the accuracy of the maps that the system uses. For example, people coming to my home, if they follow the GPS directions, can end up going all over the place purely because there is a ‘no left turn’ sign at a crucial point. The town that I live in uses such restrictions to discourage people from using residential streets as short cuts for people just passing through, and this can bewilder those who are unfamiliar with the town.
Local residents, and people who use road maps, know how to easily get around this by turning around in a parking lot but GPS does not seem to do that kind of thing. So I make sure I send directions to people if I know they are coming.