What happened?

Desertroad
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Re: What happened?

Post by Desertroad »

Considering what happened last year with the Nurse from Las Vegas and the couple up in Oregon, I'm starting to wonder if having GPS units in passenger cars (or even jeeps or trucks) is really a good idea.

Several years ago, I took the telescope down to the southern end of Ward Valley to view some planets. I remember going down one of the dirt roads deciding to turn around at one point. Later in the afternoon, I checked the map and realized that I had driven into one of the designated Wilderness areas unintentionally. I guess they hadn't gotten all the little brown plastic signs installed yet, because I sure had not seen any!

One recurring theme on this particular forum is responsibility for one's actions. If a GPS unit leads you into an area that is restricted in some way (wilderness, bombing range, etc.) and some sort of damage occurs (tire tracks, truck blown up, etc.), would it be fair to claim that the GPS unit "assisted" (coerced? seduced?) as a cause of the damage?

I'm letting my mind wander here, but if GPS technology is accepted, legally, as a legitimate navigation tool, and it is still the responsibility of land owners to fence and post their lands as private property, then in some truly silly future would land owners be required to register their holdings in some sort of national GPS database? I mean, if we're going to give ourselves over to ever more control by our machines, then one day shouldn't your car/jeep/truck's GPS unit tell you when you've crossed over into the wilderness area? And then couldn't the local law enforcement agency just "supoena" (download) your GPS track from said car/jeep/truck, thereby incriminating you of your errant adventures?

I really hate to think that my truck is going to be designed to rat me out this way, but read up on the future of automotive computers and it gets a little freaky:

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/05/th ... ant-drive/

Despite rants against OHV use, or arguments to support motorized access, I believe that our basic rights and responsibilities as citizens are being changed by technology. It becomes apparent in the desert because technology is used to both enhance access (ATV's) and restrict it ("Video in Use" signs).

Good old fashioned sense of direction, coupled with courtesy and ethics, may indeed become the last refuge of scoundrels! :D

Forgive me my ramblings...

Desertroad

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Pharo
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Re: What happened?

Post by Pharo »

Desertroad wrote:Considering what happened last year with the Nurse from Las Vegas and the couple up in Oregon, I'm starting to wonder if having GPS units in passenger cars (or even jeeps or trucks) is really a good idea.
I can't really debate this point other then saying my GPS has helped me more then got me lost.
Desertroad wrote:
One recurring theme on this particular forum is responsibility for one's actions. If a GPS unit leads you into an area that is restricted in some way (wilderness, bombing range, etc.) and some sort of damage occurs (tire tracks, truck blown up, etc.), would it be fair to claim that the GPS unit "assisted" (coerced? seduced?) as a cause of the damage?
I don't have any issue with Wilderness Areas showing up on my GPS as those do indeed show up. The gist of my argument is private property lines don't. So for the other poster to assume these devices can be use to prevent trespassing is in itself irresponsible. In fact I think it's irresponsible for a private property owner to complain about trespassing unless there is some kind of identifiable marker or boundary of the property in question.
Desertroad wrote:
future of automotive computers and it gets a little freaky:

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/05/th ... ant-drive/

Despite rants against OHV use, or arguments to support motorized access, I believe that our basic rights and responsibilities as citizens are being changed by technology. It becomes apparent in the desert because technology is used to both enhance access (ATV's) and restrict it ("Video in Use" signs).

Good old fashioned sense of direction, coupled with courtesy and ethics, may indeed become the last refuge of scoundrels! :D

Forgive me my ramblings...
Sounds good to me as long as there is some way of knowing when I'm nearing the boundary line.

Later,
PBiZ

Sandman
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Re: What happened?

Post by Sandman »

I own an assortment of maps from a variety of sources and dont rely on GPS. While the maps do have some inconsistancies, I am able to navigate pretty well with the resources at hand. I like to err on the side of caution when it comes to private lands including active mining claims. I stick to the established routes that I can follow on a map but once in a while I have gotten turned around and disoriented. Last year I was somewhere between the Candalaria Hills and the Columbia Salt marsh and the road just dissapeared in a wash. I could either turn around or keep on going navigating by map. I chose the latter and wound up hitting the road out only to find it obstructed by a locked gate which we were on the inside. Evidently, some company had an active mining claim at the location where the gate was. We had no choice but to back track back up the canyon we had driven down. The map showed a road to be there but it was long gone when we went through.

I believe that many people are conscious of areas that are open or not and they respect that. Unfortunatly, there are some out there who just dont give a hoot to the legality of their activity. These are the people who are causing the problems in our area. No map or GPS system will be 100% accurate but they do show what areas are open to travel or not. I think we all bear the responsibility to at least try to do the right thing. The BLM desert access guides and USFS maps are pretty good in general. Topo maps are the best but are a little expensive.

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oroblanco
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Re: What happened?

Post by oroblanco »

Agreed. Try to do the right thing - trouble is the jerks won't make any effort. I also agree that the USGS topo maps are the best, and yes they are pricey - but you can download them FREE and print out what you need at home; here is the linkee

http://www.usgsquads.com/mapfinder.html

<Instructions on that page tell you how to find and download the maps>
Oroblanco

Desertroad
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Re: What happened?

Post by Desertroad »

Like Sandman and Oroblanco, I'm totally into paper maps as a way of the (desert) wandering life.

I do believe that better information in the form of more accurate maps and GPS data would be a really great thing.

But do we really want used Air Force drones buzzing our rooftops in the name of enhanced recreational access?

I'm old fashioned, or maybe just plain old. I would like Geography re-introduced in our schools. Maybe accompanied by a little land ethic?

Land ethic, in this case, does not mean biased brainwashing: "Man bad...Nature good!".

Critical thinking skills accompanied by good manners?

Desertroad

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