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    Re: News Item on Over-reliance on GPS
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2008 Nov 03, 10:28 -0800

    It would be nice to have a little more detail on exactly what occurred
    other than "the GPS failed"   When did the GPS fail, was the skipper
    aware of the problem, and what navigation techniques were employed after
    the GPS failed?
    Any skipper who just follows the his GPS blindly without situational
    awareness is dumb, dumb, dumb.   But I don't blame the GPS for that, but
    over-reliance on it by humans.
    That's probably the dilemma:   with traditional techniques like
    celestial, bearings, and DR plots, the navigator had a high degree of
    situational awareness.   Using a chart for all this navigation work was
    unavoidable, giving awareness of what was around and beneath and ahead
    of the boat.   With GPS, sadly, the box just produces magic numbers (or
    magic "steer in this direction" commands).   I teach coastal piloting
    frequently, I do admit that GPS exists and is a useful tool, I spend
    time on how to get the most out of it, but then I also spend even more
    time on how to keep out of trouble when using it, and what to do when
    the screen goes blank.
    Richard B. Langley wrote:
    > ===============================================================================
    >  Richard B. Langley                            E-mail: lang@unb.ca
    >  Geodetic Research Laboratory                  Web: http://www.unb.ca/GGE/
    >  Dept. of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering    Phone:    +1 506 453-5142
    >  University of New Brunswick                   Fax:      +1 506 453-4943
    >  Fredericton, N.B., Canada  E3B 5A3
    >      Fredericton?  Where's that?  See: http://www.city.fredericton.nb.ca/
    > ===============================================================================
    > >
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