Couple Taken 400 Miles Off Course By Trusting Their GPS

from the at-some-point,-don't-you-begin-to-question... dept

It really is amazing to see some of the stories about people shutting off their brains (and often their own eyes) in order to believe everything that their GPS device tells them. The latest example involves some Swedish tourists in Italy, who wanted to go to Capri, but mistyped it into the device as Carpi, an industrial town in Northern Italy, 400 miles away from the beautiful isle of Capri. Apparently, it didn't occur to them as they drove (and drove and drove) that perhaps things weren't right. According to tourist officials, after being informed, the couple got back in the car, and turned around to head in the right direction.

Filed Under: capri, carpi, gps, italy

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  1. identicon
    Yakko Warner, 30 Jul 2009 @ 7:44am

    Re: It is all in the headline, the body is ok.

    In the BBC case, it sounds to me more like the GPS was the thing that made the error. It wasn't the GPS's gaffe, it was the user's (their data input). The system worked perfectly; it was just a case of garbage in, garbage out.

    Although even in the BBC headline, "GPS gaffe" could be read as "mistake made with a GPS" rather than " a GPS", so that would be technically accurate, too.

    I think you guys are reading way too much into the headline. The data coming out of the GPS was incorrect for their situation, and instead of trusting their eyes and ears of what is going on in the real world around them, they trusted the computer-generated map on the screen. And the result is, it took them 400 miles off of their course.

    That's the point of the story. They trusted the output without bothering to think about it, or questioning why what they saw differed with what the GPS said. And that's the headline.

    The detail of the exact cause of the initial error is not spelled out in the headline; rather, you have to actually read the story to find out why the error occurred. In basic journalistic fashion (if I remember what I learned in grade school), the who/what/where/when/why/how is answered in the first (and only) paragraph. I'm not sure why you're expecting to see these details in the headline.

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