I was under the misconception that like dating, replacing errant USB cables, finding synonyms and keeping photoalbums, that street navigation, too, was something that needn’t be physical anymore. The internet made it all better and us all aghast that the alternative was considered tenable.
This now seems absurd. I used to say ‘fuck, I love google’, ’I live by google maps’, and, oddly: ‘let’s see what goggle mops has to say about where I am/which direction I’m facing.’
As it turns out, it’s pretty fucking simple to decipher where you are on a paper map. Identify the name of a street, work out if you’re more up or down it (I’m still new and but vaguely aware this is occasionally referred to as ‘north’ and ’south’), and locate where you’re going.
This antiquated (but far from redundant) method has several advantages:
1) It does not require the monetary madame of data when in a foreign country.
2) You control what way your map faces. If you want your perspective to be the only notable landmark of the raging roundabout behind you. It doesn’t automatically swivel around when you attempt to determine which direction is your desired destination is. Occasionally, frustrated screen poking turns this auto-north off. Alas, having your entire interface in pictures masqueraded as intuitive design, does not allow me to ever replicate this effect by choice.
3) A map can be annotated in several ways. Where you’re staying can have be highlighted in pink with a giant arrow labelled ‘home’ in unperpendicular lettering. This technique can be used with increasing aplomb when it is mastered. Other labels include: ‘nice restaurant’, ‘quite interesting sounding museum’ and ‘go back here tomorrow’. This is, believe it or not, vastly more informative than a swath of indiscriminate, uniform gold stars.
4) None of this:
1) Neither are particular useful when wet