Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Garmin Super Bowl Ad

The cartographic blogosphere is abuzz with discussion of the Garmin Super Bowl advertisement. The ad shows a road map turning into a Japanese-style movie monster who is defeated by the protagonist/Garmin hero.

This ad is the byproduct of the rise of GPS tools and the downfall of maps. Once everyone (Catholicgauze at least) had and enjoyed road maps. They were something one could browse at any time and all it took was map reading skills. Now the "in" thing are GPS auto-navagation tools which tell you where to go. There is no longer the need to understand maps which in turn is leading to even greater geographically illiteracy. No wonder why 20% of Americans think map readings skills are redundant and unnecessary.

Thoughts about the ad are available from Ed Parsons, All Points Blog, GPS Review, Gadling, and the Map Room.

Just remember, your geotechnology gadgets wants you dead.


Jonathan Haeber said...

I see why you have an aversion to GPS devices, but I think some of the newer models support different layers, topographic modeling, and eventually I'm sure they will support satellite imagery. I contend that the greater use of these devices will in fact lead to greater geographic literacy. Perhaps not. I may be wrong. But right now I have a Nuvi 350, and it's proved invaluable in helping me locate mines and historical sites. The rise of POI websites and geocaching has also caused a resurgence in the interest of the average layman in geography. I think it does more good than harm, but it's hard to say.

Jonathan Haeber said...

By the way, the REAL news is that the 7th Circuit Court has ruled in favor of law enforcement tagging vehicles with GPS devices. This does not fall under the unlawful search and seizure bracket, and no warrant is required. See Bearings for more.