Friday, November 02, 2007

GPS and Google Fight for the Little Guy Against the System

Some people dislike geotechnology for reasons ranging from "ruining" quiet streets, to helping terrorists, to wanting you dead. The reason for the hatred is in part due to the liberty and egalitarian nature of all technology (sometimes provding bad geographical driving directions comes into play though). Great power can be used for good or ill.

The power offered by geotechnology has been in the news lately. GPS units are now used by those who wish to fight speeding tickets. Previously any court dispute over a speeding ticket ended by being the cop's word (backed up by a radar reading which only the cop saw) versus the driver's word. Now drivers can use GPS unit printouts to show that they could have not possibly been speeding because of the lack of distance covered. Google Maps has also helped fight the law. A blogger used Google Maps to show a police officer's memory was "faulty" when it came to one-way streets.

The future of geotechnology is one of innovation and information. Let us all hope for more stories like this and not of driver's suddenly doing U-turns into corn fields because their little black box with the English-voice told them so.

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