GPS error

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Donnager

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I received a call from an Amazon driver yesterday who was on my street with a delivery for me. She was calling to tell me she couldn't find my house. She had my street number and was on my street, but the where the GPS told her to stop, the mailbox said #830 (mine's #850).

I told her my house was two doors further down on the same side. She said thanks.

I guess that teaching people that, in most cases, address numbers are sequential (so you can find one) and usually odd numbers are on one side of the street and evens are on the other. I was trying to remember how long I have known this, and I don't remember not knowing it. I recall being given street addresses and delivering stuff from the time I was in elementary school on up. I'm sure the paperboys of the past (and the mail carriers of the past and present) knew/know well how numbering worked.

I find GPS's to be very good at making you not pay attention to how you are getting somewhere, since you don't need to know. Making a return route that was originally followed by GPS can be forgettable, and surprisingly non-intuitive.

I imagine getting rid of little glitches like this (physical and GPS Application locations are different) are the kind of things that make driverless car designers pull their hair out.
 
GPS shows my house on the wrong side of the street too. But to be fair the idiots who handed out house addresses in my town didn’t believe in that new fangled convention of odd and even… all the houses on my street have even numbers except mine. Only one of those houses is on the north side of the street. 🤷🏼‍♂️
 
Google maps had a "report an error" feature.... for years they have been using crowd sourcing, to correct things like this.

Years ago they had our house on the wrong side of the street, and 1/4 mile too far south. It's been fixed for a while now.

[ edit : the fix I submitted to them was also fixed in our cars GPS with a subsequent map update even though a different map company. Data must get shared somehow. ]
 
I don’t know how GPS a finds anything in my neighborhood! My house number is 1020, the next door neighbor in 1024. It then jumps to 1100 something. The other side of the street is something altogether different. Then you have the conundrum of ST, Loop and Road. ST and Loop are together. Road is on the other side of the county! I’ve had drivers calling from Road asking where the hec are the houses!
 
For years going through El Paso area my GPS would be about a mile off. I was on Interstate 10, it thought I was on surface streets to the south, constantly "recalculating."
 
I do a lot of off-roading in my Jeep, using GAIA gps app on my phone since I'm usually out of cell signal range. I'm amazed at how accurate the gps position is with respect to the downloaded maps on my phone. If we come to what looks like a fork in the road and we take the wrong turn, about 20' past the turn we can easily see that we are off the correct road.
 
GPS works best when there is an unobstructed view of the entire hemisphere, so it works great in the air (as long as you're not thrashing around too much) and in relatively flat places like deserts and farm fields. The more congested the urban area is, the less responsive it's going to be. Phones keep the GPS alive so it doesn't have to get the satellite data when you turn it "on", so they appear to be very responsive in a low reception area, as long as you don't block too many of the satellites (like going into a big parking structure or a large basement).
 
It is interesting to me how computer mapping applications which use global positioning system coordinate data to tell you where you are on a map are referred to by many (including the first four and sixth posters in this thread) as "GPS". That said, the OP's points are well taken. How addresses generally actually work appears to have gone the way learning how to make change without the cash register telling you how much it is. *sigh*

To @Tractionengines' point: my wife had occasion to submit a correction to Apple Maps during a recent road trip, and it was made surprisingly quickly. It's interesting to know that there can be sharing between various map databases when corrections are made. I suppose I should see if Google Maps (or MapQuest) is calling that grain broker's office in Dove Creek, Colorado a coffee shop or not... :)
 
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