Does Google Maps take away the fun of traveling?

Via Flickr user agoasi.

Via Flickr user agoasi.

I’ve never driven anywhere new without the aid of Google Maps.

Google Maps came out in 2005; I got my license in 2008. I’ve used the program to find new places, friends’ houses, stores, and restaurants. I’ve even used it on trips to new places. Google Maps has saved a lot of aggregation over the years.

But is that bad for traveling and the spontaneity of exploring somewhere new?

“People spend a huge amount of time and energy and resources planning their trip, researching where they’re going,” Aaron Quigley, a professor of human-computer interaction at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, says. “The risk is that you end up over-planning, when so much of travel is about serendipity, finding that little-known path.”

I don’t know if I agree.

I can see that a trip can become restrictive if you plan and map out every detail, not allowing for alternative paths. But if you’re open, Google Maps allows for more freedom when it comes to traveling somewhere new.

You can still explore and run across intriguing findings along the way, but you always have a safety net. If you wander for a few hours or all day and lose track of where you are, all you need to do is turn to Google Maps. It can give you a clear path to where you want to be.

Traveling isn’t fun if you keep getting lost in a strange place. Google Maps is a security blanket, making sure that doesn’t happen.

Google Maps is a tool just like anything else. It has the ability to predetermine your path — or make a trip more fulfilling.

The choice is up to the user.

What do you think? Do you think Google Maps has sucked out the spontaneity from traveling?

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5 comments
  1. Lana Júlia said:

    Depends on user! I search the Google Maps only when I don’t know where is a street, but definitely not when exploring a new city/town. Some people like more to have everything planned and others like adventures 🙂

    • Agreed. I don’t use it to explore either. I just use Google Maps if I’m trying to go somewhere specific.

      • Lana Júlia said:

        Getting lost when traveling is a kind of fun as well !

  2. It’s funny, the question of whether or not google maps sucks the spontaneity of travelling loudly presupposes that one would like to have spontaneity in his or her travels.

    • True, but a person who would travel is probably a little more open to spontaneity.

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