Big Picture Science – Rerouting… Rerouting

by Gary Niederhoff on December 18, 2017

Big Picture Science – Rerouting… Rerouting
click to listen!

Lost your sense of direction? Blame your GPS. Scientists say that our reliance on dashboard devices is eroding our ability to create cognitive maps and is messing with our minds in general. We don’t even look at landmarks or the landscape anymore. We’ve become no more than interfaces between our GPS and our steering wheels.

But in other ways, GPS can spark a new appreciation of the physical world. A real-time flyover app reveals the stunning geological features otherwise invisible from our window seat.

And sensitive electronic sensors let us see where the wild things are and where they go. Learn how scientists put belts on jellyfish and produce maps that reveal the surprising routes taken by various species – from a single wolf, a group of phytoplankton, or a float of crocodiles.

Plus, one man is not ready to say goodbye to the traditional map. Find out why this cartographer insists on paper maps, not digital apps.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Death By GPS
Part 2: Geological GPS
Part 3: Zoological GPS
Part 4: Mapmaker, Mapmaker

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Maddie December 18, 2017 at 11:55 am

Interesting episode! Liked the discussion about the lost art and skills of map making and wayfinding. Expected to hear you address the system. Seems like a neat way to find something.

Also, the analogy of digital versus analog clocks came to mind; digital clocks tell you what time it is now but analog clocks can give you the bigger picture of what’s coming next. Thanks!

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