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Knock on the door from a person with a delivery said “Took ages to find your house, is your postcode correct?”. Not quite what I expected to hear. Having lived in the house for a number years and the post office delivering to my house with the same postcode I have had since moving in nothing has changed on my side.

So what’s happened. After some simple checks it appears Google Maps have somehow shifted my postcode over a few roads. That does explain a lot as to why some people have found it hard to find my location in the past such as taxi drivers, takeaways and delivery drivers etc.

I have raised a case on Google Maps to have this corrected

It does raise the question though about how reliant we are becoming on technology to find our way and give locations. Following a map on your phones and devices and not refering back to a map or even looking at the street names (Are you on the right road!).

How much trust do you put into your device and gps to advise your location? There are some great and fairly accurate (GPS dependant) tools/apps such as What 3 Words to find a location, but when relying on a postcode, how much trust do you put in it? For me a SatNav or Online Map will get you to the general location. Now you need to use some detective work to find the place your meant to be.

When finding places there is nothing like carrying map. I still have and use an A-Z Street Map when going to some new places and an OS Map. A road atlas in the car to help plan my route and gain my sense of direction for where I am about to travel to (when not in lockdown of course).

I teach navigation as part of my Scouting and Bushcraft activities in my spare time and always start with the basics of maps and compasses. These navigation methods are very relevant and needed, however the reliance on technology to find a way is still the instinctive urge. Using devices to find your way on an online mapping tool will only be as good as your signal and battery life. Saying that, it is always useful to help with traffic information and other things that could delay your journey. As long as someone with a hand cart full of mobiles isnt ruining your journey.

Online maps do have a place and are useful. Backing that up with a paper based map is always a good option. You may find places you didnt know existed locally!