Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Tryst With Google Maps

I have a phenomenal sense of direction. Sometimes I tell people I love to explore new routes, the reality is that I sometimes, very confidently, take wrong turns.

Look, it is not my fault the blue house suddenly has blinding yellow walls.

So while an outing to this resort some 90 kms from Ahmedabad was planned, I was quite confident that I'll be able to manage without any assistance. I also looked up Google maps the night before, just to see how to exit the city.

Hmm. All set, so we exit from this industrial area, touch the national highway from there and hop on to the expressway and in less than an hour, we'll be there. Of course, that is how I had imagined it to be.

Our departure was delayed by some unplanned visits to some relatives place and so instead of the intended 11:30, we ended up leaving an hour late. Hmm. So, what happens is, I take a turn before the intended one so that we could, well, avoid the busy crossroads traffic. That led us to the wonderful view of a huge mount of garbage collected from Ahmedabad over the years. Yeah. Fascinating place. The fine texture of plastic sticking out from blackish brown unidentifiable substance. Aah, and the wonderful, wonderful smell. We were caught in a catch 22 situation - whether to roll down the window and let the fresh air come in or keep the ac on and die of carbon monoxide poisoning while driving. (ah, maybe I'm having this headache/feverish feel right now because of that!!)

Anyway, the 1 km stretch got over soon and we reached the roundabout which said, go straight for Delhi/Jaipur and left for Ahmedabad - Vadodara Expressway. Aah, the wonders. Followed the directions to the T. But, ended up reaching the National Highway instead of the Expressway. I kept waiting for the expressway to turn up till I saw the board, "welcome to Kheda". (our route was - Ahmedabad - Kheda - Nadiad - Anand). Okay, then. We had missed the Expressway.

On reaching Nadiad, we were left clueless. We entered the city, for god knows what reason (well, technically, there was no other road, we *had* to enter the city) but there was no damned direction on which way to Anand. Immediately, 3 people furiously turned on Google maps. Sister thought it would be a good idea to ask the locals. Of course, the locals appeared drunk in the morning because they kept showing us way back to Ahmedabad instead of Anand. Okay, then. We decided Google maps are more reliable. Google Maps showed us the way, and the landmark given was "Paras Cinema". (please Google map Paras Cinema, NH 8) Since it kept showing over and over in the directions, bro in law exclaimed, this Paras Cinema must be some bigass, hard to miss landmark. Of course, when we did reach it, we realised we crossed it when the blue dot on route showed us going past it. We missed the landmark, because in place of the landmark was an old abandoned building where an older uncle was sitting on a rickety chair. I had even joked, 'this must be Paras cinema' - wish i'd asked for something else. Sigh.

Anyway, coming back, we reached Anand, and kept going in circles. I was on the right road, in opposite direction. So, well, I bloody could not find it. Ah, well, 2 hours of trouble later, we finally did reach the resort and had some good food, and since we were expecting guests, we had to rush home quickly.

On our way back, I was determined to go on the National Expressway. All Google mapped - i announced, there are three roads, which go parallel, first exit is state highway, second is national highway and third is expressway. don't ask me to take any other exits, i said. All confident.

We crossed state highway and then something which i thought was national highway, and to my horror, we were on a bloody flyover which went above the national expressway. what the fuck. how are we supposed to get on the expressway? jump off the bridge?? GOOGLE MAP? Y U NO SHOW ITS A BLOODY FLYOVER? AND NOT AN ENTRYPOINT?

And then, last week, I was in Bangalore, visiting the sister. Sister's sense of direction in bangalore is phenomenal. I think she follows the North Star or something to navigate her way, because, dude, she can go lost even on a straight line. (heh, I hope she doesn't read this). Anyway, so I had one day to myself, and sis told me she'll take the bus to the work and handed over the car keys to me. I was going to lalbaug (for the flower show, dude, I *LOVE* flowers) and meeting a few friends later. So instead of haggling with ricky martins of bangalore, taking the car was better.

Now, here I have clear directions to lalbaug, but after that, i'm on my own. Once it was over, I looked up directions from lalbaug to MG Road. Very clear directions. Except. Wait, let me put up a screenshot.

Click on the image to see it clearly. The purple route is the route I was suggested by Google Maps, Green is the one I took and red is the one I should've taken. Dude, I went around the friggin garden more than 4 times that day.

Google Maps should totally change its name to Troll Maps.


In Pursuit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astha said...

I know... Told you about the Pavagarh incident no? By the way that in pursuit who deleted the comment was me :P