Having just returned from a trip to Europe, I was a bit upset at how dependent upon my mapping apps I was. Not knowing where you are in Berlin or Paris or London was something that people decades ago would worry about, but they would tackle the problem by purchasing or owning a map. But that’s not today, and that’s so paper-based. Yuck!

Nowadays, we have our phones. Our GPS signals sending their incessant pings up to the mother ship so we know exactly where we are. The only problem is, when this doesn’t work, I feel a bit like I’m stuck, unable to move forward. Does anyone else recognize this break in our code these days?

For example. I just opened my Google Maps app to look at where I was. I have been commuting by Seastreak Ferry from Manhattan to New Jersey for months and sometimes the boat stops at one dock, and other times, another. So its a natural question, the only problem is, here is what Google Maps tells me…

Naturally, unless you don’t understand the difference between boats and cars, something immediately should strike you as odd about this GPS location.

I’m on a freaking boat.

So then I did what we all do. I looked around, looked out the foggy windows, kind of huffed and then, in a final futile attempt to get accurate data… I closed the app. This is the equivalent of turning off my car and turning it back on when I don’t like the sound the engine is making. I don’t know if it works, but I have no other alternative.

Then, after re-opening the Google Maps app, I get this…

Thank God!

I can once again breathe. I know where I am.

Do you?

About the Author: Christian Ward

Christian Ward has been building data companies and partnerships since he launched his first financial data company 20 years ago. He has developed and executed hundreds of data partnerships around the world, from the small entrepreneurial firm to the world’s largest data companies. His focus is on the evolving use of data, privacy, and the opportunities created by the right data partnership strategy. Christian has held executive roles at Yext, Thomson Reuters, Infogroup, and the Bank of New York. He resides with his wife and three children at the Jersey Shore.

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