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RogerS's Avatar
Posts: 772 | Thanked: 183 times | Joined on Jul 2005 @ Montclair, NJ (NYC suburbs)
#1
As I've posted before, something went awry when Fedex delivered the N810 I ordered. It never arrived.

After a week, I persuaded LetsTalk to have Fedex reimburse them for the lost package. They did, and a replacement N810 got here Tuesday afternoon.

This morning, a neighbor from another street dropped off the original and merely mis-delivered package. Like Tuesday's, this was an unassuming brown cardboard box about 11"x11"x9" with nothing blaring "Fabulous electronics inside!" to alert the unwary (and only a 10-point-type return address indicating the shipper).

So eleven days after receipt, my oblivious neighbors opened the package and only then realized it wasn't some low-priority content intended for them, but someone else's darling toy.

(Well, that's what it looks like. I've already been asked by one stranger if my N810 is an iPhone.)

So now I've got to arrange this baby's return.

Makes me wonder wouldn't it be frustration-removing if somehow the shipping could have involved GPS, with a specific location identified as the drop-off spot? Then I (or the diligent shipping researcher) could have quickly retraced the errant deliveryman's steps and retrieved the original package on day one.

For that matter, how come we don't have central GPS reference points that would help locate places? You know, like "the Empire State Building is at 34th and Fifth, and you go up fifty blocks to get to the Met" only in GPS terms?

I'll tell you why, it's because the numbers are technology- and not people-friendly: "The Met is at latitude 40.776073 and longitude -73.964338 and the ESB at latitude 40.75319, longitude -73.985646" has too many numbers to allow us to get a handle on the locations.

You know, I already have 1-866-59NOKIA permanently etched in my memory. (That's the LetsTalk phone number.) And 1-800-GOFEDEX. See where I'm going here?

The whole web experience is built upon the understanding that internettablettalk.com is way easier to remember than 74.86.202.247.

At one end, we've got street addresses, at the other latitude and longitude. What we really need is a friendly GPS, something in the middle that has a logical structure to it and a way to make the key pieces stand out without renaming 34th Street "40.750 Way". Or wait, maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe the Empire State Building does need to be rebranded "750 Empire State" so its universal locator number is part of its identity. After all, I know how to locate "1010 WINS News" on the radio because its frequency is part of the brandname.

Then maybe my house would be located by being +50N and -17W from Montclair's Central Location Referent (the CLeaR point), and even that Fedex deliveryman wouldn't have left my package at +51N-12W without worrying about whether mine was the house next to the blue house or not.
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Posts: 78 | Thanked: 9 times | Joined on Dec 2005 @ Devon, UK
#2
So I take it that in the US you don't have a simplified geo-referencing system like the UK Ordnance Survey's National Grid coordinates? UK aware mapping software generally understands this. e.g. type TQ290796 into www.multimap.com or go to any other place (or palace) in the UK and the Grid Reference is displayed. The digits are metres so locations are accurate to 100 metres, but more can be used if needed.
 
Texrat's Avatar
Posts: 11,697 | Thanked: 9,995 times | Joined on Jun 2006 @ North Texas, USA
#3
If GPS can calculate my driving speed (and it does on the N810, remarkably well) then surely Roger's point about more friendly directions is easily possible. If nothing else, referential directions would be more helpful. Combine that with movement speed (walking, driving, whatever) and you get something like "The empire state building is 14 blocks east, 5 blocks north from your present location. At current rate of movement you can be there in 30 minutes".
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Posts: 1 | Thanked: 0 times | Joined on Feb 2008
#4
funny, the us gov. uses a system something like this instead of lat/long. they have a reference point somewhere, and locations are given in meters north/east/west/south (some combination of two directions). forget what it's called... google might turn it up.
 
YoDude's Avatar
Posts: 2,869 | Thanked: 1,780 times | Joined on Feb 2007 @ Po' Bo'. PA
#5
Originally Posted by msaunby View Post
So I take it that in the US you don't have a simplified geo-referencing system like the UK Ordnance Survey's National Grid coordinates? UK aware mapping software generally understands this. e.g. type TQ290796 into www.multimap.com or go to any other place (or palace) in the UK and the Grid Reference is displayed. The digits are metres so locations are accurate to 100 metres, but more can be used if needed.
The U. S. Geological Survey completed in the '50's, I believe, divided the country into 26 sq. mile "townships". They planted monuments that form a grid across the land. The locations of these monuments are recorded and used for "meets and bounds" land descriptions for titles and what not.
 
Posts: 139 | Thanked: 24 times | Joined on Sep 2005
#6
As some posters implied, there are local schemes that help here -- thirty years a go every county used to have their own coordinate system (with the center point at e.g. the main square). It was nice for local measurements as the numbers were "easy".

Then they realized it would be useful to be able to use coordinates from several cities on the same map... everything was moved to national grids and all was well.

Then they realized that working with several national grids at the same time was icky (but necessary as things just became global). So now everyone and their uncle is moving to the GPS coordinate system, or a local variation of it.

Basically, the advantages of a global coordinate system are so big that I don't think we'll ever go back to local ones, even for UIs. Even a global version of a UK style postal code system (which is kind of cool) would be difficult -- remembering ten random characters is just about as impossible as remembering coordinates.
 
polossatik's Avatar
Posts: 126 | Thanked: 23 times | Joined on Jan 2008
#7
Off the topic and maybe against you ethical standards, but why return? It's marked "lost" already..
Give it away in a other "free N810" contest or pass it around in the dev community who needs to testing on N810 ....

More on topic, I don't understand why UPS (or other delivery stuff) don't record the GPS position of delivery...
Not really of direct use, but once there is a issue, they can simply check if the coordinates are correct with your adress...

Last edited by polossatik; 2008-02-11 at 12:54.
 
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