On the phone map-pocalypse.

So. I drive around a lot. I use GPS to get there. I’m an active pastor involved at all the levels of church in a state that is way bigger than it looks on Ye Olde Mercator Projection. I drive to random new locations often. I’ve been listening to my phone tell me where to go for years now. (My friends know her soothing voice as “Natasha.”)

And then new maps appeared on my phone of choice, and everyone lost their minds. I don’t need to link you; you’ve seen the New York Times before. You can get there. 

Let’s just say this: I’m unmoved by the furious uproar of people who have access to technology that let’s them talk into a tiny box and magically get directions read to them as they drive who have suddenly discovered that said technology occasionally places their favorite pizza place across the street. (Yes, I know, there are more glaring errors than that in Apple’s map data. There are more glaring errors than that in Google’s data as well. As people who have been getting electronic help getting to places all over the country for years can tell you, its a process to develop a trusted system. There’s no silver bullet, you double check to make sure you’re headed in the right directions… and then occasionally… gasp! You get lost. Remember getting lost? Remember how weird, and yet reassuring, it was when a stranger helped you get where you needed to go?)

But today I just appreciate the simple beauty of some of these things: Normally, when I get directions from my phone, it displays a route and gives me information about it, and it’s up to me to press a button to begin turn by turn navigation. Today I noticed that when I used my handy, safe, hands-free device to ask for directions, my phone sensed that it was in motion and just immediately started rolling along with me. It’s a tiny touch. Tiny. But it’s one second multiplied by thousands of users that drivers won’t be distracted. Won’t be hunting for a small button in a moving vehicle. And that’s a lot of seconds that drivers will be focused on doing what they should.

We’ll figure out where to drop the pin for your pizza place soon. But technology is getting better, and smarter, and safer. And that’s what I enjoyed today.