It turned out that, in a sense, the GPS device was correct. There was a ghost town straight ahead, and one could make out faint tracks of road that once had been. Probably the GPS company had programmed an old map into the device.Later, Carroll cites the widely distributed news item about the English town of Wedmore, which finds itself in a storm of truck traffic. I suppose the town's on a short-cut, relatively unknown until the advent of GPS.
Carroll complains that the makers of these devices haven't built in "warnings" and "safeguards" so that Wedmores won't be overcome by inappropriate traffic, and drivers won't find themselves on desert roads. He complains that old maps are likely programmed into the devices.
I bought a Tomtom GPS a couple of weeks ago, and put it to use on a four-day visit to Los Angeles. I love it. It finds post offices, gas stations, libraries; it navigates you through unfamiliar city streets; it lets you know how far down the highway your next turn-off is going to be. It even calculates estimated times of arrival.
If I were planning a trip to a ghost town in the middle of the desert, I'd expect it to find a ghost road. If I were driving a truck and trailer, I'd be leery of secondary roads. It's a question of proper use, not the design of "safeguards."