Why digital navigation is harder than it seems

11/13/2013 | ScientificAmerican.com

We've come to expect extreme accuracy from our digital maps and navigation systems, but that's easier said than done, author and journalist George Musser writes in this blog post. In addition to the technological limitations of the GPS tools embedded in our mobile devices, other problems such as the movement of Earth's tectonic plates can complicate digital navigation, Musser and others note. "We're fast approaching the day when people will expect accuracies of centimeters in real time out of their handheld devices, and then we'll see a lot of head-scratching as things no longer line up," said Dru Smith of the National Geodetic Survey.

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