‘Sedated by software’: Few know how to read maps anymore, experts say

Are you au fait with Ordnance Survey? Know how to read a six figure grid reference? If you were left on a moor with just a compass and a map would you find your way home safely or wander aimlessly, eventually getting eaten by wolves?

The Royal Institute of Navigation are concerned about the nation’s cartographical know-how and have suggested schools start teaching basic navigation to address the issue.

They believe we’re all too reliant on technology, expecting smartphones and satellite navigation systems to do the hard work for us and becoming “sedated by software” in the process.

“It is concerning that children are no longer routinely learning at home or school how to do anything more than press ‘search’ buttons on a device to get anywhere,” Roger McKinlay, president of the Royal Institute of Navigation said.

“Many cannot read a landscape, an Ordnance Survey map, or find their way to a destination with just a compass, let alone wonder at the amazing role astronomy plays in establishing a precise location.”

“Instead, generations are now growing up utterly dependent on signals and software to find their way around.”

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