Death Valley sounds like a terrifying place. So if you’re driving there on holidays, you’ll count on your GPS to get you the hell out. Except that, thanks to its reliance on outdated maps, your GPS wants you to fry.
I mean, it happens. Your trusty TomTom made you take a wrong turn into construction and now you’re hopelessly lost. Sure. But in Death Valley, already one of the hottest places on the planet, you can’t trust your TomTom, or it’ll send you into a desert death spiral.
That’s exactly what Death Valley Ranger Charlie Callagan found after seeing families get lost time after time. A child even died after he and his mother found themselves on an abandoned mining road for five whole days. Christ. So, Callagan got in touch with TomTom, Navteq, and Google, and together they fixed the maps their GPS’s rely on, saving lives in the process.
I’ll do you one better, though. If you still get lost in Death Valley, call this guy. He’ll set you right. [NPR]