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Google Maps, GPS and Satnav Killing Off Paper Maps and UK Landmarks

Just as Mobile Phones have all but killed off the iconic red British Telephone booths, GPS, Google Maps and Satellite Navigation Devices are "destroying thousand of years of history" according to the President of the British Cartographic Society.

Mary Spence said that many monuments and interesting sites of the rich British historical landscape are being virtually wiped out by online maps and navigation companies which provides data for satellite-oriented devices.

Ms Spence criticised Google Maps for its lack of details and the fact that it was not as updated or accurate as some might tend to believe; of particular concern was the lack of landmarks on most maps displayed on these web-based services.

But what she probably failed to mention was that unlike maps (and possibly just like traditional encyclopedias), Google allows people to discover and bring their own experience online, something that Ms Spence noted while commenting on the Open Street Map project which allows people to post their local knowledge online.

Plus, rather than having thousands of people flocking to "places of interest" across the land, maybe not having as many visitors to those so-called landmarks could help preserve them better.

Also as one commentator noticed, no one prevent the Ordinance Survey Maps to be offered on GPS devices and you can't read a map and ride at the same time.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.