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I programmed something into my GPS that I don't know why I didn't do sooner. That something was a POI list of all the old places I remember from the stomping grounds.

The most interesting thing out of the experience was the realization that I never knew what the physical addresses were for either of my grandparents' houses.

I had been to both countless times but I never knew the exact address for either. Mom (R.I.P.) always took care of stuff like sending Christmas cards and so on, so I never needed the information. In the times that I drove to these places I did it by memory and never paid attention to the street signs. Why would I if I already knew how to get there?

But this was close to a decade before GPS back then.

Being that I'll possibly be heading to the stomping grounds for a visit come next autumn, I hatched the idea came about I should set these locations now in the GPS while I still remember them.

Now you may be wondering:

Okay Rich, if you never knew the physical addresses of the locations, how in the blazes are you going to program them in a GPS?

I'll answer that in a moment.

One would think that knowing your way around a place is like riding a bicycle, i.e. you never forget.

This only applies if you still live in the same place.

If you're far away from where you grew up (as I am), memories fade. In addition to that, the place where you were changes. Maybe a new road or two is built along with some new houses, while other buildings are torn down and so on. Things change.

All non-GPS users drive by sight alone. You may read street signs here and there but it's most likely true that you go to most places "on automatic".

You know you're on automatic when you drive somewhere and absolutely cannot remember any of the trip. Your brain goes into a highway hypnosis state and seemingly blanks out during the journey, only to "wake up" again when you arrive at wherever you went.

And I'm sure you or someone you know has said "I can't tell you how to get there but I can drive there easily" or something to that effect. That's also going on automatic.

But I digress.

Even though I'm not at the stomping grounds anymore I still remember driving to specific places and what to look for to get where I needed to go.

So what could I use as a visual reference?

Google Earth.

I plotted in my old house address and virtually "drove" using the way I knew to get to my grandparents' houses. And ta-da, I found the houses I was looking for. I then marked the locations, copied the coordinate information into my mapping program, made my POI thing and transferred to my GPS.

Pretty cool, eh?

I thought it was.

I was able to mark the places I one knew via Google Earth and then put those in the GPS. Now whenever I want to go there, I can just tap the screen on the unit and away I go...

...even if the landscape changes a little or a lot. 🙂


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