NPR’s Krissy Clark on GPS fail in Death Valley.

Each summer in Death Valley, a quarter-million tourists pry themselves from air-conditioned cars and venture into 120-degree heat to snap pictures of glittering salt flats. They come from all over the world, but many have the same traveling companion suction-cupped to their dashboard: a GPS.

Most of us have tales of navigation systems taking us on some pretty wild rides, but…

Two summers ago, a mother and son on a camping trip had GPS in their car and got stuck on an abandoned mining road for five days.

“She barely survived. The boy did not survive,” [Ranger Charlie Callagan] says.

The issue was traced back to GPS data relying on very outdated paper maps.


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