I am reading: Find Your Way in a City GPS-Free by Paying Attention to the Ubiquitous Cues [Macgyver Tips] from sebrenner’s shared items in Google Reader.
Your phone’s GPS capabilities mean you can pinpoint yourself on a map with the tap of your finger, but should your battery die or your phone go on the fritz, would you be able to navigate compass-free? The Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley offers six clever ways to never get lost in a city again.
The best suggestions involving paying attention to cues that normally point in specific directions. For example, satellite dishes tend to point toward the south, with some variation depending on your location. Web site DishPointer can help you figure out the general direction satellite dishes point in your area (here in Los Angeles, they point to the southeast). Similarly, the post recommends paying attention to the direction religious buildings are facing for clues:
Christian churches are normally aligned west-east, with the main altar at the eastern end to face the sunrise. Gravestones, too, are aligned west-east.
If you just want to find your way to public transportation during rush hour, just follow the people. And to orient yourself so you know what direction you’re headed when you exit a subway stop, just pay attention to the direction the clouds are moving before you head underground and use that to orient yourself when you reach your destination.
Hit up the full post for more tips, and if you’ve got your own tried-and-true trick for finding your way, let’s hear it in the comments. Oh, and don’t forget, if you’re compass-free and lost in the wilderness, you can find north without a compass by using shadows. Photo mashup from rommy ghaly and Steve Snodgrass.
Six ways to never get lost in a city again | BBC News