Interesting post by Peter Cochrane noting the reliance people have on GPS navigation as it becomes more widespread.
As noted in this blog before, the potential result could be that users perception of location and distance change as geograhphical knowledge is replaced by the female voice of the navigation system. As Peter notes this may not matter, in the same way calculators have replaced mental arithmetic skills.
I think however a “sense of place” remains vital, having a basic understanding of the geography of the world is still really necessary as a knowledge of basic maths is still important despite the arrival of Microsoft Excel. Indeed by daughter is currently being taught how to do quite complex mental arithmetic, “chunking numbers” etc., something I was not taught and wish I had.
I only hope the education world take the same approach to the teaching of Geography, I would hate to see a generation of GPS savvy children not knowing if Birmingham is North or South of London.