We ended up in quite some discussions about GPS navigation lately and we think it is time to share our knowledge and to provide help and guidance. This is the first navigation masterclass and todays lesson is:
#1 Zoom levels
If you use a handheld GPS navigation device (lets just assume you recognized your smartphone is not the best device for these kind of things) to navigate during your trainings and races, there is always one screen occupied by something which looks like a map (we shall talk about maps during one of the next lessons). These maps tend to have something like a thin line with one or a few numbers on top of it in one of the corners of the screen. Some people call these lines “scale”. Scales are an old-fashioned kind of thing. People in the 80s already used them on papery things while trying to orientate. As “scale” is not a really fancy name we will use the name zoom levels during this navigation masterclass. This lesson will be a short one as there is really little to know about zoom levels. If you want to follow a GPS track on your handheld GPS navigation devices, the following simple and straight forward list will help you to finally understand the numbers coming with the different zoom levels. Just adjust the map on your device to the level you like most and start your run:
- 0-50 meters – the disco-mode: You are young and speedy? You like dancing dots? You are a rebel and do not want to follow the already beaten paths? This is totally your zoom level. Always on the edge, fascinating to watch, thrilling to use. This is by the way the only level which really benefits from the amazing accuracy GPS-navigation provides!
- (50-120 meters: Do not use this zoom level. This is for boring and weak people. It may actually help you but believe us: you really don’t want to be someone like this.)
- 120-1000 meters – the “expert” level: Oh, yes. Close to perfection. This zoom level is extremely helpful. It provides an overview but still feels close to what is going on. You are a real expert. You are far too skilled in navigation to pay attention to all the little details – you care more about bigger picture. Well done! The world needs more people like you. Lead the way!
- above 1000 meters – total control-mode: OMG! Amazing. Really! This level is bullet-proof. You will always be on track. Nothing can go wrong. What you should do: help others who are not using this zoom level. Make. Navigation. Great. Again.
- the what-you-see-is-what-you-get-mode: Zoom out until you see the whole track on your screen. This will protect you from nasty surprises. You will always know where you are and how far to go. Attention: This works best during race/training loops longer than 100 miles. If you happen to run on a shorter track you may want to use on of the zoom-levels below.
- the home-is-the-safest-place-on-earth-mode: Zoom out until you see your hometown. The whole town. It provides comfort – especially during the dark and challenging hours of your race. You will always feel close to home and this will enable you to run even further! Attention: This works best if you are more than 500 km away from your hometown. If you happen to run a race which is closer to your hometown you may want to use one of the zoom-levels below.
- the Forrest-Gump-mode: Zoom out until you see (at least) two of the big oceans on this planet. One should be left and one should be right of your position. Got it? – great. It may take a while for your GPS device to display the map but this is simply due to the fact that the best things always take time. Make sure to not forget to turn around once a while. All is well.
- the the-racedirector-said-the-course-is-well-marked-mode: switch your GPS navigation device off. It safes energy and protects the earth from global warming. Follow the markings. Do not accept any advices. Good luck!
You are welcome. Spread the rumours – share the knowledge! See you at the finish line. Or not. Stay tuned for further navigation masterclasses!