Satellite Navigation

Satellite Navigation is a very common technology nowadays with no end of sat nav devices having no end of brilliant features to help you find your destination and useful information along the way. Many even have live road conditions so you can try and avoid traffic jams or closed roads for example. Many vehicles have their own built in sat navs or you can buy dedicated sat nav systems such as Garmin or TomTom. Increasingly, people can use their smart phones with map apps which have just the same benefits for navigation.

Most sat navs have 3 options for choosing a destination that isn’t already saved as a point of interest. Firstly, you can type in the address. A postcode and house number will normally take you within a few metres of the house. Secondly, you can type in the northing and easting coordinates which, with enough figures, will take you within a metre of your destination. Thirdly, you can simply select any point on the map, preferably on a road!

Moor Top, Grizedale

Lake District Drives use the second option, northing and easting coordinates, to help you find each attraction. There are 3 advantages for this purpose. Firstly, you are guaranteed to end up at the pinpoint location you need. Secondly, most attractions are without a house number and possibly even a postcode if they are car parks and/or remote locations. Thirdly, the use of coordinates allows us to create points of interest (POI) files containing any number of attractions which can be uploaded to your sat nav for simple selection.

If you haven’t uploaded the POI files in advance, don’t worry, the sat nav coordinates for a particular attraction can easily be manually input to your sat nav device. Most sat navs have an option to input coordinates directly. If you are using a map app you should be able to enter the coordinates straight into the search box. For example, ‘N 54.59936, W 3.13758’ would be input as ‘54.59936, -3.13758’. Don’t forget West is seen as a minus in the coordinates.

I do believe coordinates are the best way to find destinations for sat navs. I did consider including postcodes as that is what many people normally use but without a house number, a postcode on its own covers quite a large area and you could be some distance from the attraction, even on the wrong road. I am always happy to take feedback on such decisions and if you think a postcode would help please let me know.