In-car gps navigation: engagement with and disengagement from the environment
Although in-car GPS navigation technology is proliferating, it is not well understood how its use alters the ways people interpret their environment and navigate through it. We argue that GPS-based car navigation might disengage people from their surrounding environment, but also has the potential to open up novel ways to engage with it. We present an ethnographically-informed study with GPS users, showing evidence for practices of disengagement as well as new opportunities for engagement, illustrating our findings using rich descriptions from the field. Grounded in our observations we propose design principles for GPS systems that support richer experiences of driving. We argue that for a fuller understanding of issues of disengagement and engagement with the environment we need to move beyond a focus on the (re)design of GPS devices, and point to future directions of work that embrace a broader perspective.