Wayfinding, GPS and social navigation

I really enjoy reading Jan's blog (future perfect). The author at the 'User Experience Group' at Nokia Research. Posts are very insightful and relevant to my research/interests. Today he posted a short account about wayfinding which I found SO RIGHT:

Jan actually comments this picture by saying: "Mobile with GPS and map application. So you want to make a map reference in a hurry? "It's easier to just ask someone" In many instances so it is".

Why do I blog this? I definitely agree with him, when lost and being immersed in a social environment, the most common solution is not take your ten-thousand-features gizmophone but rather to ask people next to you OR to find sign/cues in the environment that may make sense to find the solution. (This is called social navigation = footprints in the snow). Note: I don't say that the GPS is not useful but, rather, that it's more common for people to rely on others (present or not in the physical space).

A relevant resource about it: Dourish, P. & Chalmers, M. (1994). Running out of space: models of information navigation. Proceedings of HCI'94, Glasgow, August 1994.

Connected pasta: Russel also tackles this issue with his perspective. Worth to have a look!