According to a study commissioned by Nokia, more people get lost in London than in any other city on Earth, including more heavily populated places such as Bangkok and Beijing. Ten per cent of those surveyed for the study said it was impossible to navigate around London compared to nine per cent in Paris, London's nearest rival for the title of easiest city to get lost in.
However, mobile technology seems to be coming to the rescue. More than 25 per cent of the 12,500 people surveyed said they relied on online and mobile navigation tools to find their way around and 13 per cent said they use their mobile phones as their primary navigation tool-up from zero a few years ago. GPS technology is now routinely being built into mobile phones so the number of people using their mobiles for navigation is likely to rise rapidly in the next few years. With the mobile mapping software now available users can customise their phones according to the routes they take. It is even possible to set the navigation parameters on the mobile phone so that the user avoids traffic jams and roadworks.
One of the worrying findings of the study, and possibly the explanation for London's premier position, is that one in three Londoners admitted to deliberately giving people wrong directions!
Mobile mapping on the rise