Finding Your Way

Nokia recently published findings from a global survey on use of maps, navigation tools and such. The results are pretty interesting (and at times very surprising). Here is a snapshot:

The art of getting lost
More people get lost in London than anywhere else in the world, followed closely by Paris, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing, making these the top five ‘lost cities’ on the planet.

Country specifics
The survey also revealed some other country-specific navigation peculiarities, such as one in ten Spaniards consider a sense of direction matures with age, like fine wine; or one in ten Russians ask for directions as an excuse to flirt.

Some sad truths
Did you know that 30 percent of people blame their partners for getting lost, either because they were fighting or shouting directions at them?

A sense of direction

  • 93% of the world get lost regularly
  • An average person wastes 13 minutes when lost
  • Germany is the country with the world’s best sense of direction, with a third (34%) of people claiming to have never lost their way
  • One in five (18%) people believe a sense of direction is genetic

Digital navigation overtakes traditional maps

  • One in ten (8%) people admit they can’t read a map
  • One in ten women (11%) are unable to read a traditional map, twice the number of men (5%)
  • More than a quarter (26%) of people surveyed rely on online and mobile navigation tools to find their way around
  • Germany is the country with the highest reliance on satellite navigation (48%)

Keeping up to date with the ever changing landscape

  • When approached by strangers asking for directions, many people use iconic landmarks (18%) such as statues, churches and bridges as recognizable ‘breadcrumbs’ to a destination
  • People in Britain prefer to use local pubs to signpost directions to others (18%)
  • The Chinese typically use skyscrapers to give directions (10%)
  • Over a third (38%) of the world rely on other people for directions to get from A to B
  • Almost one in two people (43%) admit to giving the wrong directions on purpose
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