Read on for more details.
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.
The study also showed that one in four people are so dependent on technology that claim they could not find their way without online maps and mobile satellite navigation. For example nearly a quarter of Italians rely on mobile navigation devices to find their way. In contrast, half of the Chinese depend on personal interaction for directions en-route. Overall, more than a quarter of the people surveyed rely on online and mobile navigation tools to find their way around, and 13 percent use a mobile phone as their primary navigation tool.
Interesting. How do you compare?
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. And then there’s this: the most popular excuse for getting lost by Asians is bad weather.
Germans take top marks in terms of sense of direction, where a third claim they haven’t gotten lost. Must be because they have the highest reliance on satellite navigation. But Brazilians need help, since one in ten seem to miss out on a date from getting lost on the way. D’oh!
One more curious cultural difference: When giving directions to strangers, many use landmarks such as statues or churches as markers for navigation, but, it seems Brits prefer to use pubs and the Chinese prefer skyscrapers as markers.
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? Are you one of them? Uh, I might be one of them. And, while not as prevalent as folk wisdom would suggest, one in ten women admits to not being able to read a traditional map. Still, that’s twice the number of men.
But don’t put that paper map away yet, almost everyone (a whopping 93 percent) surveyed admitting to still getting lost regularly. I guess that last 7 percent is male and still trying to find their way back home.
Key facts from the survey:
• London is the most confusing city, with one in ten (10%) people finding it impossible to navigate around
• Followed closely by Paris (9%), Bangkok (5%), Hong Kong (5%) and Beijing (4%), making up the top five ‘lost cities’ on the planet
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
• One in ten (9%) Spaniards consider a sense of direction matures with age, like fine wine
• One in ten (11%) people miss a job interview, an important business meeting or flight because they lost their way
• Affecting people’s personal lives, one in ten (9%) Brazilians miss out on a date because they got lost en-route
• Indian men are the most likely people in the world to miss the birth of their child (2%)
Laying the blame
• Almost one in two (49%) people get lost when rushing or when they are in busy crowded spaces during commuter rush hour
• Nearly a third (30%) of people blame their partner for getting them lost
• A third (29%) of people admit to frequently losing their way when they are tired
• The most popular excuse for getting lost by Asians is bad weather (24%)
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%)
• 13% of people use a mobile phone as their primary navigation tool
• Nearly a quarter (22%) of Italians rely on mobile navigation devices to find their way
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
• Russians have an alternative motive when it comes to asking for directions, with one in ten (9%) using it as an excuse to flirt