A model does not necessarily become more useful by being made more realistic

By default, Google maps on my iPhone offers me a satellite picture of the place I am trying to get to. I find this a ridiculous default choice: I am not interested in how tree covered the property in question is! I just want to see black lines on white space so I can figure out how to get there. And yet there is no doubt that the satellite view is more realistic than a typical street map.


  1. I think the reason it's the default is simply that most people find looking at a satellite picture cooler, even if it's less efficient in terms of readability.

  2. Imagine firing up your 3-D printer to get a realistic, actual-size map of your route.

  3. It really sucks on a slow connection on my tablet. And as it struggles to load that satellite image, the user interface is really slow to respond to me trying to change it to a view without that imagery.


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