Palmer Pearson, Cadence Design Systems, Inc.


When we arrived at the Albuquerque Airport for Best Practices 2008, I found my rental car and keyed into the GPS system the complete name and location of the Best Practices resort in Santa Fe, the Inn at Loretto. Two locations came up for the exact same address right down to the street number—but with different zip codes. So I picked one, and we headed out for the one hour drive.

Along the way we commented how the southwestern desert and colorful rock formations were breathtaking. Passing through Native American Reservations, we found the pueblos and the adobe huts all truly worth seeing.

After traveling on Route I-25 for approximately 45 minutes, the digital female voice in the GPS directed us off the highway and onto a smaller road. Pretty soon, we were traveling on a dirt road between desert scrub bush and tumbleweeds. The road grew narrower, and the dry desert dirt began kicking up from all four tires. As we ventured a couple of miles beyond, the road became only wide enough for one vehicle. With no life in sight, I slowly rolled the car a bit farther, until we came upon this sign:

I think there is a new market for technical communicators—providing accurate information for GPS systems. It could be a Best Practice for 2009.