10 Unconventional Uses for GPS


Birth Control and STD Prevention

The county of Kent in England offers a GPS-enabled iPhone app called Kent C Card, which guides local teenagers to the nearest clinics where they can get both condoms and advice on sexual health. William87/iStock/Thinkstock
The county of Kent in England offers a GPS-enabled iPhone app called Kent C Card, which guides local teenagers to the nearest clinics where they can get both condoms and advice on sexual health. William87/iStock/Thinkstock

Public health officials in most countries are eager to get young people to use condoms, as a means of preventing both unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. They also know that young people are really, really into their smartphones. So it's only natural that officials would try to use GPS-enabled phone apps to reach them.

The English county of Kent, for example, began offering an iPhone app in 2012 called Kent C Card, which guides local teenagers to the nearest clinics where they can get both condoms and advice on how to maintain their sexual health [source: Todd].

Author's Note: 10 Unconventional Uses for GPS

For much of my journalism career, I navigated around the country using old-fashioned paper road maps, the sort that would gradually turn into coffee-stained, wrinkled origami sculptures from being crumpled and stuffed into my briefcase or tossed under the passenger's seat enough times. I grew surprisingly adept at reading the tiny print and tracing faint blue lines, and retaining an image of that information in my working memory as I drove. These days, though, I use the GPS chip and a map app on my iPhone, which instructs me on each turn in a calm yet authoritative female voice. That usually works pretty well, but somehow, I felt more in control when I was reading the maps myself.

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