I found GPS directions were a good way of getting to know my way around when I moved here, but I looked at the planned route before I set off (walking or cycling) and was then able to look more at my surroundings. The phone in my pocket would tell me which turning to take, and so I'd get to know the routes very quickly and not need to look at the map. After a week, I wasn't bothering to set the directions. Having the GPS also gave me more confidence to explore - I could wander around in a random direction and know that I'd never actually get lost. Just like any other tool, the benefits of a satnav depend entirely on how you use it.