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Author Topic: What is the best GPS to use?  (Read 9074 times)
jjrbus
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2008, 07:10:49 AM »

In the bus I use Streets and Trips with my desktop. I mounted a screen by the driver. I tried the portable units and dont care for the small screen also entering info is much eaiser. Far from perfect, but a map will not tell me to get off at the next exit.  Jim
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cody
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2008, 08:10:29 AM »

The nice thing about my delorme as opposed to the old system we had was that this one comes with a mute button lol (I hope libby doesn't see this).
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redbus
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2008, 08:32:49 AM »

I just got a NUVI 255W and love it. I love my wife the navigator, also,so she has the last word of course.
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Terry
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cody
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2008, 01:14:53 PM »

GPS= Granny Pointing System,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, credit to Dallas for the definition lol
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CindyandJohn
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2008, 02:59:40 PM »

On my wish list is the newest Garmin Nuvi - the 880 model. I was on the phone with Garmin about it in the summer time and they told me it was supposed to give options on the type of vehicle you are driving. I haven't been able to play with one yet, as they just came available and places like Target only have it online not in the stores. It is a very high priced unit - $899 or so... that's why it is still on the wish list... we need to remember - you get what you pay for! I won't buy it till I can mess with one in a store or find someone else who went out and bought it... Just my two cents worth.... Anyone out there have one yet?
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2008, 03:31:07 PM »

There's two things getting discussed in this thread - the actual GPS unit and the trip planning software including the database.  In my experience all the GPS hardware is pretty good - personally I'm partial to Garmin hardware but it probably doesn't really matter whose you use.  One feature to watch for is a unit that will spit out NMEA code because that is the universal standard.  My eTrex Legend (Garmin) won't so do that and it is a genuine PITA when I want to use it with non-Garmin software.  That's entirely my fault because some Garmin units will do the NMEA thing.

The bigger issue for trip planning is the software and the accompanying database (maps).  I use MessySoft Streets 'n Trips, mainly because that is what I have always used.  It is reasonably accurate but by no means perfect.  The map detail has actually downgraded since 2004 in some cases - small prairie towns in western Canada that had street level detail in 2004 now just show a few streets, none of them with names.  So that sux.  But that's also brand-independant because there are only a few map suppliers - probably only 2 AFAIK so the shortcomings of one unit will generally carry over into all units using that map supplier.

I've been sent down residential streets with no exit and no freeway access. I've been told to turn off interstates onto cross roads where there's no access ramp.  I've been sent on cross country, off-road excursions.  So don't ever think you can trust the GPS completely - see my tagline for my real opinion. In general I think the GPS and trip planning software is an excellent addition but there are times when it is also a genuine PITA.  We wouldn't leave home without it but we've also got a cupboard full of paper maps for anywhere we travel.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2008, 04:49:54 PM »

WorldNav, is the best you can have for a bus,type in the weight, width, length and height and it will keep you out of harms way also shows fuel stop and overnight parking a backup camera can be added also, they have a camera for $300  that puts all the RV cameras in a wannabee class.It can be bought in a GPS or a trip router price range $350 to $800    have a great evening
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 05:00:42 PM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
Charles in SC
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2008, 06:24:18 PM »

None of them are any better than their data base and set up. I was involved in aviation from a time before lorans and gps were affordable. The problems are still the same. There is no good way to have a 100% correct database so you need to know where you are going and keep your head out of the cockpit.
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Kirby-4104-FL
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2008, 07:21:07 PM »

This is Linda, not Kirby... (can't seem to get Firefox to let me log out of his name) -- Charles in SC is absolutely correct in his comments above.

Our first GPS was a Garmin Street Level III which had the same problems mentioned by iminaccess at the beginning of this topic.  The options are/were Fastest Time, Shortest Distance, and Off Road, as he stated.  In addition to his "favorite" side-track route, ours would send us on a useless, pointless loop that would simply take us right back to where it had us turn left/right, which of course will make you feel like an absolute dummy, except there you are in unknown territory and faith or fear makes you follow the directions of the GPS.

We were looking for something better, but then my brother said that Consumer Reports gave the highest rating to Garmin, so we decided to give it a try.

We now have a newer unit, with the newest database in it, a large screen Garmin 7200 so we can both see the screen.  It does have routing options for Car, Bus, Truck, etc. and you'd think that actually meant something, wouldn't you?  After some friends told us about their little adventure involving an overpass clearance lower than they needed, I changed the setting from "Car" to "Bus" and guess what?  It didn't mean doodley-squat.  This summer in our travels, it gave us a route that took us right up to a tunnel with 10' 8" clearance.

It still (just like the older unit) gives street names for turns that bear no resemblance to the name actually on the street sign, and highway numbers that don't appear on the map.  Wal-Mart is in there, but depending on which moron was in-putting the data, you'll have to search three different spelling configurations to find one nearest to you.

So not only is the newer unit not an improvement over the old one in terms of routing, it is actually worse in one respect -- on the old unit, highway rest areas were shown at the 5-mile scale, but on the newer unit I can't find the rest areas displayed at all at any scale.

Notwithstanding all of that, we still wouldn't travel without one but we've learned not to trust it and certainly wouldn't recommend Garmin over any other brand.

Linda
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John316
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2008, 07:28:05 PM »

One thing I forgot to mention. We also print out Google directions (again those still aren't flawless), and use those to match against what our ATAT GPS (run by a Blackberry) is saying. Between the two we usually arrive within a couple of feet or miles of our destination.  Grin Grin Grin

God bless,

John
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belfert
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2008, 06:06:31 AM »

Highway and street names are a big problem with Internet maps and GPS maps.

The issue is that many roads, especially in rural areas, are labeled with both a regular street name and a county highway number.  To make things worse, some roads can have both a county and state highway number or two county highway numbers.  Even some Interstates have a Interstate number and a name like in Chicago.

The highway officials may report one name to the map makers, but the signs they use show the other name.

I remember using Mapquest directions last year and I was was on a major state highway, Hwy 169.  The directions said to continue onto some road I had never heard of.  It took me a while to figure out that the road they referred to was Hwy 169 that I was already on.  The directions also said to turn off at a road.  I missed the turn because the directions used a Highway number and the road was marked with a street name.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2008, 09:20:09 AM »

The real reason that GPS maps and Google Maps are "OFF" is that the Map printing companies still want to sell paper maps because they make the most profit on a yearly basis.

The GPS will get you to an area where you may have to buy a paper map to get to the final destination. That is their purpose.

Google will take you on some of the silliest routes using street and highway directions that make no sense from either direction. Here again enters that flaw in the mapping systems. Mileage is never what it says and detours due to obstructions are never shown.

I would trust at least that a GPS will at least show you how to get out of a place by some stretch of the imagination where a google map would be of no help at all after you made several wrong turns according to "finite" directions which were wrong at best to begin with.

The Vehicle rules for GPS systems basically are only as good as what was keyed in by someone that has no clue and lives in some big city and never has travelled.

"May the Farce be with You..."...

Dave...
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belfert
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2008, 04:28:37 PM »

I highly doubt mapping companies are selling inferior mapping data to GPS manufacturers and Internet map websites.

I drove from my house in Minneapolis to a hotel in Amarillo, TX using an Internet map and the mileage I drove was within one mile of the estimate.  I have pretty good luck with Internet maps except in newly developed areas, but paper maps don't show those areas either.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
rwc
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2008, 07:27:14 AM »

I use Garmin and mine allows me to select Interstates and exclude secondary roads from my route. Or exclude interstates and take only secondary roads. You do have to update the map program every year or so and it does sometimes take you on routes that are longer than needed. As far as laptop programs Delorme is absolutely the best and most accurate. Microsoft will take you to the nearest intersection but not to an address. Leaves me about 1 mile from my daughters house with 30 or 40 houses between where it takes me and her house. Would not be wanting that for a place I had never been.
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Lin
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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2008, 11:00:42 AM »

There are two mapping companies that provide the information to Mapquest, Google, and GPS companies.  We found this out when searching for our new house on Google.  They had it wrong, as did Mapquest and the GPS.  We tried to contact them to correct it, and they referred us to these other mapping companies.  We did write to them about 6 months ago, but nothing has been changed yet.  I think they wanted some sort of proof that my house was where I said it was.  Anyway, that is why we get some of the same faulty information from different sources.  In theory, these systems are being gradually changed from input from the general public.  It is therefore necessary to upgrade your software periodically.  Hopefully, they are correcting some of the company-specific idiosyncrasies along with the mapping.  As mentioned before, it is an excellent tool, but you can not follow it blindly.
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