new toy -- Navigation

I thought the GPS navigations systems were nifty, but could not justify spending hundreds of dollars for it. I've been driving for 46 years using
my senses and maps and I've managed to find my house every time.
So, given a $500 gift certificate to an electronics store by my insurance company, I did some shopping. Don't need another HD TV, don't need any more stereo equipment. Happens that they had a Garmin for the same price as my gift certificate so it became an easy choice.
Simple to set up and use, I did it in the parking lot of the store in just a few minutes. My wife wanted to go to a store across the street at a shopping center and she was able to see the street address so that was the trial run. From there, dinner at a restaurant that I've never been to so I plugged that address in. I admit, I'd have gotten to it the old fashioned way, but it would have been out of my way compared to following the GPS map.
You really don't need one, but if you travel to different destinations in cities or areas you don't usually travel, it certainly is handy. You can choose many options, such as the type of vehicle (I'm guessing trucks may get different routing), avoid tolls, avoid highway, shortest, fastest, etc.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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I bought one a few years ago and use it even when I know the way, it lets you concentrate on the road instead of looking at exit signs.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I've used them in rental cars when I'm traveling on business (which I do a lot) and they can certainly be handy, but there are also problems with them:
1- They're not always accurate.
2- The routes they suggest are often far from optimal.
3- They don't work all the time. Try using one in Chicago with the "L" tracks overhead or in any city with densely packed tall buildings.
4- People tend to become dependent on them and lose all sense of direction. I'm not sure if some of the people I work with can even read a map anymore.
While I certainly wouldn't turn down a "free" GPS, I wouldn't want it to be my only method of navigation. When I travel, I still print out maps of areas I'm going to be in and use them much more often than a GPS.
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I'll find out tomorrow on my way to work. They suggest the same basic route I use with one exception. In one spot, they have you going around a loop of the town green. While only a couple hundred yards, iit takes you off the main route, around the gazebo, and back to the main route again. Just plain dumb.

It hast to be in "view" of the sattelites. I can see where that would be a problem.

Too many people never could read that map in the first place.

Exactly why the subject line reads "new toy" and not "essential equipment" This model also can be used as an MP3 player and view of JPG photos. I can't imagine why you'd want to do that.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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I have one and it saved my butt in NJ during a recent trip. If you want to get somewhere, it will get you there, but you are correct in saying that it may not always be the way you think you should go. Therefore, don't use it to drive places that you already know how to get to. It can be frustrating in that case. I also found that it wasn't to accurate guiding me to an Olive Garden restaurant. It got me within a block. If you travel, by all means, it's worth it. Mine cost $275. Well worth it for my trips.
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Tom wrote:

The one time I was really glad to have a GPS was on a business trip where we had to drive from a meeting in NYC to Wilmington, DE. Getting out of the city was a nightmare of traffic jams and the GPS (in an Avis rental car) had automatic traffic updates that really helped get us through the mess. Other than that one instance, I've been less than impressed.
If you carry a laptop, there is a relatively inexpensive alternative to a dedicated GPS, Microsoft Streets and Trips with a GPS sensor. It's more cumbersome than a dedicated unit, but it works pretty much as well and it available for well under $100 if you shop around. A couple of the guys I work with have it and it's useful at times.
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I considered the laptop route also, but rejected it because my laptops are not very bright in direct sunlight and I couldn't read them. Also, you have to look down to see the screen whereas the GPS unit is mounted right at eye level above the dash.
Tom

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Tom wrote:

I agree and I haven't gone that route either, at least not yet.
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How about the Verizion Navigation on your cell phone? A buddy of mine has one and pretty impressed with it, accurate down to matters of feet.

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DaToteman wrote:

About the only thing I can think of that would be even worse than using a computer-based GPS would be to try to deal with the tiny screen on a cell phone.
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It really is not bad using a cell base GPS Brian - not at all as bad as you might think. I have it on my Blackberry and it's not perfect, but certainly useable. My Razor would be serviceable as well. Far from the most desirable solution, but serviceable.
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At $9.95 a month, it is really no more than the price of buying a dedicated GPS over a couple years expected life. As long as it is not using up your minutes when it is in action. Since it is really not needed often, using it on day rate is even cheaper.
I've yet to use the Garmin for any serious navigation, but I've found a couple of new routes to the same places I've been going to for years. Can't say they are better, just different that I've never had reason to try. It also gave me a different route to the same place on different days for no apparent reason. The logical way looking at a map is to take route 102 about 8 miles, make a left onto 146A. One day it had me take a left earlier and then a couple of back roads that led out to 146A about a half mile closer to the destination, but more complex and through a residential area. I'd never intentionally go that way.
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Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome /




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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I've seen similar things where the recommended route made no sense or was far more complex than necessary. Construction areas and detours are a problem, too, but that's to be expected.

Exactly.
Good point!

I find that pretty mind-boggling, too. It reminds me of a spoof iPhone commercial that I saw recently:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1xXNoB3t8vM

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