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Old 01-29-2008, 06:49 PM   #21
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I got my screenname by always giving directions to people. It escalated to the point where I would sometimes get several phone calls a day from family/friends/coworkers asking for directions. I also get asked a few times a week by strangers on the street, whether in Chicagoland or traveling. My wife, some friends and relatives now have GPS and direction requests have diminished.
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:17 PM   #22
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First off, let me clarify.... I LOVE MY MAGELLAN MAESTRO 3100!!! It was a present from SO, and its my FAVORITE GADGET EVER.

I go to about 400 addresses per year that I have never gone to previously (work). It's been great for these situations.


Where I see a weakness is when I KNOW how to get to point B, but the GPS says otherwise. At times, I've followed blindly (without checking the route beforehand) and got BURNED. Once it sent me 9 miles out of the way on a 29 mile trip (shoulda been 20)! I was FURIOUS. I'm sure it does that more often, but since I don't know where I'm at....it doesnt matter!


I can alos see GPS causing accidents. On occasion, I find myself driving by looking at the green arrows as opposed to the road! Even if for a second or two, it is dangerous. Sometimes it tells me to keep going straight and there's a bridge that's been out for 20 yrs, or most recently, a lake in the way!!! Once it sent me down "unnamed road' which turned out to be a back entrance to city property for the parks department...I popped out behind city hall, kept following directions, and there without a hitch.


I also like LEARNING how to get places....but I now no longer look at street names,pay attention to direction, etc.... if the GPS were to die I'd be LOST 99% of the time.

But now I have a backup with ALLTEL's internet access on my phone...so I'm covered!


MY PREDICTION FOR GPS'S FUTURE: First, you will see some written adverts while driving...say a Big Macad when you are approaching an exit with McD's. Then it will spread to advertising in general. Then I think we will see REAL commercials on the GPS...maybe audio first though. These GPS companies will have to generate some revenue...especially with no monthly fees like XM or Sirius. Can someone convince me otherwise

Long live GPS!!
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:01 PM   #23
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I know this is only sort of related to the thread, but I recently got a new Moto phone (9h?) with GPS built in. Although it isn't feature packed as the dedicated devices, I have to say it's pretty darn close. I've tried using both Windows Live Mobile and Google Maps Mobile, and both will show you a map, with your exact location - plus the map will move with you as you drive around. About the only thing you miss is the actual turn-by-turn directions, but I find that the map with my location is actually more useful for me...

Again, not nearly as good as a dedicated device, but this one lets you make calls on it and play music too!
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:56 AM   #24
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GPS? A bunch of them:

My car...has one built in.
DW's car...has one built in.

Motorhome..I have several:
A Garmin Steetpilot 2370 on a beanbag right in front of me. It has a remote control and I can do all kinds of stuff while driving. It also has XM radio, traffic and weather.

The Motorhome has a built in computer (12volt) with a 14 inch square LCD monitor. It is used for the side and rear cameras as well as the computer. The computer has a GPS receiver and software and I have a USB modem that allows for internet service while we drive through an Aircard Topglobal wireless router. I run all three computers through the router and I have internet about 90% of the time. It also picks up hot spots so I can use it for that too.

The two other laptops both have Microsoft Streets and Trips on them...each has a USB GPS receiver so we often have three of them going at once while we are cruising down the highway. We still have maps (mostly the Motorcarrier Atlas) and a stack of state maps too just in case.

Even with all this highpowered stuff you can still get the wrong directions from them if they don't know the "correct" coordinates. We were led into a very narrow set of streets once while looking for a campground. Not a good thing with a rig that is over 63 feet long and can't back up. As it turns out the GPS corrdinates for the campground were not yet in the database so the software picked a street that has a very similar name.

Trust....but verify.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #25
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I have had a Garmin Nuvi 680 for over a year now and wouldn't think of going anywhere without it. (I, too, use the "beanbag.") It has been particularly handy when in unfamiliar large cities. I shudder to think of how bad it could have been that early morning (before sunrise) in San Francisco when it was raining so hard I couldn't read the road signs. I challenge anyone not familiar with Honolulu to take less than an hour longer to get anywhere without GPS. Chicago is the worst... No! maybe it's Salt Lake City. Charlotte NC/Columbia SC was made much more comfortable because of GPS.

Another advantage to the Nuvi is its ability to find nearby POIs. In addition, the MSN network that comes with it allows me to find the lowest price gasoline no matter where I am -- a savings of about 10¢ a gallon on average. And restaurants and the nearest Wal Mart... the list goes on.

Now there is a new model (780) that has everything they forget to put in the earlier model:

Multi-destination routing
Automatic sorting of multiple destinations to provide an efficient route
Tracklog recording
Speed limit display for many interstates and highways
The newer internal antenna found on the nuvi 200 series
Automatic marking of your last position when the unit is turned off (to help you find your car in mega-mall parking lots) (with the neat nickname "breadcrumbs")
A "Where am I" safety feature that gives your current location, nearest address, nearest intersection, along with quick access to POIs for the nearest hospitals, police stations and gas stations.

And it is voice activated -- no more punching the screen.

Who could ask for anything more?
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:56 AM   #26
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Hmmm, I'm tempted since prices are dropping, but wonder how much I need it. I don't travel on business anymore and don't tend to go on too many trips to unfamiliar places.

I'm pretty good at using yahoo maps to find a destination and print or write out directions. But it is a pain to keep track of mileage to the next turn, and to be looking in the dark for a street sign and slowing down at 5 intersections in a row to see if this is where I need to turn.

And then there's deciding which one. I don't want to spend too much, so the Nuvi 360, $249 online at costco.com looks good now. But there's always features like the 780 has that the last post pointed out that look nice.

Then I'm wondering if I should get the 370, since I'm going two weeks to Europe this summer. But I won't have a car, so I'd need to find a way to recharge it, and that doesn't sound easy with the different plug types and all, but maybe it has a Euro style AC plug as well. But just knowing where something is in Europe is no good if I don't know which bus or train to get on to get there, so I'm thinking to go with US/Canada maps only. If I get one at all.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:06 AM   #27
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MY PREDICTION FOR GPS'S FUTURE: First, you will see some written adverts while driving...say a Big Macad when you are approaching an exit with McD's. Then it will spread to advertising in general. Then I think we will see REAL commercials on the GPS...maybe audio first though. These GPS companies will have to generate some revenue...especially with no monthly fees like XM or Sirius. Can someone convince me otherwise

Long live GPS!!
I agree with you about the ads, it's a likely next step. They do generate some revenue through real time traffic reports and gas prices. They also generate revenue on the sale of each unit. XM and Sirius have to pay to launch and maintain their satellites while GPS works off of satellites launched and maintained by the government.

*Disclaimer: I own shares of GRMN stock :-)
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:18 AM   #28
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MY PREDICTION FOR GPS'S FUTURE: First, you will see some written adverts while driving...say a Big Macad when you are approaching an exit with McD's. Then it will spread to advertising in general. Then I think we will see REAL commercials on the GPS...<snip> Can someone convince me otherwise
You still notice advertising?
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:29 AM   #29
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When Will GPS Prices Drop?

When Will GPS Prices Drop? | GPS Lodge - GPSLodge.com
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:53 PM   #30
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Hmmm, I'm tempted since prices are dropping, but wonder how much I need it. I don't travel on business anymore and don't tend to go on too many trips to unfamiliar places.
That's about where I was with it. About a month ago we were helping a relative move from MD to DE towing a U-haul trailer and of course I had no idea where we were going, the development is not on any mapping site (it's new) so my sister rode with me and her DH's GPS. While the development wasn't in the GPS it got us close enough so she could recognize things from there on.

That sold me. It is so much easier than the printed maps the money is worth it. We used it on the 2nd trip last weekend, I plan on using it to hit some museums, a relative we see about twice a year lives in DC, etc. But I'll still carry a map.

As thefed noted, sometimes it will give you weird routing - that hasn't happened to me yet - and it (mine anyway) doesn't have the traffic information so it will give you the shortest route that may not be the fastest. But my thinking is that if I'm completely, totally lost, I'd rather drive a few extra blocks or miles sometimes and know that eventually I'll get there.

If you have a friend with one buy him lunch and ask for a demo in the local area. They all work basically the same, some have more features like RonBoyd's to make it easier, with a correspondingly higher price.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:09 PM   #31
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I have always been a map guy, I love maps. I can travel in my imagination by reading a good map. I debated with myself for a long time about the possible additional utility of a gps. After using the Garmin Nuvi for four months I have decided that it’s good value for all the navigational functions but the entertainment factor is an un-planned for bonus. The thing is just plain fun to use.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:33 PM   #32
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We got the Garmin Nuvi 750. Ive never owned another one so I cannot make any comparisons. But we are throughly pleased. Driving around the Houston area it was pretty much dead on as we went from Houston to Galveston with various stops in between. The only time we thought it screwed up was when returning the rental car. I accidentally picked the Houston Hobby rental return instead of George Bush int Human error go figure
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:00 PM   #33
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Thanks all, I appreciate the feedback. I'm a map guy too, so maybe I can think of it as fun as well as useful to justify it.

Still thinking about whether to get the version with the Europe maps as well.
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:56 PM   #34
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I got the Garmin Nuvi 360 for my DH for Christmas and he loves it. I just drove with 3 other women from WV to FL and back using a built in GPS and we used it all the way.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:43 PM   #35
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We (DH) got "Route 66" for his SmartPhone (the s/w is much cheaper, but the Smartphone itself is $$$). It worked great both in Italy and in the US. We needed different maps for the US, and ran into the canonical, idiotic, European business mentality.

(N.B., no Italian firms involved! only Netherlands-people):

Us: online with the EU (Netherlands) provider- (having the base software and the EU maps): we want to buy the US map upgrade.
Them: if you are accessing this site from the EU, you cannot buy the US map upgrade; you must buy it only from the US..

go to Amazon and a couple other US sites.

Them: we only sell the FULL US package (at 2-3x the cost), not the "upgrade" (obviously), to US buyers. Since whomever buys the pkg. here is interested in the US, you can only buy the whole shebang, and not a US map "upgrade" only (from their p.o.v., "naturally").

Anyway, we fell into this trap by which the EU/ Netherlands people recognized the need for a US map "upgrade".. but would not SELL it to us intra-EU.. this package was for sale ONLY to the US.. At the same time, the US side could not possibly view it as an "upgrade".. only a full version was previewed from their p.o.v.. why would you need a US "upgrade" if your purchase was originating from the US?

That's some catch, that Catch-22.

End of story: I "pretend" to be a US person to some conveniently random 3rd-party company, to whom the (marginal cost) US maps may be sent, using my sister's address. She forwards me the CD and it all more or less works out. The Eastern US and Southern EU maps cannot be maintained on the same Smartphone simultaneously, not for (comprehensible) sheer reasons of space, but merely reasons of territorial testosterone.

Bastids!



Anyway, I like how implacable the direction-giver is.. never scolding, even if you make a mistake.

"girare a sinistra"
"al prossimo incrocio, girare a sinistra"
"alla prossima uscita, girare a sinistra"
"girare a sinistra"

...
Because in Italian the lady GPS voice has a Bolognese accent.. DH calls her "Wanda" ("Vanda") after a communistic comic TV character, Wanda the carrellista (the 'cart pusher" - a "vital" company taskl!).

"girahahre a sidnisdra"
"OK Vahnda!" whatever you say!

(in Emilia-Romagna there have been many non-Italian, "communist", first names given to Italian children, like "Yuri"!!!)



The cool thing was: we easily found (in CT) listings/directions for a Japanese restaurant of which we only had a vague idea.. um Fuji-something.. and typing in "fuji" .. voilà! .. a plausible name/address appeared in their built-in directory! I was surprised by that: that there was a coherent business database already built-in.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:51 PM   #36
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my magellan maestro 3100 displayed an icon ive NEVER seen while driving today...

Its 2 dots 1" apart, with a line in between...but the line is 'broken' then it flashed a sort of 'detour' line going to the right. as this happened, we were coming up to dead stop traffic. i think i noticed it once before, but the only wierd thing at the time was a cop nearby


any ideas?
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:13 AM   #37
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I never would have bought one of these things myself, but got one as a family present and it is really useful. When I have someone else in the car, it's easier to read than a map. When I'm driving alone I wish it had a bigger screen and a louder voice. I can easily see these evolving to become integrated into the car entertainment systems. Play your favorite radio station between instructions, feed into car speakers, so you can adjust volume appropraite to road noise, download map updates or even road conditions and traffic density, play integrated ads to fund the service. I expect to see a lot more developments with these in the next few years.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:55 AM   #38
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I never would have bought one of these things myself, but got one as a family present and it is really useful. When I have someone else in the car, it's easier to read than a map. When I'm driving alone I wish it had a bigger screen and a louder voice. I can easily see these evolving to become integrated into the car entertainment systems. Play your favorite radio station between instructions, feed into car speakers, so you can adjust volume appropraite to road noise, download map updates or even road conditions and traffic density, play integrated ads to fund the service. I expect to see a lot more developments with these in the next few years.

Ours plays through the speakers now if we want. You set it to a station. However it does not switch back to radio for the instructions. You would need to change the channel manually back and forth. There is also and option for traffic updates. However from my research it appears not that great of a feature at the moment.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:58 PM   #39
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I expect to see a lot more developments with these in the next few years.
DARPA has been working for some time now on a vehicle that will drive itself so people delivering war materials will not be subject to IEDs. I am sure that eventually that technology will be perfected and drift down to civilian life, just like GPS. So perhaps your daughter will get in her car, tell it the destination, and take a nap.

I've seen it work with an airplane autopilot GPS slaved to the autopilot; the course corrections were instantaneous and almost imperceptible.
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Old 02-03-2008, 02:17 PM   #40
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...When I'm driving alone I wish it had a bigger screen and a louder voice. I can easily see these evolving to become integrated into the car entertainment systems. Play your favorite radio station between instructions, feed into car speakers, so you can adjust volume appropraite to road noise, download map updates or even road conditions and traffic density, play integrated ads to fund the service. I expect to see a lot more developments with these in the next few years.
The future has been here for a while. Acura, Lexus and a few other car companies have been putting integrated systems into their cars for over 8 years now. They have a touch screen that controls many aspects of the car radio, environmental systems, and GPS. The GPS audio is also integrated with the car sound system. The radio, CD or XM radio will play through all speakers but when a turn is near the GPS audio lowers the other speaker volume and plays out of the front speakers with the GPS audio; when it is done the speakers are returned to their regular volume setting.

My wife's car, Acura RDX has an integrated GPS system with traffic and weather updates along with XM radio. She gets updates from the car on service needs and can even call the dealer for an appointment through handsfree Bluetooth built into the car. The car gives here maintenance reminders based on useage not just milage. A message screen pops up on the GPS screen telling here that there is a detected problem and offers to contact the dealer. The dealer can also run a diagnostic on the car via the phone link. It monitors tire pressure, oil changes, many engine components, has a rear view camera also integrated into the GPS screen etc. Over all it is a really cool car. You can manually up or down shift from a button on the steering wheel and the drive system controls al 4 wheels independently. It is truly 4 wheel independent drive.

The GPS system is upgradable with a DVD that goes into the GPS master control box. It updates the maps on the system. I usually skip years as it is a couple hundred buck a pop. I usually only update my car as it is the toad when we travel via RV so we are in unfamiliar territory with it far more than with her car.
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