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#1 Charcoop

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:13 AM

After yet another episode of "WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME TO TURN HERE?" I think it's time to save our marriage and get one of these gizmos.

Any ideas on one that is inespensive/portable/easy to use.

Thanks !

Char

 

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#2 bigbear

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:46 AM

I bought a Garmin Nuvi 650 on my brother's recommendation. It suits me fine. I have no experience with anything else. It has more features than I will use, but one that I love. I can batch-upload custom points-of-interest (POI) files. When I plan a roadtrip, I make a list of the pertinent POIs (recommended restaurants, hotels, homes of relatives, Costcos, whatever) and create a file on my PC, that I then upload. There are people out there creating unique files and sharing them. Premium members (Insiders) of Roadfood.com can get a file of their reviewed restaurants.

Since using it, I wonder what took me so long to get one. No more printing Google maps and fighting with the Queen. It really is a tension reliever.
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#3 SRD

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:57 AM

I found teaching my wife to map read and buying the relevant Ordinance Survey maps was the best navigational aid. I don't know if you have such good quality maps over there.
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#4 TheMatt

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:22 AM

Of the brands out there, I think Garmin is still considered the best. (Navigon might be number two if you get their current ones.) As for what model to get, that is more "what features do you want?" than anything else. I will say a couple things. First, I *highly* recommend a widescreen model. I've found through using both "normal" (say 4:3 like an old TV) and widescreen models that the widescreen ones are much less crowded and seem to just be better, usability-wise. Second, I like "text-to-speech" as well. This is where the unit will say "Turn left at Elm Street" rather than just "Turn left". It can help in that it's one less look away from the road to your GPS.

Beyond that, well, newer is usually better when it comes to fancy new features. One recent advance is "lane guidance" or "lane assistance" (no really standard name for this yet). You can see examples of it in new, upcoming Navigons and Garmins. It's a really useful feature that I might upgrade my current unit for. Beyond that there are things like Bluetooth, traffic (which is slowly becoming free and standard...but free via advertising), European maps (if in NA)...

If you want a big chart, I recommend this one at GPS Magazine.

ETA: Note: I was assuming you were referring to *automotive* GPS units. If you are looking for a handheld for geocaching/geohashing/hiking/boating, then I have much different advice there.
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#5 LML

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:26 AM

iPhone 3G.
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#6 Melonious Thunk

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 12:37 PM

I have the small Magellan. It is superb. I find the screen size is irrelevant because the voice commands provide the direction. I agree with SRD that having maps is very helpful in strange areas, because you get a macro view which is not done well with the GPS.
"Pippa, I'm going to tell you something and it's important. Sometimes you have to go to work."__Hannah Marie Konstadt, Two years, nine months.

'How high can you stoop?"__Oscar Levant.

#7 ghostrider

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 12:45 PM

I hate GPS's. They are as distracting as cell phones & often wrong. Like anything, they are only as good as the information they get.

We had one in a rental car & I'll never forget the night it told us to drive into a concrete wall at highway speed. Good thing I knew where I was at the time.

I did have fun making it speak to me in Swedish, though, it sounded really sexy.

An airport limo driver had one & used it to get out of my town onto the highway to EWR. I yelled at him because he was going the wrong direction; he ignored me. He eventually got onto the highway but the GPS took him the long way around. I wondered what I was paying him for, certainly not efficiency.

There's no substitute for maps & knowing where you are. Of course I'm better at that than most.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

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#8 Eddie L

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:25 PM

QUOTE(LML @ Sep 16 2008, 07:26 AM) View Post
iPhone 3G.


The iPhone still doesn't do turn-by-turn. The 2.1 update supposedly contains new functionality for determining direction, which would make this possible. I'm hoping for an app that will do turn-by-turn guidance.

Watching the little "ping" icon in Google Maps is fun though.

Edsel
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#9 Melonious Thunk

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:28 PM

QUOTE(Eddie L @ Sep 16 2008, 09:25 AM) View Post
QUOTE(LML @ Sep 16 2008, 07:26 AM) View Post
iPhone 3G.


The iPhone still doesn't do turn-by-turn. The 2.1 update supposedly contains new functionality for determining direction, which would make this possible. I'm hoping for an app that will do turn-by-turn guidance.

Watching the little "ping" icon in Google Maps is fun though.


iPhone is good for routing but, as you write, not for turn by turn. It does locate you precisely and routes you from that location to where you want to go. Also shows either map or sateelite photo of area.
"Pippa, I'm going to tell you something and it's important. Sometimes you have to go to work."__Hannah Marie Konstadt, Two years, nine months.

'How high can you stoop?"__Oscar Levant.

#10 flyfish

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 02:46 PM

QUOTE(ghostrider @ Sep 16 2008, 08:45 AM) View Post
I hate GPS's. They are as distracting as cell phones & often wrong. Like anything, they are only as good as the information they get.


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#11 joiei

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:01 PM

The Escalade my boss gave me to drive came with a navigation device already. It seems to work quite well what little I have used it.
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#12 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 04:41 PM

I don't have any of this stuff <read sh*t>. Puerto Rico is too small for them and I have memorized each street ici.
"I mispoke."

#13 bigbear

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:16 PM

QUOTE(ghostrider @ Sep 16 2008, 08:45 AM) View Post
I hate GPS's. They are as distracting as cell phones & often wrong. Like anything, they are only as good as the information they get.
.....

At least, when a hiccup occurs, the GPS receives all the blame.
-- Jeff

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#14 Charcoop

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:58 PM

Thank you everyone for the comments. Many good points and I think I'll look into the Garmin Nuvi 650.

I know a GPS isn't the answer for every situation but for some long drives in unfamiliar areas it might be the ticket.

Thanks again for these and any further thoughts on the subject.

Charcoop

Char

 

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Bette Davis


#15 helena

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 08:03 PM

We have Garmin for couple years - and keep saying that it's the best purchase we ever made laugh.gif

it's so useful when u have these spur of the moment ideas in unfamiliar places like when i decided to drive from New Orleans to Little Rock instead of flying...
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