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Old 11-30-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
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Best of luck in your quest for the perfect GPS. I feel like I've almost tried everything.

In a nutshell:

GPS software for laptops
- MS Streets & Trips: nice interface, but amazingly inaccurate, which can be very frustrating.
- DeLorme Street Atlas USA: slightly more accurate than MS Streets & Trips, but somehow fails to find about 90% of the addresses that I enter.

Dedicated GPS unit
- TomTom XL 330e ($99.99): significantly more accurate than both the above, but still not totally accurate. I like the portability but, of course , the screen is smaller, and Samantha's pronunciation of street names promises to be a great source of entertainment. She reroutes quicker, and without the nagging of the laptop software (sometimes it's so annoying, I usually shut off the voice directions). The ability to program for a bike route is also a plus.

Next, I think I'll try the Garmin Mobile® PC software for my laptop. It has the 3-D street view like the dedicated units, only on a large screen.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=13484&ra=true

This is just my opinion based on my experiences. I could be wrong, and frequently am...
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
Before I buy another GPS, I am going to experiment with laptop and software. I have a notebook PC which is fairly small. I carry it with us anyway for Internet. (using my Verizon cell phone). I also have a full sized tablet PC which offers different input types and tablet or regular mounting.
I will mess with both of them and checkout software. I will report my findings in a few weeks.
Regards,
Ken
Ken, I didn't want to go into a full sales presentation on the last post but ...

If you download the free trial of NeverSearch and buy a simple GPS USB window receiver you can test for less than the cost of one of the dedicated units.

NeverSearch will actually interface with Google Aerial Maps and the street level photos if you have a wireless internet solution as you travel.

As I make my living on the road driving Airstream One I've been through the whole evolution of maps to Delorme to the current solution. For my dollars I'm very happy to have the big screen of a laptop vs. a little stand alone stuck to the windshield.

Neversearch will also allow you to do so much more in terms of storing routes and favorite waypoints.

The man behind the curtain is Keith Kreft who I'm happy to say is one very accessible CEO.

I've been quoted as calling this software solution "Never Miss" and won't use anything else to make my way down the road.

Feel free to PM me with any questions.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:43 PM   #17
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Real time comparison

Never Search vs. OziExplorer! Ta da! After one day of fiddling around with Never Search, I'd make the following comparison:

Never Search is on top for

1. Where stuff is, like golf courses, restaurants, etc. Like Ozi doesn't even do that.

2. Accurate, up to date maps.

3. Maps are accessible at all scales.

4. Grabs onto a USB GPS without fuss.

5. Very compact installation, considering the detail of the road information (around 2 gigs)

6. Provides detailed driving/routing instructions, mostly correct.

7. The distance tool is quick and easy.

8. If you don't want to worry about getting you own maps, if you are going to known locations, eg, towns or addresses, if you don't care about maps per se or navigation, then you definitely want this program (no comment on the subscription fees).


Ozi is on top for

1. Multiple types of map format compatibility.

2. You can scan in your own maps.

3. Ozi displays your GPS track and can save it. It can also download GPS tracks from a hike or other separately gathered data.

4. Uses waypoints for routing or manually marking the map. Ozi also provides many other mapping features for navigation and measuring.

5. Interfaces with Google Earth via KML files.

6. If you want to use maps other than those based on vector generation, eg, USGS topos, published paper maps, etc., you do your own navigation, you go to geographic named locations or lat-lons, and you can put up with managing your own maps (trust me, this is not trivial), you want Ozi.

Here's some samples of the two displays at roughly the same scale (Google digital maps vs. the NeverSearch maps, Ozi doesn't have it's own maps. All this really does is demonstrate that there are differences in vector based maps and in the amount of detail labels on them):

LAX

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Los Angeles

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Southern Cal

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Western USA

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I didn't care for the focus on cultural features in Never Search, like golf courses (they should all be turned into free RV boondocking parks--my appologies to our golfing friends). It just seemed cluttered. On the other hand, Never Search had a slight advantage in showing all the national forests and parks.

I also didn't like the route planning, which could only be done by entering place names (am I wrong about this?). This was slow compared to just point and clicking waypoints in Ozi.

But I have to admit that the NeverSearch's compact installation and the ease of going from small to large scale was pretty terrific.

Zep
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #18
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I have been navigating cross country for about three years with a Garmin. One issue you might have about being told to take an off ramp and then an on ramp is that if road construction changes after your map release, you will need an update.

I've never updated and have been able to navigate around these occurances, which are rare. Garmin now makes a truck model, so you can navigate around bridges and tunnels that may forbid propane, or have height clearances.

I was always a map guy but love the freedom a GPS brings.

Nick
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:26 PM   #19
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Auto routes

I made one route with NeverSearch--Seattle to Salt Lake to St George (it couldn't find St George, it had to be Saint George) to Page to Palmer Lake. In that one route I picked a few of the directions at random and in that small number of lines (which happened to be to St George) NeverSearch directed the traveler to the south exit in St George, around the interchange, then back on I-15 heading north, to stop in the middle of the interstate opposite the town.

I thought the route was OK, but I would have gone over through Kayenta to Moab and up to I-70, not back to US89 and thence up to I-70. The Moab route is more fun and you avoid the moderately high passes through the Fish Lake National Forest.

The Ozi route is on the right, completely manual.

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NeverSearch routing directions and detail. Note the backtrack in lines 27 and 28. Nothing serious, just a curiosity.

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Happy traveling,
Zep
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:01 PM   #20
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Make Steve Jobs happy and get an I-phone. Something like 75,000 apps which include "google maps", "yelp", "google earth"", whatever. Plus "urban spoons", "yelp", and "around me" will give you nearest food, hospitals, etc and rate them. All you need is a cell phone tower, a couple of satellites, and you're in business (oh, and someone to ride shotgun to read everything off to you). Plus the thing can actually be used to call someone...amazing.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:37 AM   #21
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Zep, thanks for the in depth analysis. In fact if I'm not mistaken you can simply turn off the golf courses if you wish on the left margin. You can select a location / intersection and right click to add it to the navigation as a waypoint.

I like that it doesn't leave a breadcrumb trail as this gets to be a mess for me on screen by the end of the day.

But like all GPS mapping solutions is it perfect, maybe not. Is it better than folding old maps, you bet. I keep my resolution where I can react to street changes according to speed. Often routing will have an idea but you can avoid situations you aren't comfortable with driving a large or long combination.

Keith at NeverSearch does webinar sessions daily almost for the golf reps using his software. I'm sure if enough of you expressed interest he'd be happy to do the same for out group.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe View Post
... In fact if I'm not mistaken you can simply turn off the golf courses if you wish on the left margin. You can select a location / intersection and right click to add it to the navigation as a waypoint.
...
But like all GPS mapping solutions is it perfect, maybe not. Is it better than folding old maps, you bet. I keep my resolution where I can react to street changes according to speed. ....
Yes, you can turn off some details. All maps vary in the amount of labeling, some more, some less. Each useful in its own circumstance.

I actually like many features of NeverSearch, although I am much more of a map enthusiast than a "places" enthusiast. I'm going to keep both systems--each has it's merits. I did discover that I can run both softwares simultaneously displaying moving maps with two GPS units plugged in. Ozi has a quirk in that although it is often updated, for some reason the developer has retained only a serial interface to the GPS. This requires a little helper ap to convert the GPS USB port into a pseudo serial port. By happy circumstance this "conceals" that USB from NeverSearch, so it sees the other GPS and both programs run independently. I like this because now I can run NeverSearch as kind of a macro map and Ozi with a detailed topo and switch back and forth on the task bar.

I just wish Keith would rename it "Never Search for Places" or something not so specific to you know what.

Hey, what do you mean by the blue text?

Zep
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:45 AM   #23
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One thing everyone may want to check with their GPS units is the preference settings. If for some strange reason you have a preferance for a dirt road over an interstate highway and the GPS unit is programmed that way then the GPS unit will route you that way and make every effort to send you down a dirt road whenever possible.

Take a look at your settings, make it a habit to check online for route updates to your unit and ALWAYS buy a map.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:32 PM   #24
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Zep, I had need to speak with Keith at Never-Search and in fact he is very interested in pursuing a "Never-Search Camping" model. The beauty of Never-Search is that it can be customized for just about any special interest travel group.

In fact the current model that I just upgraded has built in... which of course can be toggled on or off...
1. All Camping World locations.
2. KOA Campgrounds
3. 1000 Trails
4. Camp California (whatever that might be)

He has at the top of his priority list the "other" state camping associations to duplicate the effort in CA.

For those looking for a great Christmas gift or gift request I'd suggest a netbook like the little Acer Aspire One 10" I'm working on. It's small enough to not be in the way but big enough that my old eyes can still see. I've got Never-Search working with the GPS USB dongle and couldn't be happier.

I roll into places regularly and look around and say to myself, "oh yea, I've been here before."

Never-Search For Golf for a free trial. Free is good!
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe View Post
Zep, I had need to speak with Keith at Never-Search and in fact he is very interested in pursuing a "Never-Search Camping" model. ...

In fact the current model that I just upgraded has built in... which of course can be toggled on or off...
1. All Camping World locations.
2. KOA Campgrounds
3. 1000 Trails
4. Camp California (whatever that might be)
...
For those looking for a great Christmas gift or gift request I'd suggest a netbook like the little Acer Aspire One 10" I'm working on...
I use the acer when I travel by air. Love it. It'a almost a real computer and sure beats the keyboards and screens on PDAs.

The problem with making a Never-Search for Camping is that the camping I want to know about are the boondocking freebie locations, not the KOAs!

Zep
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:01 PM   #26
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Here's an idea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe View Post
Zep, I had need to speak with Keith at Never-Search and in fact he is very interested in pursuing a "Never-Search Camping" model. The beauty of Never-Search is that it can be customized for just about any special interest travel group.
Might make sense to have a Never-Search/Woodall's combo. I mean, at the end of the day when you have been driving longer than planned (for any one of about fifty reasons), so you know you won't reach the CG you wanted, what do YOU do?

Thumb through that big huge book? Run the clunky CD they give with it?

I say clunky because the data could have been authored in a much more user-friendly way. Integrating it into a good mapping software would let you read about choices "on the fly" in the speed you need to do that.

Just a thought...
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #27
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I use the acer when I travel by air. Love it. It'a almost a real computer and sure beats the keyboards and screens on PDAs.

The problem with making a Never-Search for Camping is that the camping I want to know about are the boondocking freebie locations, not the KOAs!

Zep
I have the slightly older ACER with the 8.9" screen. I use in in the car for INTERNET via Verizon. I have a program called storm predator which displays weather radar real-time (or nearly). It kept us clear of some severe thunderstorm in Nebraska and Iowa this summer. Are there any programs that will give audio turn by turn instructions similar to my Garmin GPS?
I got my Toshiba Tablet PC out a couple of days ago, and dusted it off.
Right now it has my mapping programs on it. I just signed up to have the Good Sam campground software sent to me for free trail.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #28
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"Are there any programs that will give audio turn by turn instructions similar to my Garmin GPS?"

- Microsoft Streets & Trips
- Delorme Street Atlas
- Garmin Mobile PC... all work on laptops with a GPS receiver (USB)
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