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Old 11-29-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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Best GPS for Auto Navigation

For several years, I have used my Garmin StreetPilot III, and have been satisfied with its performance. However compared to newer units it is bulky and it is no longer supported. I recently bought a Nuvi 350 to replace it and have found its performance very inferior to the StreetPilot. Garmin has completely redone its mapping system and the current system is not compatible with older units. I don't know if the new maps or the logic in the Nuvi is the problem, but the routing is often very inappropriate. If I had not been in familiar territory it would have messed me up good several times. For instance I was returning home on a two lane paved state highway which is by far the quickest route. The GPS instructed me to turn and travel 10 miles north and take a dirt road which paralleled the one I was on for 30 miles. On a recent trip from Denver to San Diego and back via I-70 and I-15, several times it instructed us to take an off ramp, cross the road below and then get on the on ramp to rejoin the freeway. It often and seemingly randomly would advise us not to exit on a off ramp unrelated to our route.
OK enough venting.
My request is for any suggestions of recent GPS units that are good at highway navigation.
Thanks,
Ken
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:17 PM   #2
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We just got a GPS in October, and before purchasing, I posted a similar question you may find helpful.

Shari
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:54 PM   #3
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I still favor looking at the maps myself and avoiding automatic directions. You can get a heck of a lot more information if you use moving map software on a laptop, like topographic maps, cultural maps (like the old Rand-Macnallys or state highway maps), or just plain old highway maps like at Mapquest. You can scan your own maps, or make maps from your GPS tracks.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...kup-32038.html

Here's one example of using Oziexplorer to display Google Earth KML files:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/770420-post11.html

And Google maps or LandSat photo maps here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/684048-post15.html

And topo maps here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/684052-post16.html

I have many of these maps of the 11 western states that I'm willing to share. You just need to be willing to dedicate a laptop to the task. A 60-gig hard drive is sufficient. Some time ago I had to divide my maps up between DVDs so I could use a 12-gig hard drive. Almost any PC laptop will work--the moving map processing and display can be done by even 10 year old processors. The only problem I've ever had was when accessing moving maps from a CD drive, which got pretty hot.

Zep
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
We just got a GPS in October, and before purchasing, I posted a similar question you may find helpful.

Shari
Thanks Shari,
I checked out that thread and got some good info.
Ken
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
I still favor looking at the maps myself and avoiding automatic directions. You can get a heck of a lot more information if you use moving map software on a laptop, like topographic maps, cultural maps (like the old Rand-Macnallys or state highway maps), or just plain old highway maps like at Mapquest. You can scan your own maps, or make maps from your GPS tracks.......................................
I have many of these maps of the 11 western states that I'm willing to share. You just need to be willing to dedicate a laptop to the task. A 60-gig hard drive is sufficient. Some time ago I had to divide my maps up between DVDs so I could use a 12-gig hard drive. Almost any PC laptop will work--the moving map processing and display can be done by even 10 year old processors. The only problem I've ever had was when accessing moving maps from a CD drive, which got pretty hot.

Zep
I wonder if these maps would work on my blackberry.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium View Post
I still favor looking at the maps myself and avoiding automatic directions. You can get a heck of a lot more information if you use moving map software on a laptop, like topographic maps, cultural maps (like the old Rand-Macnallys or state highway maps), or just plain old highway maps like at Mapquest. You can scan your own maps, or make maps from your GPS tracks.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...kup-32038.html

Here's one example of using Oziexplorer to display Google Earth KML files:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/770420-post11.html

And Google maps or LandSat photo maps here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/684048-post15.html

And topo maps here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/684052-post16.html

I have many of these maps of the 11 western states that I'm willing to share. You just need to be willing to dedicate a laptop to the task. A 60-gig hard drive is sufficient. Some time ago I had to divide my maps up between DVDs so I could use a 12-gig hard drive. Almost any PC laptop will work--the moving map processing and display can be done by even 10 year old processors. The only problem I've ever had was when accessing moving maps from a CD drive, which got pretty hot.

Zep
Hi Zep,
Since I am a belt and suspenders type guy, I also have a lot of maps along. I was an aircraft navigator in the Navy, so I always like double checks on my fixes. It seems that roadsigns are slowly getting more ambiguous, especially in California with no mile markers and made for locals only signs.
I also have a laptop mounting pedestal for the truck, but it takes a lot of room, so I haven't convinced my wife to have it in the truck when we are both there. I can't image why, but she thinks I take along too many gadgets. Before auto GPSs came along I used to navigate with a laptop, mapping software, and my hand held GPS plugged into the laptop. I have a ham radio license and have software that broadcasts my position and also receives and plots the positions of other hams who are equipped similarly. Too bad all airstream owners aren't hams.
In any case thanks for the references, I will check them all. I will let you know if I want to mooch any maps from you.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
...It seems that roadsigns are slowly getting more ambiguous, especially in California with no mile markers and made for locals only signs.
Funny, I had noticed that and thought maybe I was just paranoid.

Quote:
...I have a ham radio license and have software that broadcasts my position and also receives and plots the positions of other hams who are equipped similarly. Too bad all airstream owners aren't hams.
... I will let you know if I want to mooch any maps from you. ...
Like AAS for ships? Same format, etc.? Oziexplorer supports AAS strings, just like NEMA strings, if you've got the interface from the AAS receiver to your laptop.

Mooch away. I'm just down the road.

Zep
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray View Post
I wonder if these maps would work on my blackberry.
You might find some mappoing ap that would work using the Blackberry operating system. The maps are row-ordered TIF files (originally), just like the UGS digital maps. The modern Ozi can also use almost any standard format, eg, PNG, JPEG, GIF, and some specific formats, like BSB for coastal charts. It also has some method to use Google Maps if you are on line.

I've managed to store digital maps for the entire CONUS at what is labeled "level 10". Here's Point Reyes, CA, at level 10. I thought you might like to see South Padre at level 10, having just been there...

Click image for larger version

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and for the western states at a minium of "level 12." I also have all major CONUS cities at level 12, and some up to level 15 (Seattle, Denver, LA, DC, Boston, others). Here's Point Reyes and Kansas City at level 12. If you have to drive through a city, these maps can get you out the other side as expeditiously as possible.

Click image for larger version

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ID:	91645

Smaller scale maps, like level 8 or 6, are great for trip planning on a macro level, then switch to more detailed digital maps or very detailed topo maps for selecting actual camp sites, etc. These maps can be viewed using any graphics viewer that is capable of displaying JPEGs, but you don't get to plot routes or download tracks if you don't have a mapping program.

Ozi works on either Windows or Windows CE.

Zep
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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If you're willing to dedicate a laptop to your navigation needs you'll perhaps like Never-Search.

I have been using and endorsing Never-Search for a couple of years now.

You can download a free trial but the robust consumer version is only $39.95.

NeverSearch Mapping

I use a proprietary Golf version for sales reps.

This software keeps me from folding and for the most part keeps me from getting lost. None of the gps mapping software providers can be 100% accurate 100% of the time. Most of them depend upon outsourced map providers.

Take a free trial of Never-Search and let us know what YOU think!
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:21 PM   #10
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I have a TomTom. It is great if you know where you are going, but if you rely on it alone be ready for some surprises. Seriously, for interstate driving it is OK, but for back roads it is a joke. It only give you a choice of shortest or fastest route. You can program your own specific routing but it is cumbersome to do it. I have a hand held Garmin I use for hiking and it is better at letting you program your specific route than the TomTom. Also, I have found that the map database is way behind, even with current updates. I would not buy a TomTom.
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:51 PM   #11
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Gps.

Garmin 750 from Walmart..... Great deal, mine has taken me all over America maps up dated every year from your laptop.

Bryon.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:42 PM   #12
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We bought a Very Slighty used TOM TOM 3rd Edition. It wasn't a great deal,but when the owner upgrade cars his new one had a built in.We have only used it a couple of times but it helps find addresses some times. I still rely on good old maps for plotting a trip. But I got tired of overshooting campgrounds and then having to find 40 acres to turn my rig around. So I figured I'd get my money back in the fuel I save,LOL.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:36 PM   #13
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We've had a Garmin Nuvi for about 2 years and had pretty good luck with her.
(It's name is Luise)
I've seen Luise get confused a couple of times, like taking a U-turn, then a right turn, instead of a left turn, and some other wierdness. Normally we can see the wierdnes on the screen up ahead and adjust accordingly.


3 Things I like about the Nuvi, you can set you vehicle type under the navigation screen to Car/motorcycle, pedestrian, or truck, and it will route you accordingly.
I keep it set to Truck when towing and that usually keeps me from having to do a U-turn on a 1 lane street or going under a 7' bridge.

You can set it to avoid Tolls, ferries, dirt roads, or freeways.
Once, when navigating dirt roads between Lobster Valley and south Salem Oregon, she did dead-end us in somebodys backyard at the end of a logging road deep into blue-tarp country at 2:00 AM. The yard was full of derilict vehicles and I wondered if they all used a nuvi once to.....

And third, one of the downloadable vehicles is a Chipolte Burrito. Which features a burrito wrapped in crumpled aluminum foil, which closely resembles our banged up old Avion
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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Thanks

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
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