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Thread: Have the Forum folks considered opening a GPS forum

  1. #1
    Ahead of my time bigdelta's Avatar
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    Exclamation Have the Forum folks considered opening a GPS forum

    a thread for GPS users?I just got my feet wet with a used Garmin and I'm sure there are many riders out there who have vast amount of knowlege to share with us GPS n00bs.
    They could post best/favorite rides,help with n00b questions,make recommendations from personal experiences,ect.
    John
    ATGATT
    "It is better to have seen a place once... than to have heard of it a thousand times"

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    Registered User belquar's Avatar
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    I would be interested to see why folks like them so much. I don't get it. Nothing against those who have them. I just don't know what the attraction is. I am a map guy. I like to look at maps. Stopping to refold my map is a break usually when I am ready.

    We used GPS in the Army. Had a practical application there. Getting to point A, B, C when not on any roads. So a backcountry application makes sense but having one while riding on the highway....DUNNO.

    I would be interested in everyones reasons.

    Brian

  3. #3
    Registered User Fritzc's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Belquar
    I would be interested to see why folks like them so much. I don't get it. Nothing against those who have them. I just don't know what the attraction is. I am a map guy. I like to look at maps. Stopping to refold my map is a break usually when I am ready.

    We used GPS in the Army. Had a practical application there. Getting to point A, B, C when not on any roads. So a backcountry application makes sense but having one while riding on the highway....DUNNO. I would be interested in everyones reasons.Brian
    Well! I finally bought one. It was a toy I just had to have. After all, Mommy, everyone else has one! I bought a refurbished Garmin Street Pilot II Delux from eBay. I'm having a lot of fun with it. Do I need it? Just as much as I need a motorcycle!!!
    There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. -Logan Pearsall Smith, essayist (1865-1946)

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    Registered Voter JWHITE518's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belquar
    I would be interested to see why folks like them so much. I don't get it.
    1. I like having a map in my field of vision while riding. I can see where I am (and what's coming up) at various zoom levels (few feet to 120 miles) and don't have to stop to look at a map. (IMO it's unsafe to look down at a tankbag map for more than a couple seconds. That's not long enough to really comprehend it.)

    2. I like planning routes in advance. If I know I'm going from A to B I can experiment with various routes before leaving. I'll program the GPS with a route and follow it. I might also throw in a couple alternate routes. If the whim strikes to improvise, no problem you can still improvise. The advantage to letting the GPS guide you while underway is that you don't have to navigate very much. Just enjoy the scenery and let your mind do its other work. Not worrying about where do I have to turn next and how far til that turn comes up.

    3. It's nice having a list of interesting places at your fingertips. Example: a couple weeks back I was coming home from Gerlach. I was hungry, and in the mood for some teriyaki chicken. Pressed a few buttons and the machine guided me to the perfect restaurant just a few minutes off the highway. I would have never found that place otherwise, and would have ended up settling for whatever I could find.

    4. It's a fun little gadget.

    Paper maps still have a purpose. I still use them while planning trips, just to get an overall sense of an area. But I don't use them at all while underway. They stay folded in the tankbag for backup in case of GPS failure. I might look at them in a restaurant or hotel room.
    Jerry White
    96 R1100RS

  5. #5
    Don't forget your towel
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    I'll second Jerry's comments and add that I find having GPS helps a lot when traveling off the beaten path. I turn on the tracking feature when heading out on logging/forest service roads so I can keep track of where I am and how to get back out. I also load the good routes into my computer at home so I can go back or share.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Custom User Title USERNAME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdelta
    a thread for GPS users?I just got my feet wet with a used Garmin and I'm sure there are many riders out there who have vast amount of knowlege to share with us GPS n00bs.
    They could post best/favorite rides,help with n00b questions,make recommendations from personal experiences,ect.
    John
    you bring up a very tricky question - how to store and retrieve information. it deserves a thoughtful response.

    disclaimer: i don't make the final decision on this sort of thing, and below is merely my opinion.

    the rub is in how specific to make the forums and sub forums. for example, we have a forum for "oilheads" but we do not have sub-forums for r1100, r1150, and r1200 bikes. we also do not have sub forums for r1150r, r1150rs, r1150rt, and r1150gs bikes. it's all just sorta lumped in there. this makes sense for a couple of reasons:

    1. these are all fairly similar.
    2. there is not an overwhelming amount of posting/information coming in regarding all the different oilhead bikes that it would cause a guy who owned (as an example) an RT to be unable to find RT-relevant information.

    the gear forum fails criteria #1, (gloves, helmets, GPS units, tents, kermit chairs, and boots are all very different things. but it passes #2. there just isnt so much information that it is hard to find current threads about GPS units. it's actually very easy.

    for example, if i go to "gear" and view all threads with activity in the past two days, there are only five threads. it seems easy to me to scan these titles to see if they are relevant to GPS, it takes only a few seconds. in the past 7 days, there are only 25 active threads. again - pretty easy to scan them. from this i conclude that if there is a discussion of GPS units occuring, it's going to be really hard to miss. (i'm like you in this regard bigdelta - i'm a gps enthusiast.)

    secondly, if i want to see the *old* discussions on GPS units (this is germane to my experience BTW, because there was a time when i was researching them) all i have to do is use the search tool. i put "GPS" in the search term field, and i select "gear" as the forum to look in, and i get a bunch of responses.





    you can see that 68 threads come back with a GPS relevant title. the toal number of gear threads is 1372. this means that roughly 5% of the threads in "gear" have to do with GPS. in glancing through the other threads, there are some misplaced threads (i saw 3 in "clubhouse" related to GPS units) and then there are usually discussions in model-specific forums like how to wire/mount one on an airhead/oilhead/kbike.

    by using the search tool i have in effect created a GPS forum.

    it's a pretty neat trick. i use the search tool frequently to tune the way the information in the forums comes at me, but i realize that there may be users out there that think better in terms of heirarchy - they want to hunt for things where they are "supposed" to be. anyone who has ever worked in an office where more than one person filed information knows that if people arent REALLY disciplined, the "supposed" to place is is different for everyone.

    so there is a good argument to keep the list of forums as it is, and to not create a separate forum for GPS discussions simply because there is not a lot of activity on that topic right now. if lots and lots and lots of GPS discussions occurred, then my opinion would likely change and i think the forum administrators would notice the increase of discussion.

    does this make sense? this discussion can also set off a *huge* philosphical debate on the nature of information and how it should be managed. i am of the conflicted opinion that electronic information can be stored anyway, anyhow, and all that matters is the way this information is retrieved, but i also realize that lots of people think heirarchically in terms of real-life filing cabinets. in short, people think differently about where things are "suuposed" to be placed.

    here is the analogy i use for myself. the people below each have to make a decision about what to do with the mail, bills, paperwork, etc that they have in their life.

    person1: they have a physical filing cabinet. they have a folder for phone bills, credit card bills, grocery receipts, etc. in each of these folders they have carefully filed all the documents that pertain to this. when they need to look at an phone bill, it is easy for them - they go straight to that folder.

    person2: every day when they get their mail, they just chuck it into a spare bedroom. there is a HUGE pile of mail in that bedroom - all jumbled together. it's just a heap. person2 has a pet monkey that will retrive whatever he wants, instantly. so when he needs to see an old phone bill, he says to the pet monkey, "phone bill. october." presto! the monkey produces the bill. when he is done looking at the bill he just chucks it back into the room.

    the pet monkey is the way the internet/electronic information works. information is all over the place, and the machine retrieves it and organizes it and presents it based on the retrieval request.

    both systems have pros and cons - if person1 sucks at filing, then he will misplace his phone bills. if person2 sucks at developing good queries (like saying "bill" instead of "phone bill") he will get crappy output. and people's brains work in different ways.

    so what we've got here on the forums is a hybrid way of organizing all this information about BMW motorcycling that is flexible and can evolve to meet the needs of the users.

    i hope this wasnt too long-winded and made some sense.

  7. #7
    Ahead of my time bigdelta's Avatar
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    Exclamation It made a great deal of sense

    and I appreciate the effort in explaining the search function re:GPS.
    I have read all 68 threads regarding GPS,some relevent,some not,before posting my request.I would think a forum on GPS would be a central location for the "GPS heads" to locate all info on the MOA forums.I'm sure space is a consideration here as well,but helping us 5%ers would be a nice addition here.
    Some may be intimitated by a GPS and not want to spend the money w/o a basis of info beforehand,or have a place to go w/a question or 10 after taking the plunge.

    The earlier and eloquent response on why a GPS is appealing to a map user is much appreciated.I too am a map collector/user and have over 200 as we speak,but the sheer wonder of info contained in even older units is amazing.
    If you're lost,a map CANNOT help you nearly as much as a GPS can.And I've honed my mapreading skills since the Dark Ages.

    Hopefully we can start a new forum for GPS users.
    John
    Last edited by bigdelta; 09-27-2006 at 03:53 AM.
    ATGATT
    "It is better to have seen a place once... than to have heard of it a thousand times"

  8. #8
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Perhaps instead of a specific GPS heading, perhaps a "Tech" or "Gadgets" heading would be more appropriate. It could run the gamut from GPS's, satelite radio, computers, intercoms, etc. Basically all of our beloved electronic toys, motorcycle related that is.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  9. #9
    Registered User belquar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite518
    1. I like having a map in my field of vision while riding. I can see where I am (and what's coming up) at various zoom levels (few feet to 120 miles) and don't have to stop to look at a map. (IMO it's unsafe to look down at a tankbag map for more than a couple seconds. That's not long enough to really comprehend it.)

    2. I like planning routes in advance. If I know I'm going from A to B I can experiment with various routes before leaving. I'll program the GPS with a route and follow it. I might also throw in a couple alternate routes. If the whim strikes to improvise, no problem you can still improvise. The advantage to letting the GPS guide you while underway is that you don't have to navigate very much. Just enjoy the scenery and let your mind do its other work. Not worrying about where do I have to turn next and how far til that turn comes up.

    3. It's nice having a list of interesting places at your fingertips. Example: a couple weeks back I was coming home from Gerlach. I was hungry, and in the mood for some teriyaki chicken. Pressed a few buttons and the machine guided me to the perfect restaurant just a few minutes off the highway. I would have never found that place otherwise, and would have ended up settling for whatever I could find.

    4. It's a fun little gadget.

    Paper maps still have a purpose. I still use them while planning trips, just to get an overall sense of an area. But I don't use them at all while underway. They stay folded in the tankbag for backup in case of GPS failure. I might look at them in a restaurant or hotel room.
    Thanks for your input Jerry. My GS actually had a hardwired antenna on it for a Garmin. It was all wired in with xm, radar detector, and PIAAs. Only thing I left on was the PIAA's. Big rats nest of wires and stuff in my garage. I can't really afford any of those particular items at this time in my life so I just took it all off. You points are all great ones. Maybe one day I will get one. For now, I will just have to let you folks with them do the exploring, post up your ride reports and then follow your trail at a later date.

    Brian

  10. #10
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belquar
    I would be interested to see why folks like them so much. I don't get it. Nothing against those who have them. I just don't know what the attraction is. I am a map guy. I like to look at maps. Stopping to refold my map is a break usually when I am ready.

    We used GPS in the Army. Had a practical application there. Getting to point A, B, C when not on any roads. So a backcountry application makes sense but having one while riding on the highway....DUNNO.

    I would be interested in everyones reasons.

    Brian
    I like to know where the food and gas is. I punched in "Subway" and the thing led me right to one. Also great for a quick check on exits including rest areas...
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  11. #11
    Motorcycleton
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    Although I don't have a bike-mounted GPS, I have used the DeLorme software and small GPS with my laptop in a car. I can see where the GPS would be useful, if not too distracting.

    But I must say that I believe that this entire thread more appropriately belongs in the section "Gear" rather than "Campfire".

  12. #12
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    I think it would be better to look at sites that are specific to the gear you want information about, like groundspeak for GPS.
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/
    Look under GPS units and software.

  13. #13
    Registered User RedHot's Avatar
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    When I first moved to the Northern VA area - I had a Garmin 60CS. I was sooooo very thankful for it!!! The DC area is sooooo traffic heavy and very fast moving. Plus there are all kinds of one way streets and exits all over the place - it is very confusing for someone who grew up in mid-illinois where there is nothing but corn fields to ride around!!

    Recently I found a store online that had a Garmin 2610 for $375!! I couldn't pass it up - so I upgraded. This is even easier to use in the car because of the speaker system.

    I also agree with Jack - You can find out what restaurants are in the area and hotels. To me it's a lot better than a map.

    From what I've heard from different people - the map people LOVE their maps and the GPS people LOVE their GPS' - I think it's just what you are used to??

    Plus - one of my favorite features - the Waypoints - Sometimes - just out riding around and come up on a cool road or a beautiful view or someone's house - whatever the case may be - and then you just stop and enter that particular spot as a "WayPoint"!! Now you can find it again - anytime you want

    I love my new GPS!!!

    Hope you enjoy yours!!

    Ride Safe!
    Tina
    Tina's RedHot ROCKET!- 2010 K1300GT I just love him!
    2005 R1200ST totaled
    BMW Bikers of Metropolitan Washington DC
    "Jesus is coming!! LOOK BUSY"

  14. #14
    TNSTAAFL Troutluck's Avatar
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    A "cartography" section might also include discussions about shortcuts, road conditions, etc.
    Jack Pate | '09G650GS | '95 R100RT | Previously: '00R1100R, '87K75T
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  15. #15
    Ahead of my time bigdelta's Avatar
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    Excellent idea

    Quote Originally Posted by widebmw
    I think it would be better to look at sites that are specific to the gear you want information about, like groundspeak for GPS.
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/
    Look under GPS units and software.
    But I would like a forum on OUR site for member's use and to share info among ourselves.That is an good site that I have visited several times but is primarily for geocaching.Their for sale area is good too but mostly for handhelds and topos.
    ATGATT
    "It is better to have seen a place once... than to have heard of it a thousand times"

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