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Thread: Skip the GPS for Google Maps Navigation

  1. #31
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    Ditto on the no cell service, no Google Maps. When you need it most it is not available. I have a new HTC smart phone operating on T-Mobile's network. Google Maps is a convenience but it is no where near as quick and easy to use as my Garmin Zumo even in the heart of Denver where I get full 3G speed..
    I get knocked down, But I get up again, You're never going to keep me down - Chumbawamba

    Denver, CO - '05 R1200RT, '06 F650 GS Dakar, 2006 Yamaha WR450F

  2. #32
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    My company-issued Crackberry has TelNav (for which my company pays $9.95 per month!), and while it is handy, it can be very annoying. One thing the REALLY chaps my ass about it is the fact that the brains are elsewhere and it must access that remote-server trough the mobile network...causing lags that are sometimes bad enough to make me miss a turn because I'm still waiting for the next direction to download!

    I like my Zumo better in most regards, but it has weaknesses too...its method for inputting addresses is much more cumbersome than that of TelNav, and I learned in the field that it doesn't have an easy way to reverse a route! That one was a real pain in the ass.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  3. #33
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    {snip}... it doesn't have an easy way to reverse a route!...{snip}
    I hear ya' Veg. What is so hard about reordering waypoints. I think this is a Garmin thing 'cause my Nuvi 550 is the same way.

    One thing I have started doing is to plan my routes in MapQuest and, with the Garmin Communicator plug-in, download the route to the GPS. If I am on an out and back trip through unfamiliar roads and have time restrictions, I reverse the route in MapQuest and download the return trip.

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a "Reverse Route" button. Hello? Garmin? You there?
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  4. #34
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    I have done the navigation with maps and with a GPS.

    I always plan the trip with maps, usually on Google Maps, and print out the route to carry as a backup.

    GPS is a great thing for me because I am somewhat directionally challenged. If I have maps, I'm fine. The thing I like about having a GPS is that it allows me to relax and enjoy the trip. With maps, I am always looking for the next turn and if I miss the turn, I have to backtrack and get back on the same route as the map. I have missed turns using maps that cost me 15 minutes or more. I have missed turns with the GPS and it has never cost me more than a few minutes. Often, you can miss the turn and not lose any time at all because it automatically recalculates the route and you just keep moving without the need to backtrack.

    The thing I really like about the GPS is the freedom to explore. You can just head down a road that looks interesting and not worry about getting lost. This is particularly nice if you prefer the two lane highways and county roads, like I do. I don't have a problem riding on the interstate except for the boredom. I have taken extended trips on two lane highways where I only occasionally see another car. If the two lane road is parallel to an interstate, you may not see many cars at all. I like rolling through all the little towns and before the GPS it was easy to miss the turns in town you need to make just to stay on the same highway you are already on. It is amazing to me how many are just not marked.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  5. #35
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    I hear ya' Veg. What is so hard about reordering waypoints. I think this is a Garmin thing 'cause my Nuvi 550 is the same way.

    One thing I have started doing is to plan my routes in MapQuest and, with the Garmin Communicator plug-in, download the route to the GPS. If I am on an out and back trip through unfamiliar roads and have time restrictions, I reverse the route in MapQuest and download the return trip.

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a "Reverse Route" button. Hello? Garmin? You there?
    The older Garmins, my QuestII for example, did have a reverse route button. On the Zumo, I just look at the turquoise breadcrumb trail that is onscreen to reverse a route...you have to have the tracking feature on, but it is adequate for most back tracks for me...no audible turns however.

    But, I agree it is a feature they should have left available on the newer models
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  6. #36
    Registered User tweetbiker's Avatar
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    Try an iPad and have more big screen fun

    Lots of great comments. I sometimes print out google maps using the advanced no highways settings and drag the road around to where I want to go and print. Unfortunately, you cannot do this on an iPhone (or iPad for that matter). The iPhone works great for a quick where am I but doesn't do very well if you have traveled for hours and are now in a location without a data connection (frequent).

    When I purchased my iPad I couldn't wait to get it on the bike. The screen is huge versus the usual GPS units. I wrote it up here. http://www.henshall.com/stuart/2010/...k-for-certain/ One thing the iPad does do well is retain the map. I'm yet to "lose" having access to the map on it although my wifi version won't give me location if my mobile hotspot can't find good old AT&T. The 3G version will cure the location and has the potential to be a very effective GPS - although note you can't see it in the sun. Mapquest can provide turn by turn but not yet in an ipod format. iPhone upsized.

    Of note Nokia launched their Ovi Maps and these are downloaded to the phone. Thus a connection is not necessary for directions.

    So.... a dedicated bike GPS unit is definitely still the best choice, although if you can read a map and like to wander... these phones are getting pretty good. The iPad also provides all the satellite view, hybrid views, etc. and can offer details on the hotel etc too and a movie in the tent.

    Happy Riding!

  7. #37
    G Spot greggsnider's Avatar
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    GPS vs 3G (vs maps)

    In modern smartphones like the Droid, GPS and cellular/3G connectivity are completely different. GPS-enabled smarthphones have a dedicated chip for GPS functionality and do not rely on CDMA or GSM. With the GPS off, the phone determines location by triangulating from the cell towers to which it's connected, which is less accurate and subject to reception issues.

    One caveat about the Droid: it seems to require a celluar connection to get the initial GPS fix; after that, you can completely shut off data/cellular and use just GPS, which should circumvent poor reception issues. See http://tinyurl.com/2437sem for more info.

    That said - I think the Droid makes a lousy bike GPS, due to poor visibility in sunlight, size of touchscreen, mounting issues, battery life, etc. And fiddling with my phone while I'm riding - in gloves - would scare me senseless. I use good ol' paper maps for the bulk of navigation, and occasionally pull over and consult the Droid for "where the fugawi?" issues. It generally does a great job for that type of navigating out of wherever I wound up "by accident."
    G Spot
    '07 R1200RT
    "Get busy living or get busy dying"
    The 'G' Spot: talesfromthegspot.blogspot.com

  8. #38
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    G-Spot - does the Droid have all the maps in memory? If not - how does it obtain them as you move from map-area to map-area?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  9. #39
    G Spot greggsnider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    G-Spot - does the Droid have all the maps in memory? If not - how does it obtain them as you move from map-area to map-area?
    I use Verizon, so reception isn't an issue for me very often. But I love my Droid, so this thread got me thinking...and researching...

    Map images are not stored in memory, ala Garmin/TomTom. Map images are downloaded from the web whenever you search, show your present location, etc. Some map data is cached - you can see the 3-4 adjacent map screens and some zoom levels. But beyond that, new images are downloaded via 3G.

    I did some testing. 3G does the initial GPS fix, handles downloading new map screens, and looks up point-to-point directions. GPS is required for turn-by-turn spoken directions and for Garmin/TomTom-style screen display (showing the car icon and the highlighted blue 'route'). However: since the phone uses 3G to download and display any new map screens, the built-in GPS is a plus - but with no 3G service, the phone can't grab new maps, look up addresses, etc and is definitely less "full-function" than a standalone GPS.

    This got me thinking about GPS and offline maps. I'll post some links etc shortly.
    G Spot
    '07 R1200RT
    "Get busy living or get busy dying"
    The 'G' Spot: talesfromthegspot.blogspot.com

  10. #40
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashveratu View Post
    This is just a little FYI for those who are not familiar with Google Maps NAVIGATION which comes on certain "smart" phones that run on an operating system called Android. (version 2.0 and above)

    It is a fully feldged navigation system equal if not better to dedicated GPS devices from Garmin etc. It can give turn by turn directions and nice big visual cues. Since all current Android phones have bluetooth, bluetooth headsets work great with it.

    DISADVANTAGES: not waterproof and can not use the touchscreen with gloves on, at least those are the only ones I have run into so far.

    Most of the time, I will just pull up a map location on my Droid, hit navigate to it. Stick the phone in my pocket and let the directions stream over bluetooth to my headset in my Nolan N103......sometimes while listening to music.

    Still working out how to text while riding
    Good luck with all that and I hope you survive to post #6.

  11. #41
    Airhead #85 mymindsok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarddog View Post

    And, isn't that the reason we do this motorcycle thang in the first place?
    Yeah, sometimes.... But when you get a late start to the National Rally in Tennessee and then have to compensate for a break-down in the Rockies, having a GPS to help get you to your destination ASAP can be a lifesaver!

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