driving directions/ GPS or maps

Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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driving directions/ GPS or maps

I will be in Spain in September and renting a car at the railstation in Sevilla and driving to Ronda and then later on to granada and dropping the car at the rail station there. A friend has offered to lend me his portable GPS system. Or is there a website where I can download easy and simple driving directions.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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Using a GPS the first time in France made a believer out of me; I would not drive in Europe without one now.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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Look at Google maps.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 09:45 PM
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GPS. But also take maps & study your route BEFORE you set out. As I found in Sicily, sometimes the GPS likes to take you on a scenic route . . .

And always advise your navigator (the one in the passenger seat) about your general route.

Ian
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 01:19 AM
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I run a hotel and see many guests arriving with or without a GPS.
Points about using a GPS.
· It is ok but remember to copy the co-ords before you leave for your destination. Sometimes the place you are travelling to is not listed on the system so impossible to find.
· Do not turn off; observe where you are going and where you are. Do not just listen to the voice saying left here etc. this way when things go wrong you will get lost so easily.
· Have the most up to date maps loaded road infrastructure alters quickly. That includes new one-way roads renumbering or new highways.
· To see the difference of seeing what is in the GPS system look at Google maps. Use the map and satellite overlay. They you can get a feel of how good or bad the GPS information can be. A lot of minor roads in Spain are not in the system. So if you want to get out into the countryside then purchase a good map too.
· If there are diversions for road works or an accident then the GPS becomes useless as it will keep repeating the same message, turn around turn around. Again this is where you will need a map. This is another good instance where observing your location will come in handy.
· Have a map as a back up as you can still get lost. Why? See all the above…

For on line route planners use Googlemaps, as Bob has stated, or use this one http://www.guiarepsol.com/es_es/home/


Personally I prefer the wife to navigate and use a map. But she is very good map-reader so that is a big advantage for me. GPSs has a long way to go before I purchase one.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 08:01 PM
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Does your friend's GPS system already have a map of Spain? Or will you need to buy them?

I use both: GPS and driving directions I've printed off the Internet from sites like www.viamichelin.com or www.mappy.com. Last trip my GPS suddenly forgot it had maps of Western Europe.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 08:17 PM
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GPSs has a long way to go before I purchase one.

They does?

Mine doesn't. I've used Microsoft.com/AutoRoute in Europe for several years, with none of the issues you raise above. Maybe you need to look at either a) better hardware b) better software, or c) better map data.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Microsoft? Hardly convincing argument in my books, sorry. Anybody else wish to convince me to spend a load of dosh for nothing?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Not interested in trying to convince anyone, but I've never had much trouble with my TomTom GPS in either Europe or the US. The occasional questionable routing or minor trouble finding the address, but light years ahead of using a map.

I mean, one is worried about a GPS map being out of date, but would rely on a map that was likely printed around the same time? And minor roads? It would take one hell of a map to hold more data than the GPS. You would almost certainly need to buy a full-fledged, detailed map book - the type that includes town by town maps for a sector.

I'm also curious how the maps would really help you avoid an accident or other blockage any better than a GPS. Despite the claims above, the GPS does not keep saying turn around. It will calculate a new route relatively quickly. Indeed, my TomTom allows you to punch in the section of the route that you want to avoid and provides you new directions from where you are - I assume this is a standard feature on any decent GPS. And if you are using Google maps or the like, then you won't even have much information to work your way around it.

One should probably keep a map on-hand, for emergencies, but I don't think that any of the reasons noted above are cause to choose a map over a GPS, nor do they even remotely begin to diminish the utility of the GPS.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 02:22 PM
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Well. I always travel with a very good map. BUT after two trips to Europe, France and Portugal, I won't be leaving my GPS home.
I have to say we had relatively few problems with ours.

Robespierre. I think you have a valid point with your suggesting the Microsoft software. But I don't take my computer with me on vacation. I just do not care to travel with my laptop. The GPS fits easily in my purse. And no taking it out at security checkpoints, either. Just my opinion.

I think that the GPS gave me a lot more freedom to just let myself go while driving. And I also appreciated the traffic warnings for speed traps.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 03:03 PM
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I am still not convinced by the last posters. I speak from experiences of 100s of GPS users. From all the guest that arrive at my house it is the GPS users that get lost or are late. They ALL use the reasons given above. As I said I do not have one.
I cannot see why you should fork out several hounds of Pounds Dollar or Euros for something and then use a paper copy backup system. If it is infallible, as you say then no paper back up would be required.

A GPS in Spain cannot be operated whilst moving so please do not reconfigure your route whilst driving.

Perhaps posters would be interested to know that GPS systems do not give all the details of speed traps, the system will never warn you about the mobile ones that can be set up for just a few hours and then moved on to a new location.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 03:17 PM
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A GPS in Spain cannot be operated whilst moving so please do not reconfigure your route whilst driving.

As if flipping through your map is a better option. Whatever the law says, if you are so stuck in traffic that you need to determine a new route, tapping 5 times on your GPS, which is in your line of sight through the windshield, is far less problematic than flipping through a book of maps trying to find and plot a new route.

Perhaps posters would be interested to know that GPS systems do not give all the details of speed traps, the system will never warn you about the mobile ones that can be set up for just a few hours and then moved on to a new location.

Perhaps posters would be interested to know that maps do not give all the details of speed traps, the map will never warn you about the mobile ones that can be set up for just a few hours and then moved on to a new location.

It isn't that GPS units don't have their deficiencies, it is that you keep bringing up complaints about the GPS that are equally or, in most cases, more serious with regards to maps.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 03:24 PM
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I have used GPSs for years in rentals for business. My own TomTom is new, so this is the 1st vacation that it has come along. I would rate it near-indispensible.

Just a quick example: In Siracusa, Sicily I came in on a main road from the hwy to the town center. The town center is a traffic island that is the intersection of about 8 roads. It was jammed. There must have been a 100 + cars, trucks & buses in motion 3 – 4 lanes deep. As I dove into this madness, my GPS was calmly telling me to take the 4th exit. I missed it the 1st time because I wasn’t aggressive enough & went around again. The GPS immediately re-adjusted & gave me the new countdown. This time I got the right exit & I was a happy driver. Reading street signs would NOT have been an option in that madness. Following a map would have been useless unless it was a huge town map & my co-pilot had studied it intensely. And this was just one instance, there were many more . . .

Ian
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