Getting our GPS system

Old Sep 15th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Getting our GPS system

Well, we leave 3 weeks from Wed. and we need to get a GPS for Italy....(and the US, I guess too!) but mostly Italy. Our trip is to Rome, Florence, Tuscany, CT, and Venice. We will have a car when we leave Florence and then turn it in in Venice. It has been HIGHLY recommended to us to get one...Can anyone suggest what they have liked? And where is the best place to buy from?
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Old Sep 15th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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I bought a TomTom One complete with European maps on ebay. I chose this make and model as TomTom is European and the price was right.

I found it amazingly accurate
on a week of driving through France. I was prepared not to like it but am unlikely to go without again.

Try to get one before you go so you have time to get used to it.

Rob
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Old Sep 15th, 2008, 09:31 PM
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I have a Garmin Nuvi [maps preloaded] and it has worked well.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 04:56 AM
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I bought a TomTom 920go also on Ebay. The company just released the TomTom 930 so the 920 should be under $300 now. Costco.com was selling them recently. An option is an antenna that receives traffic updates to help you avoid jams, I didn't get it (can purchase it later if I want it). It has full European and North American maps pre installed. It has walking and biking modes as well as driving (make sure you are in the right mode so it doesn't suggest you walk on the freeway or drive the wrong way on a one-way). You can preinstall points of interest and destinations while you are still at home.

I had driven multiple times in Europe before I bought our GPS. The last trip without one was a trip to Italy. In cities or towns, virtually no street has a sign (even though they have names and the buildings have "virtual" numbers). On the autostrada, exits are marked with towns or cities along the route. Only rarely do they list the town or city you would expect, which leaves you scrambling with a map to see if those are places you want to go toward. A GPS in Italy will be worth it's weight in Gold.

I've heard good things about the Garmin Nuvi's also. Any model that ends with 70 (270,370,670,etc.) will have European maps preinstalled.

I chose TomTom because I heard they do better with pronunciations of streets and towns using languages other than English. Both seem to do a decent job of getting you to your destination although they often don't pick the route that a local would pick. I think they give more preference to staying on highways (although you can tell the TomTom to avoid tolls and it will pick a different route for you).
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 05:19 AM
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My brand new Garmin nüvi 670 did not work well in England, because European cities have a different structure than American cities.

IMO, TomTom is superior to Garmin - at least in Europe. TomTom has models with preinstalled maps of Europe and North America.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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I have made some tests with my Garmin. In ALL European countries, it cannot locate small villages. It is a systematic problem, because the Garmin programmers have no idea of small villages in Europe.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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I have a TomTom and it worked well in France, Spain, Denmark, the US, Belgium, and elsewhere. It is currently on the fritz, but I suspect that is just the nature of portable electronics.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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We haven't tried our Tom Tom One in Europe yet, but it worked great walking us around Boston and getting us back to our hotel. I love the different modes it has to get you places, such as driving, biking, and walking.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 08:03 AM
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I would recommend a Nuvi 760. I am currently using it in Europe and estern europe without too many problems.

Whatever you get, make sure it has Voice Navigation of streets, that is, that it spreaks the names of the dtreets, as in: Turn right on Rue Magreb. If you have to look at the creen to find the names, it is a pain. FM reception for traffic updates also helps, and the Nuvi has notices when you enter speed traps.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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I had a TomTom 930 for a recent trip to Italy and loved it.

I set it to pronounce street names and I must say the pronunciation was hilarious! That is because the computer voice was American English and so did not read Italian names correctly. I imagine future versions will correct this problem -entertaining as it was. Be sure you also set it to display the name of the street you need to turn on, so you won't be relying on fractured Italian.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 12:28 PM
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I have Garmin 270 which comes with the Euro maps pre-loaded. Got mine at Costco and it was about $100 less then the retail stores wanted for it at the time. Works well.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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My TomTom One works MUCH better in Italy than it does in New York and New Jersey.

During our last trip (to Piedmont) my wife and I found ourselves on different sleep schedules so I would get up early every morning and just drive toward whatever looked nice for an hour or so and the TomTom would get me right back to our hotel. It allowed me to get amazing morning photographs (like this one: http://s31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...edAlba0075.jpg) and I got to see out-of-the-way places I otherwise wouldn't have.

I'll never travel without one again.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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After weeks of recent comparitive shopping and price watching between Garmin, Tom Tom and Magellan GPS models, I finally bit the bullet and bought a Tom Tom 1 XL last Friday night. I was literally taking it out of the box and setting it up the next morning while pulling out of the driveway at the start of a 3 day driving trip roaming the backroads of South Western Ontario and have only this to say : Great !

It was easy to set-up and use, very accurate, and the maps showed even the tiniest of country roads. Even bends in the road were announced besides showing on the map as you approached them. Miss a turn ? no problem. It quickly recalculates WITHOUT giving you a telling-off !

Whatever type you get, I'd highly recommend a 4.3" screen, and the 'Text to Speech' feature (announces the NAME of the streets and roads) - great for night driving when street names may be hard to read.

I won't leave home without mine now.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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Re the comment that Italian streets don't have their names displayed, could anyone tell me if street names are displayed on streets in Munich, Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov, Prague and Dresden?

We will be driving into and out of these cities in December for a week and had thought we could just get by with a map, rather than buying a GPS for one week's use. However if street names are not displayed that could be a real challenge.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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The Tom Tom 1 XL appears to come preloaded with US and Canada maps -- can it be upgraded to include Europe?
 
Old Sep 16th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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I got my Garmin Nuvi 370 last year before a trip to Germany and Belgium. Although the pronounciation of street names can be either hilarious or confusing,the benefits of GPS are great. For example, I would arrive at my destination in Munich and drive around looking for parking - then walk with the Garmin to find my way back to our lodging...parking can be scarce during Oktoberfest!

Ozziez - street signs may be on the corners of buildings rather than on street signs as in the USA.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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We took our TomTom, with the European map, on our August trip to Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. It worked very well. The car we rented also had GPS. My 20 year-old son was the navigator. I did all the driving. At times I had 3 people telling me which direction to go! My son would tell me something completely different. I would ask, "which one of you should I listen to?" Or he would say, "no, no, don't listen to them!"
He also took TomTom on our walks through Amsterdam, Haarlem, Brussels, Luxembourg and Dusseldorf. We found a lot of the sites with it, such as the Anne Frank House. Sometimes it wouldn't work but I would tell my son to walk faster or run a few feet. It was all great fun.
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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" The Tom Tom 1 XL appears to come preloaded with US and Canada maps -- can it be upgraded to include Europe? "

You can download European maps onto it. I just haven't had mine long enough to figure out how, but the instruction manual says that you have to go to the TomTom website and download them from there. The unit comes with a USB port connector and I think you have to pay for the download, but its available.


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