GPS advice

Old Aug 28th, 2018, 07:48 PM
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GPS advice

It has been suggested we either add gps to our car rental or download an app like tom tom go to guide us from Bordeaux to Saint Geyrac. Thoughts?
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 09:10 PM
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>>> It has been suggested
Did you ask for the reason?
What are you asking?
You have not used a GPS navigation before and want to know if you should get something?
Comparing car rental GPS (without tell us which rental company) vs. Tom Tom app?
Whether you need GPS at all to get to your destination? How would we know your navigation ability?
Whether you get something you have not mentioned?
Do you have a smart phone? Are you going to have mobile data access on the road?
Have you used google navigation at home?
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 10:05 PM
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The TomTom app is basically a TomTom GPS on your phone. Add the speedlimit app (I think only Android) and you're all set.

Personally I like Google maps better. You can still run the TomTom speed limit app over Google maps.

Having data will give you traffic and realtime rerouting. It's worth having.

No idea what the car company wants to rent a GPS but often you can buy one outright for the weekly rental.
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 10:23 PM
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We are traveling in France (Alsace&Lorraine, Burgundy) and Germany (Mosel River Valley) right now for a month. We rented a car from Europcar, and when we reserved, we chose a car that has GPS. Since we are using only back roads as much as possible, and staying in small villages, we really wanted to be sure we would have a good GPS, so we even brought along a small older Garmin loaded with European maps, just in case the car we may have ended up with didn’t have GPS, or (as we had been warned) there was a possibility of not being able to get one with directions in English.

We’re driving a Toyota with a great GPS ... Europcar sure came through for us. Can’t tell you how glad we are to have this GPS! The screen is big, and the directions are clear. Also having the upcoming turns displayed has been helpful. The GPS displays the speed limits in real time - coming in to the small villages, you don’t want to risk a citation for speeding. A few times we have heard a small chime sound, eventually realized the GPS was warning us of radar being used!

We have some Michelin maps with us, but they don’t show the tiny back streets. I suppose google maps could work, but having the larger screen has been really great.

So so many twists and turns and unmarked narrow streets! We have been in “recalculating” mode a zillion times. Highly recommend having a GPS if at all possible.

Last edited by scdreamer; Aug 28th, 2018 at 10:27 PM.
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 10:54 PM
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I use the "here we do" or the "Mapsme" app depending on using a car or cycling. Since these are both free why would you pay for GPS, just download before you go. Here tells you about speed cameras, note that France has gone through a programme of speed changes so update as late as possible (also an issue with any car GPS which rental companies may not have updated for)
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 10:56 PM
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If you are picking up Radar signals in France that is illegal, if your GPS map data is telling you, comparing your speed (as shown by GPS) with the local speed data file, then that is legal.

Dreamer, some of my favorite holiday places, in this weather you are lucky.
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler
If you are picking up Radar signals in France that is illegal, if your GPS map data is telling you, comparing your speed (as shown by GPS) with the local speed data file, then that is legal.

Dreamer, some of my favorite holiday places, in this weather you are lucky.
i bet the chime is for the cameras, not for radar. The symbol looked like what we might think is a radar device, but it could easily be a camera. We do see the speed limit, and also our speed (in red if we are over the limit).

Yes, you are right - these areas are most beautiful, and we have had great luck with pleasant weather. We still have almost three weeks ahead of us, but the time seems to be flying by.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 12:10 AM
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I think the chime sound is to tell you that you are going too fast.
Speed cameras use radar. It's illegal in France to get warnings of them and all GPS companies know that. There are other countries where it is illegal too.

If you use an app on your phone you can download maps before you leave home to save your data usage if you don't have a good data deal.
That said I am in France now and haven't turned off data and the navigation apps have barely affected my usage.

I doubt most car GPS will be updated for the lower speed limits in France.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 12:30 AM
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Use Waze. Based upon Goolge but adds traffic data too. It will tell you about accidents, queues etc.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 01:47 AM
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It's not rocket science. A paper Michelin map will get you there just fine. Be advised that GPS often doesn't work so well out here in the Périgord. Magdalenian Man likes to mess with your head.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 01:59 AM
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Thankfully paper map days are over for me and glad to have GPS, mostly I use Waze. The traffic info and rerouting around it is very useful, it works well in all the countries i have driven, down to the forest roads in Sweden to the remote area my mother lives in in France.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 02:04 AM
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For me, thankfully, paper maps are a routine part of my repertoire. I use them almost every day.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 02:10 AM
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For backroads driving, GPS is great. GPS showed us that some very small roads we had gone past many times, assuming they were private lanes, were actually C roads. Thanks to the GPS, we discovered some lovely scenery.

We don't care if we have GPS or not, so we don't ask for it. The rental desk usually offers it to us for a price, we turn them down, and then often find out that the car we get has GPS...at no charge.

We still prefer Google directions for highway driving since it shows slowdowns and tie-ups along the route, offers alternate routes, and updates the time to our destination.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 03:10 AM
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I use Waze on my iphone. It is not only a gps but provides ifo on congestion and alternate roads (hence the playwords 'Waze') and also tells you where (most of) te speedcameras are.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 04:39 AM
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We were also in Alsace and Chamonix this summer. Loved the GPS. We also had maps.me as a back up and used it offline but overall we liked the convenience of GPS. Worth the extra few bucks a day for us.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 05:01 AM
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We use Google maps and also bring along a paper map. We have been in areas of Italy that had not been mapped by GPS. We were 500 ft from our hotel and it kept telling us to recalculate, go back.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 05:08 AM
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Some confusion here, I'm pretty sure everyone is on board, but just to be clear:-

GPS is a satallite tracking system

Map apps allow you to use the GPS signal to find your way around, they don't need a phone signal to do it but they do need to be able to "see" some of the satallites.

To get the map part you either have to down load local maps when you have a wifi/phone signal and store in the unit, or do it live which requires a constant phone signal. Bought in hard box "GPS" systems do not always upload core data and often are out of date and potentially dangerous.

If you are getting any traffic signals on your app or hard wired "GPS" box then it gets those from the phone system and you need a phone signal for that.

Some apps./hard wired systems will let you plan your own routes, others merely offer some alternatives to a route, the benefit of most paper systems is you can decide to "drive along the ridge road, past the bella-vista and then stop at Aunt Betty's" such technology has yet to reach Silicon valley without a lot of extra coding (or what humans do pretty well without thinking).
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 05:29 AM
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I was so glad to see this post. You are doing exactly what we plan to do Spring 2019. Did you have any trouble picking up car at CDG? Did you get an International License to drive in France? Ty in advance.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 05:48 AM
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Waze works very well, but I still prefer paper maps.
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Old Aug 29th, 2018, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2
I think the chime sound is to tell you that you are going too fast.
Speed cameras use radar. It's illegal in France to get warnings of them and all GPS companies know that. There are other countries where it is illegal too.

If you use an app on your phone you can download maps before you leave home to save your data usage if you don't have a good data deal.
That said I am in France now and haven't turned off data and the navigation apps have barely affected my usage.

I doubt most car GPS will be updated for the lower speed limits in France.
Nope, the chime is not telling us we are going over the speed limit - it’s only chimed twice, both times we were well under the limit, and an icon appeared that was shaped like a rectangular box with a red “spray” coming out of one side. So, if it’s not radar or a camera, I wonder what it could be. If we are over the posted speed limit, the speed icon turns red, so I don’t think the chime has anything to do with that.

It appears that our GPS is in synch with all posted speed limit signs, as it switches to the new posted limit immediately.
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