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GPS and Maps in Ireland

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Oct 7th, 2012, 05:03 AM
  #1
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GPS and Maps in Ireland

During the planning phases of our just-concluded four week trip to Ireland I participated in some discussion on this board about the value of a GPS. Based on that discussion GPS units clearly have got a lot of resistance to their use. During our early days of travel together my wife and I came to the understanding that she would be my navigator and that my two jobs were to furnish her the quality maps she needed and to follow her directions explicitly. By the former, that meant I was to assure that I got her maps with the appropriate level of detail. By the latter, it meant that I was not to improvise on my own whenever I felt like it. I agreed and we formed a splendid team.

About ten years ago we were traveling in Michigan on holiday and I rented a Hertz car with their Neverlost GPS system. It was an experiment which met some resistance from her. She said, “I can do anything this little cookie can do.” She changed her tune when that little cookie found us some lunch spots in an area outside Ann Arbor where we hadn’t a clue. Thus, Cookie joined us on our travels and we are now on our third iteration of a technology that seems to have very few limits.

On this trip we took Cookie III, our new Garmin Nuvi 2460LMT, complete with voice command and full maps of Ireland including locations of safety cameras. Of course, not being nearly so dumb as I look I had also equipped my wife with the most current spiral bound road atlases from both Ordinance Survey Ireland and Michelin, the former having greater detail, the latter providing both a broader view and being easier to read. Each had its place.

For those of you who think a GPS is just a substitute for maps, I ask you to think again. Cookie found us fuel places, ATMs, and grocery stores when we needed them regardless of where we were. She also found us places for lunch, showed us where we were relative to where we wanted to be when we strayed from the planned route, and helped us to avoid dead-end streets when we were not actually using her guidance features. In addition, Cookie found us alternate routes, warned us when we were in potential safety camera range, and kept us advised as to the speed limit and, if we wanted, the elevation of the terrain, our estimated time of arrival, and a variety of other pieces of information of interest to us. With the voice command feature she also allowed us to do a good many of those functions without our ever having to put our hands on her.

My wife, remembering our first trip to Ireland 16 years ago, commented numerous times on this trip on how invaluable Cookie was to her. Her greatest compliment: “Let Cookie do it.”
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Oct 7th, 2012, 06:57 AM
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A great summary of how useful GPS can be. I also am amazed at how some people seem vehemently opposed to using them! I imagine they are the same types who didn't like the compass when it was introduced or who thought Mercator was out to lunch with his scratchings on pieces of paper! LOL

A GPS along with good maps is a useful tool indeed. We have 3 vehicles and there is a TomTom in each of them.
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Oct 7th, 2012, 09:03 AM
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Some of us who do not think they are great live 1 1/2 miles down a lane that GPS thinks has only one end.

People have to drive 5 miles to (drive past on a regular basis) the western end before they are 1 1/2 miles away at the eastern end. If missing that junction they are sent 6 miles to repeat the same scenario.

And yes living in Rural Ireland I have a map and Compass in the Glove box (just remember to be at least 5ft from the Car before using the compass)
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Oct 7th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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Nobody said they were perfect. Maps have errors too and people
misread perfectly good maps. Dismissing a perfectly useful technology because of a mislabeled dead end is short sighted.
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Oct 7th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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seven threads so far - - one short trip and you've started seven threads already . . . and have yet to talk about seeing anything???

When will we hear about your actual trip? . . . You did mention something about planning to produce 60+ threads - Seems awfully self indulgent.

Just sayin'
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Oct 7th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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Not short sighted just on the ground knowledge of rural Ireland and the shortcomings of satellite mapping. I have to give delivery drivers directions by phone, our visitors are told to turn off the sat nav but dont, then turn up an hour after they have passed within under 2 miles several times. Worse still out dated mapping caused the brother in law to take 6 hours to travel the 2 1/2 hours from Dublin Port.

Best Sat Nave for Ireland is not the TomTom its the JonJoe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoNNi6NuKbU
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Oct 7th, 2012, 02:42 PM
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There's nothing like a GPS to insure a pleasent trip. I find I don't really miss our bi-annual argument about my husband's inability to read a map.

A map and a gps is the way to go. Once we were staying outside of a little town and didn't think to grab the town map from the hotel. Big mistake! We came back at night and there was construction. I saw it in the day but thought the gps would guide us.
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Oct 7th, 2012, 02:45 PM
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BTW, I think the trip reports about GPS, bathrooms etc are useful. Everyone writes about whether or not they kissed the blarney stone.
Thanks BigBlue
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Oct 7th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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janisj, I suggest that you go back and read the current posts at my Red and Blue Introduction. You will note that I have retracted my original plan to submit detailed trip reports. In addition, I have asked Fodor to remove all the Red and Blue postings. So, if you're keeping score for some reason, I believe that the items which would remain are all stand-alone, separate, and, from the response I've seen so far, relevant to some members of this board. If what I have posted is not of interest to you personally, it might be a better use of your time to ignore them.

As to the ones to which I just referred, I am finding it difficult to imagine that they reflect self-indulgence on my part. They answer some of the very questions I had asked on this same board prior to our taking the trip. Had I had those answers prior to leaving I'd have been better informed. As you have not yet seen anything from me about where we stayed, how we got there, and what we saw, your suggestion about self-indulgence seems a little premature.

Just sayin'
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Oct 8th, 2012, 05:51 AM
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Tony,

Nobody is saying GPS is perfect. I have an iPhone. If it drops a call does that mean I should get rid of it? ;^)
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Oct 9th, 2012, 11:56 AM
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Just wanted to observe that I find the poster's way of describing his/her trip far more intereresting than the usual "then we went to the Guinness Storehouse and had a glass of stout".

We all travel for different reasons, and get completely different things out of it from each other. Personally I'm more interersted in what's on Radio Eireann (as I still think of it) while driving, how Irish pub opening hours are reacting to the recession and what new cheese is on sale in the English Market than in the best photo-ops in the Ring of Kerry.

The poster's topic-specific tit-bits hit the spot perfectly (though the frequency with which our satnav has given downright wrong instructions in Ireland is dizzying, and I'm now insistng on going back to proper maps).

If the original plan was for 60 such threads, let's see the other 53 I say
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Oct 9th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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"Nobody is saying GPS is perfect. I have an iPhone. If it drops a call does that mean I should get rid of it? ;^) "

I'm going to play Devil's advocate here for a moment, PA.

I think we're more forgiving of a dropped call because it's common, doesn't surprise us and is not entirely unexpected. On the other hand though, conventional wisdom we've been led to believe that consumer GPS devices are near bulletproof and certain models will have waffles ready for you in the morning.

Those of us who've used such devices on a regular basis know differently and know the advantages and shortcomings in various circumstances. Mrs. uTour nearly clocked me in Paris in '07 when I was just getting to understand the shortcomings of GPS navigation with my then-new Garmin iQueM4. Now she knows that I know better and that the technology has improved to be much more reliable in urban areas than it was. However, any information-transmitting technology (whether map or GPS or what-have-you) is limited by the accuracy of the information gathering. On one of our Niagara wine tours, it used to be that when you headed out from Caroline Cellars to Between The Lines, unencumbered the Garmin mapset would want to route your along what could be charitably described as a cow path. Not so now but the GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) axiom still holds sway.

Maybe it's because people back in the day were more skeptical of the information imparted by maps and more mindful of where they were as opposed to taking the accuracy of GPS' on faith. Absolutely GPS' will locate you within metres of where you actually are. However, if the underlying mapset is wanting the accuracy is only worth so much

u
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