GPS-Is my husband crazy?!

Jul 27th, 2006, 01:57 PM
  #1  
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GPS-Is my husband crazy?!

How necessary is taking your own GPS unit to Italy? We will be driving thru Tuscany & Chianti but from what I have seen (it's a Garmin something or other) it can't find the best route from our house to the next town?! I don't want us to spend time looking at a screen & not the countryside. Can you help? What are your experiences, good or bad.....Thanks!
PeggyE is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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I also rolled my eyes when my husband 1st decided to take a GPS on our European trips. He has a hand-held that he tells me is now totally out of date. I have to admit though that this device has saved us a lot of grief on numerous trips. Sometimes we've even used it on really basic things that a compass could do like just figuring out which way is the direction we want to be heading.
julies is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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We just got back from Germany & Switzerland last May and took our Garmin C330. It was fantastic and extremely accurate. We had to purchase the European software, but I downloaded it on my computer, pinpointed all the towns/waypoints, downloaded that information on the GPS, and never opened a map the entire trip. My wife really enjoyed watching the Garmin and the countryside and not having to be glued to a map. It would talk to you in English, tell you how far before the next term, and if you went off the track, recomputed almost instantly to get you back on track.

We programmed it to stay off toll roads, and it took us to some unbelievable places and some great scenery.

A friend of ours commented that they would never again go to Europe without having a GPS.
Budman is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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Its fantastic! They speak, you dont have to stare at the screen. Its a real time saver as you dont ever get lost and dont have to bother planning out routes on a map.
MorganB is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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I have always found GPS worse than useless. Whenever I get a rental ar with one I turn it off (and would be happier if I could rip it out).

I simply don;t trust anything but a Michelin map I have studied in advance (as well as mappy.com) and my own sense of direction (of which the GPS has none - try explaining to it that you know you're going west - not south because you're driving straight into the sun - as it leads you merrily off course).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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Having used a GPS in both Europe and the States, I couldn't disagree with you more.
Budman is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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No, your husband isn't crazy...he's actually quite smart. A portable GPS will pay many dividends in time savings and reduced aggravation, especially if the passenger is terrible with maps or a poor navigator.

The best portable ones are the Garmin Nuvi 360 (but requires separate Europe mapping software ~$320) and the TomTom GO 910 (Europe mapping included). The Nuvi 360 comes with language translator, calculator and other features.
http://www.garmin.com/products/nuvi360/
http://www.tomtom.com/products/produ...212&Language=4

I'm great with maps, but I can't imagine traveling anywhere anymore without my Garmin (GPSMAP 60CSx). I input all my points of interest (waypoints) into it before a trip; this allows me to visit a lot more places in one day than if I did without (if I so wanted). And my wife and I can relax and enjoy the scenery a lot more instead of planting our faces in a map and searching for road signs.


bluefan is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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By the time you've paid for a Garmin plus the requisite maps, you might as well invest in a palmtop or laptop computer and Microsoft AutoRoute map/routing software.

I've used it with an iPAQ while on foot and with a subcompact computer in the car. I really don't understand spending good money on a single-purpose computer that only does GPS when for the same outlay you can have a real computer that does GPS and hundreds of other things.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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Aw, gee. This is taking all the fun out of getting lost on one of those great little Michelin green line roads. Like I've done in France, Belgium, and Tuscany. We still recall fondly the little adventures those events produced. Ah, well. Progress. Now I'll have to get one.
BillJ is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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PeggyE,
i failed to realize in my earlier post that you already have a GPS...duh!!!
absolutely take your garmin unit...i agree that it doesn't always find the best route (just the shortest), but at least you won't be lost
bluefan is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:21 PM
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The Garmin mapping Europe City Navigator retails for $350, but you can get it on line for $280.

My wife appreciates our GPS -- I don't have to yell at her for missing a turn -- I just yell at the Garmin.

Budman is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:23 PM
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"I really don't understand spending good money on a single-purpose computer that only does GPS when for the same outlay you can have a real computer that does GPS and hundreds of other things."

becuz i can go hiking and boating with mine and not have to worry about lugging more/heavier equipment, and it's waterproof (at least the 60CSx and a few others)
bluefan is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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PeggyE, is your Garmin loaded with the European Maps? Most purchased in the States only come with U.S. Mapping.
Budman is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:26 PM
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Yeah, I could just see me telling my wife to hold this laptop on her lap and track it while we are driving.
Budman is offline  
Jul 27th, 2006, 06:34 PM
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I've used my Magellan Roadmate 760 in Europe (it was pre-loaded with European maps which I paid on-line for an unlocking key to activate) and it has been wonderful.

Very accurate and easy to transport and set up in a rental car; nobody has to hold it, etc., and, of course, I also use it here at home in my cars.

It has been more useful than some very detailed maps, especially when I had to pinpoint in-town street addresses which even the most detailed maps I could get did not list.

When I go to Europe and have to rent a car I am never without it.
Dukey is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Spouse being an engineer, we will probably have one of these some day.

But I still like maps, the way I still prefer analog watch faces to digital. A picture is worth.... I also always carry a compass (though of course we must stop the car for me to consult it.) Consulting a map/compass forces yours truly, the navigator, to become familiar with the area, think about compass orientation, etc., so that it is part of the trip, part of learning about the place we're visiting. Plus, along with being cost-effective and virtually theft-proof, it feels more natural to me. (I always print out viamichelin's list of navigation directions for a route, but have never used them.)

Still, the thought of having detailed directions driving into or out of cities sure sounds tempting.

By the way, do these units project maps on the screen, along with one's location - or do they just give coordinates and text directions? It's possible my perception of these gadgets is out-of-date...
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Mine projects your position onto a map which looks like the usual paper roadmap. Mine also has that list of maneuvers which you have printed out from sites such as ViaMichelin. The unti will also give you voice prompts along the way for the maneuvers such as making a right or left turn, etc.

There is only one problem with these units (and it is the same for maps) and that is the currency.

A couple of weeks ago I was in a Hertz rental in Niagara Falls which had their "NeverLost' system (which is basically a Magellan instrument).

Twice the unit told me to make a right turn onto a freeway entrance ramp but that ramp had a chain link fence across it and had been closed for what looked like some time.

When I didn't make the turn the unit automatically re-calculated my route.
Dukey is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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Actually, the one I have is very graphic. You can zoom in/out, it shows streets with their names, and as you are coming up to a turn, it will split screen and show the details of where you are turning. Helps out, especially when you are approaching a roundabout -- besides telling you which exit to take out of the roundabout, it will show a visual picture.

Go to a store, try one out, and test drive the unit. They are amazing and accurate.
Budman is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 05:29 AM
  #19  
ira
 
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Hi all,

When we lived on a boat, we had radar, GPS a sextant and reduction tables, two compasses, a chronometer and lots of charts, because getting lost could endanger the boat and our lives.

The same is not true of traveling through Europe in a car. We have our maps and a compass.

If we get lost for a while, it's part of the adventure.



PS, many cars today have their own magnetic field. Check your compass outside the car and inside it.
ira is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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ira -

that's why we have to stop the car when I consult the compass - so that I can get out and take a reading (I don't trust the reading from inside the car, for the reasons you give about magnetic field).

The compass (which hangs from a belt loop) cost me around $5.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  

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