GPS-Is my husband crazy?!

Jul 28th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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When my husband and I invited my cousin and his wife to go to Normandy with us last year, cousin insisted we needed a GPS, so bought a Magellan and took it with him. We thought he was crazy; we'd used maps for years, no need for that expensive device, etc. Long story short, we loved using it--to the extent that we are borrowing it for our upcoming trip to Burgundy.
grandmere is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Nothing beats having a good map. And nothing beats having a good sense of direction.
Batteries die.
JackOneill is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Although a map that continuously pinpoints your location offers certain advantages over ones that don't.

Having a "sense of direction" isn't as useful on an overcast day or moonless night as having something that shows where you are and which way to go.

Batteries can be recharged and replaced. The ones in vehicles tend to have a lot of Ampere-hours in them anyway.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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We live in Germany and I bought a European version from Aldi's about six weeks ago. I was a diehard map reader, but figured we were going to be here long enough that it might be worth it to have one. Having now used it in Germany, Switzerland and the UK I can say that I love it and wouldn't take a trip without it. It's taken all of the stress out of going someplace new and actually helps me to explore. I don't hesitate to try some little side road now since I know the GPS will help me find my way when I'm done exploring. One of the biggest pluses of mine is that it hooks into the TMC (Traffic Management Channel?). It shows where the traffic jams on the highways are, and if one will affect my drive time then it offers an alternate route. I can zoom in and out on the maps and even drag the maps to an view another area . It was 299 euros with all of the "west" European maps included.
sardog10 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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I have always wanted to ask if theft is a concern with one of these GPS systems.

Do you take it from the dash (if it rests there while driving) and carry it with you while you are walking around a city in Europe?

I thought it would be a temptation for a thief. Do you think it would be safe enough locked in the glove compartment?
Sher is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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It was because of reading Budman's trip report that I purchased a Garmin c330 to take to Germany. I bought the preprogrammed European card and plugged in. We did buy a map but, only to keep track of our journey. The Garmin proved to be so very helpful. For instance, when we pulled into a town, we could find a hotel or place to eat close to where we were just by pressing a couple of boxes on the screen. There was no searching and needless driving all over a foreign place for something that may not have even been there. If you want Italian food, just tell it. If you want German, American, what ever, just tell it and the list appears with the mileage to each and an arrow to indicate the direction from your present position. I have to say that the Garmin saved us so much time, confusion and stress; we had so much more time to enjoy the areas we traveled through. I would highly recommend it. I don't always agree with the path my Garmin tells me when I'm home as I know better routes but, in another country - just getting to my destination is my priority, not whether or not it was the very best way. (That didn't come out the way I wanted it to.) Hmm.
beelady is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Hi, Sher. I think we just stored it in trunk when we were sightseeing. However, Normandy in early May is not a high crime area anyway, so there appeared to be little risk, and we never gave it a second thought.
grandmere is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 12:13 PM
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Having bought a car with a GPS system and having got used to it over the past year, I don't think I would ever travel by car without one. With one touch I can interrupt my route to find the nearest gas station or restaurant while I am driving (most programming functions are disabled when the car is in motion) and I can do a reverse look up of a destination from a phone number! Can also compare up to three routes, specifically bypass certain types of roads, etc. I love it, can't live without it, and just several months ago had never used one.

I think it is the kind of electronic device that quickly becomes indispensible because it does what technology is supposed to do, i.e. make your life easier.
kswl is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I agree that "getting lost is part of the adventure" until you have to be there no matter what and then the "adventure" gets to be a real pain.
Dukey is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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With a mapping computer (with or without a GPS), one can zoom from a "continental" view down to "block" scale and everything in between without carrying a large-scale planning map, road maps, and city maps for every town one traverses.

With twenty or thirty categories of Points of Interest, one can also plan fuel stops, food stops, and any other kind of stop without being forced to consult a half-dozen road guides.

It's the twenty-first century, people. (I know - "so where's my flying car?")
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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For anything but very minor roads, a Michelin map is more than adequate.
But that's not the point. Your husband has a new toy that he'd like to use. THAT'S what this is about.
If he wants to use it, let him; just don't let him use it while he's barrelling down the road.
You enjoy the scenery!
kvick is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 01:37 PM
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Once off the autoroutes, most of the road intersections in Europe are traffic circles.

If you take the wrong exit from one, you know it instantly if you have GPS.

If you don't, you often have to arrive at the next town and not recognize its name in order to realize you screwed up.
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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beelady, glad it worked out for you and you had a great time in Germany. Thanks for the feedback.

I know at home it doesn't recognize traffic patterns/rush hour bottlenecks, but it did direct me to a local route at home that was much faster than the one I normally took.

kswl, GPS systems are like cell phones. 10-15 years ago, only a few people had them. Now, diving just to work, I notice many GPS systems attached to the windshields.
Budman is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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i just bought the tom-tom 910 after reading this thread. I have been back and forth for years and decided to go for it. I always rent a very expensive hertz mercedes or whatever, but the problem is guaranteeing the GPS, i still think that after a long day of travel, finding that hotel at the end of the day can make the difference between a great trip and a homocide charge, will let you all know how it works.
richardsonsnm is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 03:52 PM
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True, Budman. But I will happily let my cell phone die by "accidentally" forgetting to charge it as I can't stand it. I wouldn't dream of embarking on a trip without Jane, however. One makes my life more complicated, the other less complicated.
kswl is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Thanks! I didn't expect to get so much feedback. We are still deciding..and my husband is a software you know where this is going! I'm sure this thread will help alot of people. I am excited about my new Canon camera though. Thanks again for the freat information.
PeggyE is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 10:20 AM
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Oh, a software geek! A kindred spirit.

In that case, have him check out Microsoft Streets & Trips with GPS locator (i.e. receiver) and Pocket Streets included, and Microsoft AutoRoute (maps of most of western Europe).
Robespierre is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:37 AM
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robespierre, I was given the microsoft program for Christmas last year and found that it was frequently wrong giving me directions in the U.S. Even mapquest has a better track record, for me. I know all these programs use the same data available, but the Microsoft product doesn't seem to do as good a job. I'd be afraid to trust it in another country!
kswl is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Interesting. What routes didn't work correctly for you? What did the software do wrong?
Robespierre is offline  
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