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Re: [Shop-talk] GPS Systems

Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] GPS Systems
From: Mark Andy <>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 11:45:32 -0500 (EST)

I've got a Garmin Nuvi (don't know the model) I got a year or two ago.  I 
really like it, but you certainly have to remember that its a tool and if 
its maps don't match reality, you need to forget what its saying.  :-) 
Where I've driven, the maps have almost always been correct.

The other thing to remember is that all of these things seem pretty poor 
in knowing things like traffic density or ease of driving or whatever.  If 
it decides a route through small towns is 30 seconds faster, it'll 
recommend that even if there's an express route that's easier and 30 
seconds longer.  Similarly, it'll recommend a toll road over a non-toll 
road if the toll road is a minute quicker on a 300 mile trip.

So it still pays to look at the route and see if it makes sense.

Anyway, in terms of features I like... I like the one that can speak the 
street names.  "turn right" isn't all that great if you're at an 
intersection that has an on ramp right after it, for instance.

There was also a difference in which GPS chipset the manufacturer used, 
back when I got mine, but everyone was switching over to the good chipset 
then and I'd imagine they're all there now.  But might be worth checking 

IIRC, there are two major map providers... TeleAtlas and someone else 
maybe?  There may be differences here that matter to you if one has better 
maps in your area, but you'll need to research a decent bit to figure it 

Anyway, this has been a great addition to our vehicle and even my wife 
(who's way less willing to spend money than me), regularly says "I'm glad 
we got this".  These days, I'd really be tempted to buy whatever $100-ish 
on-sale GPS was available from Garmin or Tom-Tom or another major vendor 
and give it a go.

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