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For Road Trips

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years ago


Introduction

The ability to have maps and Points of Interest (POI) installed in your system give you the option of automatic routing and turn by turn directions. While using turn by turn directions it is very helpful to have alerts when a turn is approaching. These alerts may be pleasant tones, a flashing screen and or a computer voice.

 

Searchable POI databases have the locations for most businesses and their contact information. When a business is selected such as the nearest gas station, selecting it and choosing go to will give you automatic turn by turn directions to that POI. In the Garmin units you may search for a business type and the results come up in the order of distance from you or a specified location. Some newer systems or phones have the ability to warn of traffic problems along your route and can route you around them.

 

Configurations

There are several configuration solutions which are appropriate while in your vehicle.

 

  1. A laptop Mac with a GPS receiver attached by USB cable or Bluetooth with all of the software in the laptop.
  2. A Self contained GPS receiver with the ability to install mapping software into the GPS unit itself with routing and turn by turn directions using the GPS unit's buttons.
  3. A cell phone with an integrated GPS service.

 

Solutions

Suggested GPS solutions for driving include:

Route 66

Route 66 and GPS receiver on your Mac laptop with 12 volt charging cables.

Pros

Cons

 

Garmin

Garmin self contained mapping GPS receivers from the eTrex series to Rhino to the Nuvi.

Pros

Very versatile and detailed searchable POI database. Two Rhino's can let each other know where they are if in radio range and can be used as "walkie-talkies" in FRS frequencies.

Cons

Annual map and POI updates are about $100 US

 

Advice from users

 

Useful tips

 

  • The typical scenario is that you are driving and now suddenly you need a Chinese restaurant, Motel 6, RV campground, sushi bar or whatever. On some GPS units you can perform a search for, let's say, "lodging." On the ensuing list you will see all the available Motels in a nearby radius, and more importantly, you will see which ones are in the DIRECTION YOU ARE GOING. This can save a lot of travel time if you do it early enough. Basically, your GPS can take the place of a lot of planning. Some time before dinner, you select an appropriate food place some distance ahead, some time before you need to stop for the day you select where you will stop for the day an appropriate distance ahead, and so on. Rather than waiting until you are ready to stop and then wasting time backtracking to the "nearest" place, you drive ahead to the nearest place between you and your ultimate destination. Also, with some experience you can tell which places are near the freeway and which are a ways off.  (Distance from freeways typically affects both convenience and costs of services.)

 

Safety

 

  • Please be sure not to operate the GPS while you are driving; have the copilot be responsible for these tasks. I was once driving and doing something on my GPS, when my brother pointed in front and said "what's that?" I swerved, and narrowly missed a huge rolled up futon, that may well have killed us.

 

Comments

 

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 12:52 pm on Apr 15, 2006

Thanks Jay; this is a great start!

Do others want to add comments (especially on Route 66)? What about TomTom?

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