GPS Driving...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by BobV, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. BobV

    BobV Second Unit

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    So, thanks to my Aeroplan card I'm off to Europe this spring and have a few questions...

    I'm going to be make it a driving trip taking in Brussels, Bastogne, Luxembourg, Dieppe, etc. and my question has to do with GPS receivers and mapping programs. I'm thinking of adding a GPS card for my PocketPC and have been looking around for European maps, has anyone every used anything like this? How intuitive is it? I found driving through the cities in Europe to be a bit of a chore mainly because of the spiderweb street design and not being used to the signage being way over on the sides of the buildings, and camoflauged, rather than hanging across the street, etc, like here in Canada. Because I'll be driving through quite a few cities and towns I thought that a good GPS mapping system may do the trick. Does it actually help or is it more of a nuisance?

    I've been looking at viaMichelin MapSonic, it looks great but it's very pricey, especially when coupled with the cost of a CompactFlash GPS adapter (+$450CAD total) and I don't really want to poney up for it if it's not really going to be that useful anyways.

    Many thanks in advance for any thoughts you can share.
     
  2. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Unless your GPS system works perfectly, using GPS in a city you've never been before can be a major pain in the ass. You end up driving with your head in the GPS screen, more willing to trust it than your instincts, no matter how many times it gives you incorrect information.

    My father has a GPS thingy that hooks into his PDA; its performance is crap compared to the ones that come built into cars. It looses the signal all the time.
     
  3. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    I would check out www.garmin.com I have the street pilot III - works like a charm in the states. Voice and turn by turn directions. Not sure if there is a charge for gps service over seas? I would look into that.
     
  4. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    How could there be? The satellite signals aren't scrambled, they are there for anyone to pick up if you have the equipment.

    I have a small handheld Magellan GPS receiver that works very well in a car and doesn't lose the signal. I have only used it on its own, but connected to a laptop that has proper maps loaded, it would probably make a decent travel companion provided that such software actually works. Still, Seth makes a good point about trusting the screen too much and not actually watching where you're going.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The Garmin StreetPilot III works wonderfully here in North America (I own one). However, you would need to also purchase their European map add-ons, and Garmin charges quite a bit for their maps (probably an extra $150). I still have not updated my North American maps since purchasing the StreetPilot 3+ years ago because of their high upgrade pricing.

    You could purchase a Garmin with European maps included instead of the NA maps, but then you would need to buy NA maps to use it back home.
     
  6. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe the gps satellites are owned by our government and are free to us here in the us.
     
  7. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    As stated earlier, the signals are free for anyone to receive since they are not scrambled (encrypted) in any way. Any GPS receiver bought in USA or Europe or anywhere else will work anywhere in the world.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Yes, receiving the GPS signal is free. The cost, though, comes from buying the appropriate mapping software for your GPS device. That cost will vary by vendor.
     

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