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Old 11th November 2009, 18:05   #1
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Question GPS - Is a navigator a worthwhile buy?

i got a Garmin Nuvi 715.
the hardware is excellent and the unit is quite sturdy,solid and well finished. the new units have something called an 'ecoroute' which, when you input fuel cost and your car's expected fuel average, gives the fuel consumed, fuel cost per trip and other data.
the blutooth pairing is also very good and the voice clarity when in handsfree mode is quite excellent.
another advantage is that the unit picks up the mapping directly from the satellites and there is no subscription fee, unlike other operators.

now coming back to my earlier question, i am sure everyone will agree that the primary function of a navigator is to suggest routes that can take a user faster to his destination by giving traffic pile-up alerts/avoidances and suggest shorter distance routes.
sad to say, NO map operator gives traffic updates on their navigation units which means that the unit is not even half as effective as it should be.
many a time i have found myself stuck much longer in traffic for having followed the navigator prescribed routes and have reached office late.

in my opinion, it is more sensible to buy a blutooth hands-free mobile phone kit plus one of those chinese-made trip gadgets for a fraction of what you pay for the navigator unit(28k for the Garmin Nuvi 715!) to get the features i had mentioned earlier.

anyone else have any experiences with the navigator units?
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Old 11th November 2009, 18:45   #2
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Hi James,

I was looking at the Garmin equipment last week but was unable to make out whose maps they are using.

Can you please help out?

Cheers,
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Old 11th November 2009, 19:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingjames View Post
another advantage is that the unit picks up the mapping directly from the satellites and there is no subscription fee, unlike other operators.
Sorry I didn't understand, Can you explain it.

Quote:
i am sure everyone will agree that the primary function of a navigator is to suggest routes that can take a user faster to his destination by giving traffic pile-up alerts/avoidances and suggest shorter distance routes.
sad to say, NO map operator gives traffic updates on their navigation units which means that the unit is not even half as effective as it should be.
many a time i have found myself stuck much longer in traffic for having followed the navigator prescribed routes and have reached office late.
The option they are giving here is FASTEST Route and SHORTEST Route. But both sucks in big time. Imagine you are paying Rs.7000/- for the latest MMI maps which navigates you through NO ENTRY and ONE WAYS.

Quote:
in my opinion, it is more sensible to buy a blutooth hands-free mobile phone kit plus one of those chinese-made trip gadgets for a fraction of what you pay for the navigator unit(28k for the Garmin Nuvi 715!) to get the features i had mentioned earlier.
Chinese GPS devices which can be unlocked easily cost only Rs.< 5500 with most of the features.
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Old 11th November 2009, 19:19   #4
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hi Ravveendrra
the Garmin uses SATNAV maps.

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Sorry I didn't understand, Can you explain it.
actually this is what the fellow who sold me the unit told me. that the others collect subscription and we don't!

The option they are giving here is FASTEST Route and SHORTEST Route. But both sucks in big time. Imagine you are paying Rs.7000/- for the latest MMI maps which navigates you through NO ENTRY and ONE WAYS.
my point exactly! when i raised this point i was told to do a screen shot of such points(no entry/one way)and send to them! i asked him if he was going to pay me for doing the mapping for him and what my designation and KRA was going to be!...

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th November 2009 at 15:43. Reason: Posts merged. You can use the EDIT button to add to a post within 20minutes. Thanks.
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Old 12th November 2009, 00:24   #5
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Originally Posted by sterlingjames View Post
another advantage is that the unit picks up the mapping directly from the satellites and there is no subscription fee, unlike other operators.
Err, the maps are stored on the media card (SD/micro SD card) that you insert in the device. The GPS satellites only provide the coordinates of your current location. What you pay for in the form of subscription charges are for the updates to the map, which, BTW are NOT updated via the satellites. These GPS satellites are owned by the US government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingjames View Post
now coming back to my earlier question, i am sure everyone will agree that the primary function of a navigator is to suggest routes that can take a user faster to his destination by giving traffic pile-up alerts/avoidances and suggest shorter distance routes.
sad to say, NO map operator gives traffic updates on their navigation units which means that the unit is not even half as effective as it should be.
many a time i have found myself stuck much longer in traffic for having followed the navigator prescribed routes and have reached office late.
Are you aware of any GPS navigation device providing real-time traffic updates anywhere in the world? I am not aware of such a system. It will require na active Internet connection for the same reason as above - the satellites are not owned by the map provider.

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Originally Posted by sterlingjames View Post
anyone else have any experiences with the navigator units?
Actually yes. I have been using a Map My India navigator for close to a year now and am quite happy with it. All you have to remember is that it is only a guidance system. You can not entirely depended on it. You need to do your homework about the route and use the device for real-time navigation.

Coming to maps not being up to date, how realistically can you expect anybody to keep-up with our arbitrary one-way rules which change by night? That too on a national level? As far as I know, Map My India has the best maps available as of now. In fact I am some times amazed by the kind of detail they have in their maps.

Though I have not used phone based navigation, couple of my friends who have used them tell me that they are quite hopeless.
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Old 12th November 2009, 00:34   #6
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Quote:
Though I have not used phone based navigation, couple of my friends who have used them tell me that they are quite hopeless.
FWIW - Hearsay and location (map coverage) dependent. I got lovely directions within Ajmer and pushkar - even for walking. I navigated perfectly through village roads to Sambhar lake. More than exceeded my expectations!
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Old 12th November 2009, 02:31   #7
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Am using a-GPS on my Nokia 5800 XM and am sad to say that The maps in south India (Tirunelveli) are pitiful. Nokia maps was lacking in detail and showed only NH-7. Garmin XT mobile didn't even show NH-7 but showed the road to my wife's village as NH-7. But in Coimbatore, Garmin provides pretty good maps. The POIs are not very accurate though. (Shopping centers according to Garmin are Big Bazaar in Coimbatore and Big Bazaar in palakkad only.)
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Old 12th November 2009, 09:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullinb View Post
....Are you aware of any GPS navigation device providing real-time traffic updates anywhere in the world? I am not aware of such a system. It will require na active Internet connection for the same reason as above - the satellites are not owned by the map provider......

..... You can not entirely depended on it. You need to do your homework about the route and use the device for real-time navigation.....
Sorry, in U.S.A. a traffic alert system network exists. Though its a seperate mechanism, can be blended into PNDs to give a real-time alert. See here as a starting point if you want to explore more on it.

Very true that one has to do the homework and let his/her brain take the appropriate decision in any situation.

One driver woke up in a New York hospital perplexed.
He had blindly turned right when the GPS told him to, and crashed into a tree. More horror stories abound.

My own personal experience:

On a recent trip to Chennai, I had to go from a hotel on GN Chetty Road to RK Mutt Road and then on to Ashok Nagar. At Bangalore itself I had gone through the Chennai map and got an idea of the directions and the major roads leading to them.

At Chennai with which I am still not fully conversant with, I just set my Mapmyindia navigator and let it guide me. Of course it took me through some lesser known streets, but I knew I was proceeding in the right direction and reached my destination safely.

Earlier, just experimenting, I decided to let it guide me from the Koramangala Indoor Stadium to Milk Diary Flyover. Oops, it took me through some narrow gullies and lanes difficult to drive through. I beat a hasty retreat and was back to my regular route. There are ways to fix a different and preferred route in the GPS and I am still in the learning process on the effective use of the device.

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th November 2009 at 15:36. Reason: Quote fixed.
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Old 12th November 2009, 10:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullinb View Post
Err, the maps are stored on the media card (SD/micro SD card) that you insert in the device. The GPS satellites only provide the coordinates of your current location. What you pay for in the form of subscription charges are for the updates to the map, which, BTW are NOT updated via the satellites. These GPS satellites are owned by the US government.
in the garmin unit, there is no SD card. the moment you switch on the set, it says acquiring satellites and then you are good to go.
ther is however an SD card slot. the updates are done free of cost at any of the garmin retailers, or thats what i have been told!

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th November 2009 at 15:34. Reason: Quote fixed. When removing text from a quote manually, make sure the end tag "[/ QUOTE]" stil remains. Thanks.
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Old 12th November 2009, 10:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingjames View Post
in the garmin unit, there is no SD card. the moment you switch on the set, it says acquiring satellites and then you are good to go.
ther is however an SD card slot. the updates are done free of cost at any of the garmin retailers, or thats what i have been told!
All the same, there must be build in storage instead of an SD card. So instead of just popping in an SD card to update the map, you'll have to make a trip to the Garmin dealer
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Old 12th November 2009, 10:58   #11
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Default MMI's Garmin units

[quote=sterlingjames;1578430]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullinb View Post
.......
in the garmin unit, there is no SD card. the moment you switch on the set, it says acquiring satellites and then you are good to go.
ther is however an SD card slot. the updates are done free of cost at any of the garmin retailers, or thats what i have been told!
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullinb View Post
All the same, there must be build in storage instead of an SD card. So instead of just popping in an SD card to update the map, you'll have to make a trip to the Garmin dealer
What about the Garmin units sold by MapMyIndia? How are those updated?

Cheers & Thanks,
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Old 12th November 2009, 11:01   #12
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For live traffic updates, the best thing is to tune in to a popular FM channel at home, some time before you start. Again,select the same channel on the car radio and leave it on for the duration of the trip!
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Old 12th November 2009, 11:05   #13
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[quote=Ravveendrra;1578463]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingjames View Post



What about the Garmin units sold by MapMyIndia? How are those updated?

Cheers & Thanks,
for map my india you need to subscribe. they give you the SD card, i think it is 5000/-Rs.for the map alone.
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Old 12th November 2009, 11:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponmayilal View Post
Sorry, in U.S.A. a traffic alert system network exists. Though its a seperate mechanism, can be blended into PNDs to give a real-time alert. See here as a starting point if you want to explore more on it.
Thanks for pointing out. These seem to have either a built in GPRS receiver or pick up traffic updates from dedicated traffic alert system antennas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponmayilal View Post
On a recent trip to Chennai, I had to go from a hotel on GN Chetty Road to RK Mutt Road and then on to Ashok Nagar. At Bangalore itself I had gone through the Chennai map and got an idea of the directions and the major roads leading to them.

At Chennai with which I am still not fully conversant with, I just set my Mapmyindia navigator and let it guide me. Of course it took me through some lesser known streets, but I knew I was proceeding in the right direction and reached my destination safely.
+1. That's exactly how these devices are most useful. You don't have to stop to ask for directions; which is a boon if you are driving at night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponmayilal View Post
Earlier, just experimenting, I decided to let it guide me from the Koramangala Indoor Stadium to Milk Diary Flyover. Oops, it took me through some narrow gullies and lanes difficult to drive through. I beat a hasty retreat and was back to my regular route. There are ways to fix a different and preferred route in the GPS and I am still in the learning process on the effective use of the device.
Check you 'Route and Vehicle type' setting in 'Route' menu (the one on bottom left). Seems to me that it is set to 'Shortest' - that's why it is taking you through narrow roads. It should ideally be set to 'Optimal' or 'Fastest'. 'Optimal' setting considers both the expected speed and distance in its routing algorithm whereas 'Fastest' considers only the expected speed.
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Old 12th November 2009, 11:13   #15
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A navigator is indeed very help full as long as in you are a largish city. I have used it in following cities:

1. Mumbai
2. Bangalore
3. Pune
4. Jabalpur (MP)
5. Kolkata
6. Surat

It worked very well in all these locations. Its good help if you are in a city you don't know much about.

However, coverage of roads outside city is pathetic. I have MapMyIndia/Satguide/TeleAtlas maps. And none of them have correct / complete database of road network. Sometime they try to drive you through fields, some times even NH roads are missing. Some times, NH / SH names are marked incorrectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullinb View Post
Are you aware of any GPS navigation device providing real-time traffic updates anywhere in the world? I am not aware of such a system. It will require na active Internet connection for the same reason as above - the satellites are not owned by the map provider.

Trafffic updates does not require internet/gprs at all.

These updates are digital. This data is modulated and broadcast on FM. PND would demodulate traffic updates from FM.

Last edited by NetfreakBombay : 12th November 2009 at 11:17.
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