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Unread 11-06-2008, 06:47 AM   #1
ddmoit
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GPS Systems

I thought I had seen this topic addressed here somewhere, but I can't find it.

My siblings and I intend to get a GPS system for my parents for Xmas. My experience with GPS is limited to driving around South Carolina as a passenger in John K.'s car.

Any opinions on good brands, must-have features? I hear about Garmin the most. Are they really the be-all, end-all brand?
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Unread 11-06-2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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Hi Dan,

I've got the Garmin nuvi 200 wide screen. I like the small flat size of the nuvi, and its easy to use.

I think Garmin is the best, but they are all close. Tom Tom would be my second choice.

p.s. About the features-less is better. For cost, and ease of use. All you are using it for is nav.
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Unread 11-06-2008, 07:27 AM   #3
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We have two of the gadgets. We started out with a Magellan but found it lacking. We bought a Garmin and like it a lot better. It seems to be more user friendly. Never put complete trust in a GPS, though. Carry a back-up map if you don't want to be going through narrow congested streets and back-alleys. Ask it for the shortest route and that's what you get.

P.S. Money spent equates to screen size. They all work the same pretty much, and there is only one set of satellites out there.
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Unread 11-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #4
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I bought my Mother the TomTom and she loves it, she doesn't get out too far that much so when she does its good for her to use.

I don't use them since I get around easily, have my PDA with Google maps and all roads lead to the same place.
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Unread 11-06-2008, 07:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB
Never put complete trust in a GPS, though.
I have been thus far, reluctant to get GPS for my folks for this very reason. Too many people driving into ponds and on airport runways!

Thanks for the input so far, folks!
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Unread 11-06-2008, 07:56 AM   #6
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If you don't mind the extra expense, one that announces the turns as street names is very helpful. And bigger screens are a must for us older folks. And I vote for Garmin.
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Unread 11-06-2008, 08:10 AM   #7
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I second the motion about not putting complete faith into a GPS, or for that matter Google Maps and other on-line maps. The GPS will show you were you are, but all of the maps are man-made. I think that many GPS systems as well as Google Maps, etc. use the same map source. There are errors on the original maps they use. I know from people's experience trying to get to our house. I have offered directions several times, but they are confident in their GPS or Google Maps. I keep track of the time and invariably I get a phone call about 20 minutes after they should have arrived asking how to get to our house. Some of the early city maps showed four of our streets connecting to a major street. Only problem is, when the subdivision was actually built, all four of these streets are cul-de-sacs. Makes for some interesting situations.

That said, GPS units are nice.
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Unread 11-06-2008, 08:30 AM   #8
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I hear you, Clyde. When folks use Google to get to my house, they are advised to make an illegal (and dangerous) turn as soon as they exit the interstate. It's been at least 3 years since the interchange was reconfigured, but the info is still wrong on Google and everywhere else I've checked.
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Unread 11-06-2008, 08:45 AM   #9
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Ain't never used one of them automobile versions, Dan, but I spend a lotta time inna dark walkin' about inna Wilderness areas with a Garmin hand-held GPS. I find them moderately wonderful.

We tried some Magellan units early on (ten years ago?), but I like the Garmin units much better. And the newer ones better than just a few years ago.

Like the others advise, they're not fool proof. You better be equipped to get around without one if you need to. And they're more than happy to walk you off a cliff if that's a straight line to where you said you wanted to go.
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Unread 11-06-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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I've got a Tom Tom with John Clease's voice. I'll agree that it's not 100% perfect, but I wouldn't dream of traveling without it either. I.E. while in Boca Raton this past Sept. I came upon a wreck that closed down a major intersection. I would have had no idea how to get back to where I was staying, but Tom Tom gave me an alternate route as the police officer made me turn left the wrong way down a one way street...
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Unread 11-06-2008, 02:52 PM   #11
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I have had a Magellan 4250 for almost a year, and have not printed out a map since I got it. They are not perfect, but nothing is, not even maps. The real limitations are the new streets that people in construction often have to go to. I always ask if the street is new before relying on the gps to get me there. so far I have not run into a an address or location that the GPS could not guide me to.I must say though that I find my GPS to be one of the best tools that I have ever bought.
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Unread 11-08-2008, 10:24 AM   #12
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I waited a long time and looked at most of the units out there. I decided on the Garmin Nuvi 680. Original retail was about $500 or so...and it does purty near everything you could want....bluetooth for hands-free calls, finds traffic jams, gives gas prices, big easy-to-use screen. The list goes on and the directions are turn-by-turn accurate with street names and voice prompts. Liked mine so much, my stepdad got one from the same seller.....right around $200 including shipping. Yep, they're "refurbished," but you would never know it, are factory packaged with a full warranty to boot!

This is the seller I dealt with...he's got about ten of them left and is a good man to deal with.


http://cgi.ebay.com/GARMIN-NUVI-680-...1%7C240%3A1308
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Unread 11-08-2008, 11:53 AM   #13
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I think Garmin is at the top. According to a source (who knows really?), Garmin calculates addresses like the post office does to figure out where addresses are supposed to be. Other brands else use latitude and longitude, and are inherently prone to more errors.

Many thanks to Wiley for helping me when I was looking. I bought a Nuvi 200 widescreen and love it. My hearing isn't great, so going without the feature that calls out the street's name doesn't bother me.

I've used it for 9,000 miles so far and only once has it tole me to turn someplace dumb. There was supposed to be a street where there was a cornfield. Not a biggie. And I think maybe 4 times has it taken me on slightly longer routes than I could have. I haven't printed a map since I bought it. Ya know what's kinna fun is taking it with you onna airplane to see exactly where you are and how fast yer flying.

The only thing I'd like to see is the map being updated more promptly to reflect new streets.
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Unread 11-08-2008, 12:08 PM   #14
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I know with mine, you can go to the Garmin website, plug the unit up to the USB port and download the most current info on streets......
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Unread 11-08-2008, 02:41 PM   #15
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Yeah, Laz...you can get their version of the updated maps, but that's not what I meant. The peeps that update the maps are too slow in making the changes to reflect reality.

There are relatively new streets that have been in existance for a few years, but they still aren't on the map yet...even the "2009" updated map.
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