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GPS Short Comings


Steve Kolenda

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Steve Kolenda

I have a Garmin 276C which I really like but I have a couple of complaints about routing. The first being that the maps are not always correct and I believe this is because state maps where never intended for exact navigation and over time I believe this will improve. The second being that directions are not always given when needed and often given when not needed. For example: "keep right" when there is no way that you would ever go right and no instruction where the route that you are on is "X" and the road y's to "Z" and you belong on "Z". I suspect this is an issue with poor logic within the software. Is this a problem unique to Garmin?

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I am totally new to this GP thing,but I want one...which one I'm not sure, so, I'm glad you brought up the topic Steve.

I could really use some input on which to buy/not to buy...

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Stan Walker

There is a place on the Garmin web site for reporting map errors. If we all use it this will improve all of our our GPS's over time.

 

Stan

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You will get input on this board about all units, many are the best thing since bikini's of course. GPSCity.com has some info sections that detail the hows/why's/wherefores of gps's (no affiliation whatsoever). Worth at least taking a browse thru in addition to listening to users here and in your group. Good luck.

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Dunno: I've never ridden your state, but I've got two Garmin units, a 2610 and a 60CSx, have used them in 15-20 states, and a lot of Canada and have never seen the issue you discuss.

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Yeeha! Stephen

I use Garmin GPS's everyday in my work and have no problems when the unit is consistantly recieving 8 satellites.

 

I sometimes have those troubles when the count goes down to 6 or less. Large metal objects, high humidity, rain, clouds, bridges, etc... also interfere with my reception. Sometimes makes the "you are here" cusor think I'm on a different street. Or tells me to turn into a field... dopeslap.gif It usually works with Murphy's Law and screws up just when I'm demo-ing our state of the art machine! blush.gif

 

Keeping your antenna free from obstructions may help, but free from humidity/clouds is a chore. tongue.gif

 

Problems usually go away when it tells me I'm tracking 8 satellites again.

 

Go figger. confused.gif

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I also have a 276C and I have noticed that on RARE occasions the maps don't seem to be right. There are a couple of intersections that I travel through on a regular basis that are not correct. Being that I travel throuth them on a regular basis I know that they have recently been re-aligned. I do agree that sometimes directions are not given when needed. Most of the time it appears to happen at Y's in the road. If the zoom level is set to far out it is sometimes hard to tell which way to turn. I usually zoom in when this happens. And at other times the directions might say keep right when it is obvious to stay right.

 

You may want to check to see if you have LOCK TO ROAD turned ON on your map screen. This will usually make the pointer stay on the road when the maps are not 100% correct.

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Yeeha! Stephen
I use Garmin GPS's everyday in my work...

 

That's also why I don't think the Geo-caching game would be any fun. I do it every day and it would feel like work eek.gif

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Steve Kolenda

Robert,

You are right, the map errors and the lack of directions are not a common thing but when they happen they can be a pain in the butt. Traveling the interstate yesterday I lost about a half hour because of the lack of directions. The zoom in thing works well if you are not traveling on an interstate or in a lot of traffic. It seems to me that this is a programming issue.

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Steve Kolenda

MotoBoy,

We are currently headed home from a 2 week 6,000 mile vacation and I can tell you that these issues although not common are not unique to any one state.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
The first being that the maps are not always correct and I believe this is because state maps where never intended for exact navigation and over time I believe this will improve.

 

There are errors here and there, no doubt. There's one in Highlands, NC, that totally confuses my GPS whenever I come in from Franklin and try to head to Warwoman road. Another one, when travelling from Ann Arbor to Chicago, tells me to get off I-94 at exit 16 in Indiana and take surface streets for a while before getting back on the interstate. confused.gif

 

Some time ago I read an article about GPS road database construction, and there's a lot more to it than just transcription of a state map. They've got crews out driving around in vans equipped with differential GPS, verifying exact locations of intersections, on/off ramps, and - most important for routing purposes - which streets are one-way only.

 

As noted, Garmin has a web page where you can report the location and nature of the error you encounter.

 

The second being that directions are not always given when needed and often given when not needed.

 

This is indeed annoying, though it's worse in some locations than others. SW Wisconsin is difficult, where county roads often make turns at stop signs, overlaying with other county roads. if CR A makes a hard right after the stop sign and runs concurrent with CR B, you may not get an instruction that tells you to turn right; the unit just thinks you're smart enough to stick with CR A like you're supposed to. crazy.gif I've found it helpful to stay zoomed in so that the screen shows maybe two miles of territory, and then you can see turns coming up on the map, regardless of what the instructions do or don't say.

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And lets not forget the complete inability of the Garmin 276/376 to acknowledge the 'never dirt roads' selection. I have spent more time on gravel and dirt, (with the occasional attempt to direct me into a field...), on my R12RT with the Garmin than on my Kaw.

 

Overall the best thing about the GPS is the XM radio. I could manage to get most anywhere using maps, lots cheaper.

 

Jim

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GPS is a great tool, but not infallible.

 

After living in the same house for the last 10 years, I'm pretty sure I know what street it is on, but my 60CSx running City Navigator 7 doesn't. It says "Home" is ~100 yards west, down the street that abuts the one I live on.

 

More fun that that little snafu is that it tried to turn me the wrong way up a one-way street in downtown Boulder, CO. eek.gif I'm glad I didn't blindly heed that turn command.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

Yeah there are a few mistakes. My GPS told me to "turn right" on Independence Pass a fe weeks ago, which would have put me over the cliff. blush.gif

 

There are a lot of highway intersections around here that have a "merge" if you stay in the lane and a "turn" if you want to go the other way. The GPS does not give a command to "stay right" if I am going the way of the "merge" and it does say "turn left" if I am going the other way. It appears as though it doesn't give the command if one does not actually turn while staying in the same lane.

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Having just completed a 3600-mile cross country run, the only error made by my Garmin/BMW Nav II involved the incorrect listing of hotels. On two occasions, it sent me to hotels that were in fact hotels, but were listed under different names in the database. Once, a restaurant was listed under an old name. I don't blame Garmin for that given how fast mergers/consolidation happen in the business world. I just wish I could update the database over the Internet.

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Steve Kolenda

Mitch,

 

I wouldn't mind so much the lack of direction if there was some concistancy. I have found that the correct route is not always the road that you are currently on. Some times it's the other road. If it was always the road that you were currently traveling it would be no big deal, but because it is not consistant you have a 50/50 chance of making the right move. I'm sure there is some explanation for this, hopefully not just poor software.

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