Which GPSs are most accurate for road surface types?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Two Wheeled 'Tard, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    Hey guys, a question.

    Are there any GPS units, or software packages for iOS that give accurate, reliable indications of road surface types? IE if the road is 'high-clearance 4x4 only', graded dirt, gravel, paved, single-lane, multi-lane, any water crossings, etc? And that also has custom routing options based on road surface types? So I could say "Get me from here to my destination using as few paved roads as possible!"?

    Thank you for your advice! I've been reading through the many stickied threads but I didn't see this addressed.

    I would VASTLY prefer a software package for the iPhone 5, so I have less devices to carry, but if it's completely worth it I will buy a stand-alone unit (would rather not, though)
    #1
  2. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Nothing that can be counted on to be truly reliable info.
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  3. bigkuri

    bigkuri Been here a tad bit longer than a while

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    It's the data that the app will use, not really about the app itself (as long as the app accesses the road-surface indicator).

    There is pretty much only 5 or so data providers:
    - Navteq
    - TeleAtlas
    - Google
    - Open source (openstreetmap)
    - Country-specific mapping agencies (USGS etc.)

    You can get apps that utilise all of the above. The quality of the road surface type captured does vary - some are better in some areas, worse in others. Openstreetmap is amazingly good and accurate in some places. Google is probably the worst of the lot for surface type.

    That does not really help you I guess, but may save you spending loads of $$ on apps....
    #3
  4. bigkuri

    bigkuri Been here a tad bit longer than a while

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    Actually, it's an interesting question. I've done a little digging, and I think you may find openstreetmap apps best for you, and you can always contribute to the mapping to make it even better.

    There are a bunch of mountain biking focused apps which may work for you - mountain bikers are particular about surface types too.

    See
    OSM Routing Apps
    Just note they are not all just for iOS...
    #4