The decline of stand alone sat nav

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by iggs, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    For stone simple, load ITNconverter on you PC. Then go to the EDIT screen. Add points and click route. Export that to GPX, TRP, or any of a few dozen others. Simple A to B to C routing.
    If you want fancy features, it doesn't have those.
    #41
  2. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    There are several offline Windows-based Trip Planning (mapping) applications that I'm sure you are aware of: MapSource, BaseCamp, MS S&T, Tyre, CompeGPS Land 7 - there are more.

    Maps can come from various sources but most use OSM. All of the above Applications will export your planned ride in GPX format.

    When I'm not internet connected I use FTP to move files between computer and Android-based devices by setting up a peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connection. Works just fine. Don't need to do that with my iPhone, just AirDrop my GPX Track/Waypoint file directly into Galileo Pro on the iPhone.
    #42
  3. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1 well hmm
    2 none of the gps mapping applications i use require a subscription based payment plan, or cellular data, to operate.
    3 yes, they're handy for that. and sharing tracks/waypoints/contacts/pictures/stuff
    4 airplane mode= longer battery life, and that annoying ringing sound doesn't happen.
    5 buuuut, don't you own one already ? there would be no change in your outlay, but good benefits as far as navigation goes. i'm looking at the positives. there are more + than -'s.
    #43
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1 break open a few gps units, then a few phones. there isn't much difference between their construction. rugged phones have more glue, and gaskets, but that's about it.

    2 use whatever you like to plan the route. it will work fine in a phone. leading to ...3...

    3 ok, keep creating routes/tours/tracks on the computer. you don't have to plug in the phone to transfer it though. bluetooth/wifi/sdcard reader/whatever will do it just fine.

    4 if you prefer basecamp, you can keep using it. or furkot. or gpsies. or just do it on the phone with no computer needed. i use locus for everything nowadays.

    5 myth
    6 do any of them say "designed for adv" ? i have 4-5 phones that have been used on and offroad, with no charging failures.
    7 well, it's a much much much better way, but i haven't had a failure in the last 3-4 years of using a phone offroad. i'm a huge fan of charging pins, they rock in the most stupendous way.

    8 mmm, well, phones have the most up to date maps, apps, file management, connetivity, hardware, and charging solutions. i'm still trying to find negatives or solutions to those negatives, but they're few and far between.





    more good points of discussion, keep em coming ! :)

    1n2 lots of ds, i'm not sure what 'true adv' is though. we usually have a few miles of pavement connecting offroad jaunts. my bike is too ugly. breaks cameras ugly.

    3 usually gpsies.com if it's a place i'm not familliar with, or just use locus on the phone if i am familiar. bigger screens = mo easier to see
    4 whatever the gas station had last time
    5
    casio commando:
    [​IMG]

    galaxy s2:
    [​IMG]

    galaxy s:
    [​IMG]

    rugby pro:
    no image, the other phones have dead batteries from lack of use after getting a rugged phone (rugby pro).

    6 after the others (g1, g2, htc one, g2, amaze, s, s2, commando) didn't have issues, i figured i would quit worrying and ride. the rugged phones really make everything else feel fragile. the rugby gets tossed towards a table instead of carefully placing it down. washing it in the sink when covered in oil from an engine rebuild is nice too. or a mud puddle. or whatever. $70 for a used rugged phone is much nicer than $700 for a new one. they work the same, soooo i dunno :)
    #44
  5. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    Here is my current setup with my phone mounted to the handlebar:

    [​IMG]

    I wasn't crazy about the X-mount at first but have gotten used to it. Grips better than I thought it would. And my S4-active (supposedly waterproof) has the best viewable screen I've used so far.

    Here is what I had been using, and still do on my KLR:

    [​IMG]

    It is a RAM aquabox with my old HTC phone. Notice that I cut out the plastic cover and drilled a hole in the bottom for power access. Still stays pretty dry in the rain although I do have another full cover if I feel I need it. It is just hard to see through and impossible to operate through! This setup has been used for 10's of thousands of miles (on and off-road) with very few problems; a couple of over-heating issues on my HTC (which seems to run hot anyway) when left in the sun, and a couple of cable failures, but that is it. Before my HTC, I used a Windows Mobile PDA in the same mount.

    As for route planning, 95% of the time I'm using CoPIlot for navigation and 95% of the planning I just do directly on the device. Sometimes I'll plan on my Android tablet and transfer the .trp file to Dropbox where I can load it to my phone or whatever. For following .gpx routes or routes created in Google, I'll use Locus Pro or run ITNconverter on my laptop to convert to .trp. files. I can very easily plan and travel without a laptop although I still tend to carry one, for now..

    I just returned from an 800 mile, 2-day trip to Mississippi and back. On the way out, I actually used my Tablet (7 in. Galaxy Tab) mounted where you see my SPOT locator. It really wasn't as good as I thought it would be. Besides the location, which was just not sturdy enough to keep it from bouncing around on rough roads (something I could fix if I wanted) it really didn't prove any more useful or easier than my phone. So I just swapped back to my phone on the return trip..

    Any of these I can Blootooth to my Uclear headset for music, voice navigation, and phone.
    #45
  6. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Interesting that the subject of the thread is "decline of stand alone sat nav" and the discussion is all about preferences?

    This whole Layin' down Tracks section has evolved into comments from the two big user groups: 1) people who Navigate with turn instructions etc and 2) people who record, edit, post and follow Tracks. It is interesting that all the chatter is only in the top thread and "which for me", and nothing in the regional threads where people exchange Tracks. There is almost no mention of exchanging Routes from phones, only Tracks form stand alones.

    Since the use of electronic devices are so different for the two groups, why would anyone expect that their preferences would be the same? Therefore why would one group think they have an argument of why their choice is better for the other group?

    No real data, but I assume that the phone use for sat nav is growing every day with new hardware and software products that look and feel very familiar to the giant smart phone using public.

    As to the decline of stand alone sat nav, my guess is that the market for hand helds probably won't change much. It will remain the choice of real "outdoor adventurers" who go into remote areas (hiking and dirt biking) and value their smart phone too much to risk it vs a cheap throw away stand alone that does what they want very good. On the flip side, use of stand alones for highway and road navigation will probably keep declining as OEM built-ins get better and more an more people just can't exist without holding their smart phone in their hands 24 hrs a day. Sales to the tiny motorcycle street market vs cars can not support much R&D and will always have ery high retail sales prices.

    Edited: Forgot to mention the other very small group that go on and on about how they would never use an electronic sat nav or paper maps.
    #46
  7. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Jerry, your presumption that those using smartphones to navigate are only using Routes is unfounded. There are at least as many (actually more) Apps that navigate TRACKS then there are those that navigate Routes. There are however very few Apps that do both well on any of the phone OS's. That's not to say that there couldn't be but the App developers are catering to specific target markets: Automotive use, Outdoor use.

    I actually have most of your "Adv-bike" Tracks on my iPhone 6+ in Galileo Pro.

    By the way, does your GPS show you the Track Elevation Profile - as you ride a Track? Mine does.... :evil

    [​IMG]
    #47
  8. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    Jerry, those are good points, but I'll just counter with my experience: I started using PDA's for mapping years ago when I had the need to run more sophisticated and functional software than anything Garmin could provide (ArcPAD if anyone cares..) And since Garmin didn't allow installing third-party software, I went to Windows Mobile. And I've never looked back. I've been through numerous generations of GPS and device combinations: serial port interfaces, SD-cards, bluetooth, and finally built-in GPS. Battery power has always been problematic but solvable with external packs (which I still use for field work). When navigation programs became available on Windows Mobile, I naturally went that direction. I tried other dedicated devices a few times but was always frustrated with the lack of functionality and flexibility. Because of this, I find the Android platform and apps ultimately better suited for mapping than any dedicated unit (read Garmin) that I've tried. I get better data because I have more control of data collection parameters and I can choose the app that best fits my needs for a particular use.

    Tracks and routes are more common among the dedicated GPS unit users because that is where the market has been for so many years. The file formats themselves come from a standard set by Garmin (if I'm not mistaken). But 'smartphones' are just as capable of using and creating those, and much more. I can't think of anything one can do on a Garmin that can't be done on a smartphone. But certainly not the other way around. Ruggedness etc. is still a concern, but I don't think as big as some people think. My devices have been through a lot and (knock on wood) none have failed yet. Flaky, yes, but no failures! Batteries are still an issue. Most all of my old WinMo devices still work, except the batteries no longer hold a charge. But the newer devices are so much better in that regard! And that keeps getting better.. Smartphones are also more complicated than dedicated devices, so it will take a bit longer for people to adapt. But sooner or later, I think that is where it is going.

    A few weeks ago, I taught a 'GPS101' class for a group of outdoor enthusiasts. Most were quite surprised to find out just how capable the smartphone was; they just didn't realize what they could do, even those who had Iphones etc. Some still had the idea that you had to have cell service to use maps, for example. So, it is just going to take some time for this technology to integrate. Once it does, well..
    #48
  9. PNWet

    PNWet Long timer

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    I have an iPhone 5s with Gaia GPS and Avenza Maps installed. This is my second iPhone 5s. The first came down with a defective battery (it would go from fully charged to 0% in standby in about six hours). My phone is in a rugged, waterproof Lifeproof case and attaches to my handlebars via Quadlock. This seemed like a fairly good solution.

    However...

    I always have to carry an extra, external battery. If I ride around with my screen on using Gaia GPS, much like a dedicated Garmin unit would be, my battery would only last about 4 hours. This means I would have to plug it in and charge it to go anywhere beyond 4 hours, or put my phone in sleep mode and have it track while asleep.

    One day while out riding at Capitol Forest (95k acres with perhaps hundreds of miles of trails), my iPhone unexpectedly died. The screen was asleep, and I didn't notice it. I didn't have tracks for my last 20 minutes or so of riding.

    I was out with my kids, it was starting to get dark, and it was late October (think cold at night). Fortunately, I had my backup battery with me, so I put the iPhone on the charger. To do this, though, I had to put the whole thing in my pocket. Incidentally, this is when I discovered the defective battery issue (after owning the iPhone 5s for about 8 months). I hadn't been out but an hour or two, so there's no way my iPhone battery should have been discharged. It became hard for me, after that, to trust my new (replaced under warranty) iPhone.

    I started projecting into this summer, and thought about all of my (grandiose) plans to camp this summer. If I were to do this with my iPhone 5s I would bring the backup battery. It might last a couple days with light usage, including laying down tracks via Gaia GPS.

    All of that being said, for my uses, I decided to save up for and get a Garmin Oregon 600T.

    I've had it almost 2 weeks, and do not regret it. I'll use my phone as a back up, if need be. I have a USB charger for Eneloop batteries, and can use my external battery for recharging both the iPhone 5s and the Eneloop batteries. I should be able to charge a single Eneloop about 5 times, so that gives me about 40 hrs of GPS usage (without bringing spare, fully charged Eneloops or plugging in) vs. 20 hrs with the iPhone. I also have a small Goal Zero solar panel, so I can probably prolong things even longer that way.

    Now I can save my phone for pictures, phone calls, etc. and not have to worry about the battery.

    Finally, something I didn't consider before getting the Garmin: my Oregon has a tri-axial compass, which my understanding is phones do not. This makes the Garmin's compass more accurate.
    #49
  10. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    thanks for straightening me out. I didn't realize that you don't have to pay monthly charges for smart cell phone service anymore. I need to look into a plan like that.
    #50
  11. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    1) You opened with "using" and your argument was "available", no relationship even if it is probably true (you are in the know).

    My basis is participants in off highway events both organized and invitational and just looking at GPS cradles in any parking lot near an OHV area. There is a smidgen (in Obama's words) of non stand alones but just what I would expect because it is easy without ordering any hardware and there are always people who want to experiment with new even though old ain't broke. Time will tell and like I said, a small family owned nitch company like Trail Tech may survive as Garmin automotive fades away.

    2) Could you put that in bold and on more threads? After a year, no one is talking about the GWT or my updated PCQ. They are both great Adv Bike experiences and every one just keeps riding with bicycles on CDR.

    3) Oh great, I ride along just dreaming of more data to look down at and evaluate. I never broke a foot racing and now that I just "trail ride" I have broken 3 toes and tore tendons on a 4th. Concentration, I prefer using my senses to take in the nature not some man's creation even if it results in broken bones.
    #51
  12. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    I think he's more talking about using a smartphone as a handheld computer and having no cell service or data service at all, only using WiFi.
    #52
  13. chrisjk

    chrisjk Been here awhile

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    Exactly, you don't need cell phone or data service to use the gps in phones.
    #53
  14. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    1) Could you elaborate? What kind of software? In the receiver or on the data processing computer? Sounds like you are doing far more sophisticated tasks than recording Tracks to post on the internet or give to customers of a ride.

    2) Now you are way above me, what else is there for communicating a path to follow than Tracks or Routes?

    3) Again, are you above me? Garmin created .gdb which I love because it is so compact but new consumer standard is .gpx which is some universal format developed by who knows? Are you talking shape files? Damn BLM wanted them for a while for permits but gave up since no one know how to get them. Editorial: gpx also sucks because it does not have a bit for "Show on Map" so users must do a ton of button pushing after downloading to GPS.

    4) This is obvious statement since they are both dedicated processor (ASIC) based controller type devices and either one could clone the other with just firmware. The question is user interface and mechanical considerations. I far prefer button controlled human interface over touch screen for blind use while riding.

    Based on all that I now think the big difference is open system vs closed system and I see no reason why the open system will not win in the end since it is infinitely more responsive to the market. Garmin may think they are Apple but their locked products show that they should stick to hardware and open it to 3rd party firmware. But then what does IBM do now?
    #54
  15. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    :rofl

    I admit fully that I am a technology junky. I love putting tech to work. But, it doesn't surprise me that you don't see much smartphone use. My impression is that most of your Trail riding brethren don't know how to use those little GPS's they have mounted on their handlebars - at least that's what you keep telling me. :D

    I try, in my meager ways, to spread the word about your Tracks. But, using your Tracks would require pre-planning of a sort and my impression is that most folks just want to ride and have the planning done for them.

    Now wait a minute, you've been on my case for years now about color coding Tracks to convey information. I'm simply conveying altitude changes. :evil
    #55
  16. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    #56
  17. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I use my Zumo 550 for a doorstop. I much prefer using my Samsung S5 as my all use GPS these days.
    #57
  18. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Let me add just a little for you and MrMac...

    GPX is an Industry Standard (original spec was penned by Topografix) and has nothing to do with Garmin - as Jerry noted. And, as an Industry Standard, it can and should, only define the lowest common data types. Show on Map is not a common data type. It is an attribute that can be assigned by the file creator. That type of attribute is called an EXTENSION and is well documented in the GPX schema. The reality is that Garmin could easily have a Show on Map Extension but it would require that they [Garmin] create a new GPX definition document and then change all of their device's and application's code - they're not going to do that.

    Oh, and did I mention that Galileo Pro can, with one click, Show all Tracks on the Map?
    #58
  19. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    May have to try harder for that one. I was getting the impression that most users did this but yes many of my customers walk up with new GPS and after I download Tracks, they ask me what they should do now.

    However for CDR I have 18x500 tracks turn key ready for old units and 2000xsomething ready for new units. I guess will do this for GWT soon and PCQ when I get new version done. I guess I could do it for SMTS but users would still have to pick 20 sections for old units and only download them.
    #59
  20. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I ride dual sport, single track, serious aggressive street riding. My Galaxy S5 is dust and waterproof from the factory with no case needed. I don't need a USB cable because I don't need or want to use a power cable, not with 6 damn bikes to have to swap it around too. My Android phone cost a third of what my POS Montana cost. The beauty of it is, I get FREE cell phone insurance by paying my cell bill with a particular CC.
    #60