Which GPS is the best?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by michael.brat, May 15, 2011.

  1. michael.brat

    michael.brat Been here awhile

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    Hey guys,

    Planning on a trip across the US for about 6 weeks. Just visiting some "must see" sights but will mostly be camping where ever comes up and not in a rush to be anywhere. I was thinking about not using a GPS and using my iPhone 4 when the google maps works, but what do you guys think?

    I've been told a GPS is well worth it and I won't regret it. Which GPS do most guys use? I'm spoiled by how nice the iPhone's Google Maps works so the GPS units on the market seem behind in screen quality in comparison. I also use a Macbook so not sure if that plays into which GPS units are compatible?
    (btw, I figure there must be threads already for this but the search function can't handle the term "gps")

    Thanks guys :wave
    Mike
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  2. D-man

    D-man SALLGOOD

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    problem with an I phone is you cant Google while you are riding, at least very safely. I use a Zumo 550 but there are a few others that work pretty well also. comes with a bar mount and is designed for motorcycle use. never been to anywhere even off road that the Garmin didn't show me the way, or get me out of a place I was not familiar with used it coast to coast on the TAT, I don't leave home without it. not saying it is perfect but works pretty good.
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  3. The Raven

    The Raven Banned

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    and before you jump in and say...but I can with my fancy 4/3G interweb connection.....NO YOU CAN'T in some places. I have been to many places where the iphone 3G connection will not operate with the google map updates as the GPS on the iphone is Assisted GPS which basically means it uses the GPS AND triangulation from towers. You will need a dedicated downloaded Mapset....

    Now if you jailbroke your Iphone.....there are some options to be had :evil
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  4. michael.brat

    michael.brat Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys. Ya, I noticed that the iPhone relaying on an internet source for the mapping so that will be a problem in a lot of areas.

    Any recommendation on a mid level Garmin? I figure there must be a unit that's "standard" with inmates.

    Mike B
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  5. D-man

    D-man SALLGOOD

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    The only problem with a GPS that is not designed for a bike is they are not usually waterproof. the latest Zumo is a 660. not cheap but I think well worth it.

    I am sure there are others that are also good, but cant recommend any.
    #5
  6. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I use the auto specific GPS on my bike without issue....I just cover it when it's wet out or put it in a dry pocket. I started out with a Nuvi 265......worked well until my eyes gave up the ghost! Now I have a 1495, excellent! The car specific types are much much cheaper cost wise and offer much more features over the bike specific ones......if cost is a factor that is, if not go for the best bike version and be happy.:freaky
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  7. The Raven

    The Raven Banned

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    I've been thinking about the 500/550. The biggest issue is the sunlight readability. I have a 205 and in the sun it's unreadable. I wonder if the others are any good?

    I love my 60csx as it is readable
    #7
  8. bodhisattva65

    bodhisattva65 Been here awhile

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    Rand-Mcnally
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  9. TDubben

    TDubben Firing on 1 cylinder

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    People are quick to shoot down your smartphone as an option. I'm not very familiar with the iPhone but I know that the most updated version of google maps for my android phone will cache map data. So while you are in an area with reception, you can pan over the riding area you will be going into and it will save to your cache. When you lose reception, you can still view the map data stored in cache. I did this on a 2 day ride (250 miles each day) with no reception at all. I didn't store "satellite view" because that would take up space, just used the regular map. It worked great for me. The iPhone may be different though, so you might want to check into google maps caching feature on the iPhone.

    Also, about the assisted GPS (A-GPS). Your phone doesn't require cellular triangulation. The triangulation is the assisted part of your GPS radio in your phone. If you have no cell reception, you can still get a pretty good fix on your location. The triangulation, or assited, part just helps get a quicker and more accurate fix on your location.

    A traditional GPS will be more accurate, however you should take into account what you are using the GPS for. My phone ranges in accuracy from 10 ft. to 100 ft. depending on tree cover. My garmin usually ranges from 6 ft. to 30 ft. (older e-trex). For me, 10 ft. to 100 ft. is accurate enough when looking for the next town, gas, road, etc. I wouldn't use my phone for geocaching though.

    When people shoot down the smartphone as a legitimate GPS unit, I often think that it's because the technology is new and not many people are greatly familiar with it yet. If you fully understand your phone and its potential, then you have a tool that, I believe, is far better than a GPS unit.

    Another tip. You can view tracks from just about any source (.gpx, .kml, etc.) in google maps and have it displayed on your map even when out of reception. Look into "Google My Maps" and "converting .gpx to google my maps". I have done this with a lot of success!
    #9
  10. Seth S

    Seth S Deleted

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    i can attest to the accuracy of the gps on my Droid 2....which gets used to log my bicycle training rides. When I go back and look at my path it has recorded every small detail...including riding around in small circles on the road while waiting for other riders to catch up. Its also pretty amazing at how well it locates your position to the road. I think the smart phones are pretty amazing gps units. ...so I agree with you:D
    #10