View Full Version : GPS navigation

October 22nd, 2008, 03:15 PM
Hi, all.

This is not really an ubuntu question, but as the folks here seem quite helpful, here goes....

I'm looking to buy a GPS system for the car, and every system I've seen so far seems to require expensive updates of the maps.

With google maps available free of charge, and up to date, in principle, I should be able to copy that data into my GPS.

Just wondering whether it has been done - I wasn't able to find any.


October 22nd, 2008, 07:04 PM
Hi gsub

GPS system normally come with your FIRST upgraded map FREE...........

FWIW: The latest 2009 maps contain mostly 2006 data and a LOT has changed since 2006.

Inside a GPS there are several programs running from different vendors.
The street addresses for example are NOT actually a part of the mapping software, they are separate and MOST are unchangeable.

It is possible, with a computer, to OPEN nearly every file within a GPS unit, make a few changes here and there, BUT, if those changes are NOT in the hidden database of numbers, it will not recognize the change, even though you can see it plain as day in your listings.

Also, features you don't think are IN a particular GPS really are there, just not accessable from the screen or controls on the unit itself.

I've had Magellan, Tom Tom and Garmin and so far the Garmin's put the others to shame, within the same class of course.

But none of them will let you correct the mistakes on the maps, street links or address numbers. And they do have a LOT of mistakes in them!
And not only that, some, but not many, have paid for redirection to purposely throw you off base, sometimes by many miles. Other times to a whole different location not even related. EG: You type in the home address of perhaps an attorney because you need to take some papers to his house. You are redirected to his office address instead. If you know it and type in the Mayor's home address, it takes you to Riverboat on the Landing instead.

I prefer the Garmin because I can copy, edit and rewrite the files inside and it WILL get me where I want to go, even if it don't show the address on the screen, because it thinks that number don't exist. It will let the coordinates take over in that case. Like when you SAVE a location while at that location.

The new 2009 map, as I said is really a 2006 map.
And some of the errors are it tells you to turn on a one way street going the wrong way, when that street has been one way the other direction since 1966. Or on streets that have identical numbered addresses at both ends, like East Main Street vs West Main Street, it sends you to the wrong one more times than the right one.

Nonetheless, after moving to a new state, I was a homebody until I got my first GPS and now I wouldn't leave home without one, that is if I'm home, I'm usually out and about now!


October 22nd, 2008, 07:10 PM
Oh, forgot to add, that you can create TRIP GUIDES from most of the on-line map sources, which is really NICE. Paying members of those on-line map places can build Tour Guides as well. A Trip Guide is just point to point navigation. A Tour Guide includes a history about each point, you can sometimes even include videos or audible readout of the history, etc.
Points are actually called Waypoints and depending upon how you assemble them, they can be continuous, like where you make turns, or as a point of interest so you have to move from waypoint to waypoint as it stops until you restart to the next waypoint.

So, if you do make a TourGuide, NUMBER each Waypoint in the order of the trip you want to make. This is useful when you create a loop you wish to follow, else you'll never know which one to go to next after you leave home. Or, if you share your tripguide with a friend, they could start anywhere around the loop and follow the same path and end up back home again at the end. Without those numbers, you can end up zigzagging all over the place, missing sights you planned on passing.


October 23rd, 2008, 07:14 PM
I work for a map company that supplies the map data for Garmin, Magellan, and online webmaps. I pretty much agree with what Kellemora said.

expensive updates of the maps.
A lot of work goes into updating those maps...you get what you pay for. Of course you dont have to update your map. :-]

With google maps available free of charge, and up to date, in principle, I should be able to copy that data into my GPS.
I guess...if there was a way to extract data from google maps. I bet some systems allow importing of openmap data from such sources as openstreetmaps, but again, I'm not that familiar with it.