HomeSoftware


I want to use my XP powered netbook to provide me with a Sat Nav system
Ascension
Hello, after three days of searching on the Internet reading reviews, forums and seller websites etc I'm I think more confused than before I started!!!
Then I found this forum! HALLALUJAH!

I want to use my XP powered netbook to provide me with a sat nav system, to achieve this it appears I have two options...

Option one = buy a product specifically designed for PC platform.

or

Option two = buy a product for pocket PC and use an emulator.

There seems to be a serious lack of features on all the PC based systems I've found so far most of which are standard features on the company's all in one units.

The features below are the features I would like to have, can anybody tell me if there is a program which has all/most of them in PC format? I would prefer to go this route rather than the emulator route.
I would be really interested in hearing from everybody who has used/is using thier laptop/netbook/UMPC to provide sat nav.
  1. Nice (easy to use) and clear user interface
  2. Visual and audible turn by turn navigation
  3. Live traffic information
  4. Local speed limit at current location
  5. Europe coverage
  6. Full UK postcode (not partial)
  7. Smooth map scrolling whilst driving
  8. Live speed camera updates (inc mobile units if possible)
  9. Lane assistance, to ensure I’m in the correct lane when approaching a junction
  10. Link in to a suppliers website (for local fuel prices, weather, hotels etc info (net book is 3G enabled).
All advice gratefully recieved, thank you in advance!
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Ascension

:welcome: to Laptop GPS World.

Check out some of the products listed on this list. I'm not sure there is one that supports lane assist, though.
Ascension
Hi Marvin,

I had no idea there were so many! After 2 days I'd found 2 option that were offered in PC platform. Thank you
I now have a resouce to do some research from, woo hoo!
rodw
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascension
Hi Marvin,

I had no idea there were so many! After 2 days I'd found 2 option that were offered in PC platform. Thank you
I now have a resouce to do some research from, woo hoo!
So what do you want to use GPS for? Street nav or offroad/marine/aviation?

I just introduced myself and listed the applications I use in that post. You can read it once the mods approve the content.
Ascension
Hi Rob I wan to use this system for mainly UK driving but also the occasional trip into Europe. I have been reading the forums etc, and investigating a little further now, and I think I am going to go with the Centrafuse option. Although I'm speaking with their team (customer service) about the details of the system. Haven't made my purchase yet, but certainly leaning toward using that system.
rodw
Can't help you much over there from down under (or with Centrafuse) I use Road Runner. For StreetNav, I use Odyssey Navigator and I think there are maps for Europe available. See Twig.com.au
Nevgar
Hi there;
This is my first post here, so please be gentle!
I am travelling to the UK in mid-August and want to be able to fiind my way around. Most of my travel while there will be by train or plane, but I will be hiring a car for a few days during the trip.
I want to a) know where we are;
b) know how to get where we want to go;
c) keep a track log (saved regularly so I don't delete old stuff);
d) do some geocaching; and
e) not spend my time wondering whether or not all the paraphernalia is working properly.
We intend to visit Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester area, Cornwall and London in the 3 weeks we are there.
The following gear will ost likely make the trip with me:
- Garmin 76 CSX GPS;
- Garmin GPSMap 60;
- Palm T|X PDA;
- Microsoft S&T GPS (USB Plug In GPS);
- Netbook Computer (Dell - Windows XP);
- About 4 million batteries, cables, chargers, connectors and USB sticks;
I have ordered the Garmin MapSource City Navigator 2010 UK & Ireland SD Card and hope to have it with me;
I have downloaded (but not yet installed) the latest trial of Microsoft MapPoint Europe;
I am considering installing GooPs and GPSGate.
I'm exhausted just writing that!

Is there anything else I should consider, install, think about buying (other than more luggage) or get a trial version of for this vacation.

I want to say that this forum has been absolutely invaluable in my research for this trip. I don't remember how I came across it, but boy am I glad I did!

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Nevgar (Chris)
Inuvik, NT, Canada
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Nevgar,

:welcome: to Laptop GPS World, and greetings to Nunavut.

That's a lot of equipment to carry. But it is always better to have more than you need than to not have enough.

I personally would only take a netbook + MapPoint + USB GPS on such European trip, but I don't do geocaching.

A few years back we used Microsoft MapPoint (or was it Microsoft AutoRoute?) on a laptop during our trip to Europe, and it was all we really needed. I cannot imagine a better setup for planning our next day at night in a hotel room. And it worked flawlessly with USB GPS while on the road, too.
Nevgar
Thanks for the welcome.

FYI - NT is "Northwest Territories" as opposed to Nunavut. They are East of me. (I checked on my GPS to be sure)

The geocaching is the main reason for most of the equipment. The USB GPS and netbook just doesn't work for geocaching.
I may not take one of the two GPSr's - but they each have advantages and disadvantages.
I don't want this to turn into a "let's go to the computer store and see if we can get that OTHER piece of software/hardware I need" type of trip. Been there, done that, got the gadgets to prove it. LOL

I will keep watching this site to see if anyone else has any suggestions, but so far, I am happy with my software selections. Now, I just have to make sure things will load properly.

Oh - can I integrate Streets & Trips 2009 with MapPoint Europe so I have coverage on both sides of the pond?
Or will I need to run the 2 different programs to have coverage?

Thanks
Chris in Inuvik, NWT, Canada
Marvin Hlavac
Chris, I apologize for my mistake in geography. I guess I'm more familiar with the NWT abbreviation.

Regarding merging Streets & Trips North American data with the European data of MapPoint, well, I have read similar questions/requests numerous times over the years, but as far as I know there is no way to achieve that. However, Microsoft did a survey for desired features for the future version of MapPoint 2010 a few months ago, and one of the questions was if people would pay for a version that includes both NA & EU data.
Ken in Regina
Hey Chris,

I know this is a laptop forum but here's what I would do.

Rely almost completely on the 76CSx with supplemental help from the laptop. Here's why:

You can run the 76CSx for all of your needs. It will do autorouting with the City Navigator maps you're taking. It will do geocaching. It will constantly record your tracks as long as you have it turned on.

And it's far more convenient to carry around when on walkabout and using public transportation.

I assume you've got Mapsource on the laptop so you can back up your tracks by transferring them to Mapsource on the laptop regularly.

Unfortunately you can't use the maps on the SD card with Mapsource (there are no "Mapsource" SD card products), so you can use Mappoint Europe for your planning while there. You can also use Mappoint Europe for in-car nav, using the USB GPS, if you want a larger screen AND if your navigator is comfortable holding the laptop on his-or-her laptop.

That's what I would do, anyway.

I'm assuming that the City Navigator product you are getting is the micro-SD/SD card version? That means it will work in your 76CSx.

Is your 60 a model that will accept the micro-SD card? If not, that makes the choice easy: leave the 60 at home. If the 60 also accepts the micro-SD card then it's pretty much your personal preference which of the two handhelds you take.

You could do it all on the Palm T|X with Mobile XT. You get the same size screen as a widescreen Nuvi and more than twice the resolution. But you would need more maps and an expensive GPS10x Bluetooth receiver for that to work. You said you didn't need any more toys at the moment and the battery life of the Palm would be a limiting factor, so that's probably not a good option.

The portability, functionality, accuracy and battery life on the two Garmin handhelds and the ready availability of AA batteries almost anywhere you go makes either of them the top choice from your toy list, in my view. The laptop, with the right software on it, will be an excellent supplement to that for those times when you have the need for a big screen and the luxury of the time and space to use it.

.... An afterthought: I've messed up more than one family vacation by spending too much time messing with my electronic gadgets and not enough time focusing on the family and the vacationing. In the spirit of helping you avoid that issue I would suggest that you forgo Goops and GPSGate. The only way I would suggest you include them is if you really really want to be able to share your travels in near realtime with close friends and family AND if your traveling companion(s) feel as strongly as you do about the positive aspects of this capability. Otherwise, share your photographs and memories with them when you get home.

If you want to be able to share tracks of your travels at the end of the day or when it's occasionally convenient during your travels, you should be experimenting right now with the best way to share your track files. See if you can upload them to Google Maps or Microsoft's Live Maps so others can view them. Get the process perfected before you go so it's trivial to do while on the road. Otherwise it's another potential distraction from your traveling companion(s) and the vacationing.

Sorry about the ramble. I hope it helps a little.

...ken...
Nevgar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
Chris, I apologize for my mistake in geography. I guess I'm more familliar with the NWT abreviation.

Regarding merging Streets & Trips North American data with the European data of MapPoint, well, I have read similar questions/requests numerous times over the years, but as far as I know there is no way to achieve that. However, Microsoft did a survey for desired features for the future version of MapPoint 2010 a few months ago, and one of the questions was if people would pay for a version that includes both NA & EU data.
Believe me - you aren't the only one to get that wrong!
Officially, the abbreviation for Nunavut is "NU". I just remember it as the "Nu Territory".

The EU/NA option would be great, but I'll bet you will have to buy the full version instead of just an upgrade to get it! Would be nice to be able to just buy the maps for Streets and Trips. The absolute ideal would be to be able to download just the countries you need, whether you have S&T or MapPoint. But MapPoint is a little on the expensive side for my tastes.

Chris in Inuvik
Nevgar
Ken - Thanks for the great advice.
Unfortunately, the 60 does not accept sd cards, so it is still up in the air as to whether it is going with me.
Speaking of up in the air, the main thing I prefer about the 60 is that is does NOT have the barometric altimeter. Altitudes tend to get really messed up with barometric altimeters when flying in pressurized aircraft.
And somehow, I am really hoping the aircraft we cross the pond in will be pressurized!
The Palm is used mainly to hold a large selection of geocaches (pre-loaded before we leave) for the areas we will be traveling. The GPS for the Palm is prohibitively expensive, and I already have 3 other GPS's. Splurging on yet another one would not go over well with She Who Must Be Obeyed!
The playing with electronic gadgets can turn into an obsession, can't it?
I have Garmin's map source on my laptop, and I understand I should be able to load sections of the maps from the card into it, then upload tracks and points from the GPS. I will know as soon as I get the card (today or Tuesday in the mail, I hope).
I love your idea about practicing beforehand with the uploading beforehand. I am going to start that tonight when I have a little time.
I'm not sure how often we are going to have internet availability at a reasonable cost (free would be nice), so I am going to want to do a lot of stuff fairly quickly when I do have a connection.
How many times have you sat in an internet cafe / starbucks / macdonalds and spent the bulk of your time doing stuff on a laptop? Probably too many times, if you're at all like me.

Thanks again for the great response - this forum has been great for feeding my obsession, and your post has been great for helping me to keep it in check. Lots of great advice from the voice of experience.

I'll keep watching this space for anything else.

Chris in Inuvik
Marvin Hlavac
Chris, Ken does have a valid point about a laptop being a potential inconvenience to a passanger who has to keep it on his/her lap. It it better to use a professionally made laptop holder. You mentioned you had a netbook. Check out this new netbook suction cup mount on special sale for only $14.99 @ Semsons. Use the cupon code "summer15" to get your 15% discount. Offer expires August 15th, 2009: Windshield Mount for Eee PC 900, Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - NetBook, UMPC Mount

If you (or anyone else) buy it, please do come back to tell us how it works. The price seems way too good to be true, but Semsons does sell good products.
Ken in Regina
Chris,

I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but.... you won't be able to use those maps in Mapsource. You will find the card contains a GMAPSUPP.IMG file. That's the same file that Mapsource creates when you select map segments in Mapsource and transfer them to a Garmin handheld.

Mapsource can only use uncompiled maps like you get on the DVD version of the maps, not the compiled mapset that you get on the SD card version.

If you are sufficiently technically inclined there may be a way to "uncompile" that file for use in Mapsource. It's not rocket science but you need to be comfortable at least making an entry or change in the registry. And the result is not as smooth as using the DVD uncompiled maps because the "decompiled" maps don't hook together as smoothly edge to edge. Sometimes when navigating around you can find yourself literally in the middle of nowhere and it's a real pain to try to relocate yourself somewhere on a real part of the map again.

Let me know if you want to take a run at it and I'll see if I can get you pointed in the right direction.

...ken...
laptopgpsworld.com About