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Who wants to help design an all-new trip planner from the ground up?
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Correct, "Your places">"Upcoming" is a relatively new feature of the GoogleMaps app on android & iOS

The browser version (google.com/maps) does have the other Your places" (...>"Labeled" ...>"Saved" ...>"Visited") which show up on the google.com/map, so maybe "Upcoming" will eventually show up there too, unless there's some technical limitation that prevents that.

What I WISH they would do with this is:

1. allow other places besides "Home" & "Work" in the ...>"Labeled" section (limiting it to just those two is a waste).

2. allow importation of POI sets into ...>"Labeled" section, hopefully doing it the way CoPilot & Garmin do it, by importing .csv files

3. allow custom icons for any single place or group of places in "Your places"

4. provide a way to manage the places in each of these sections. As it is now, each section is just a flat list that can't even be sorted or searched


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This is becoming a very useful exercise for me. I'm seeing more ways that existing tools can be used to provide the trip planning.

Furkot.com or another simple trip planner could be estimate a reasonable driving schedule (i.e.: date & time of day at each stop), each of which could then be pasted into calendar.google.com, which will cause those stops to show up in the calendar app and maps app.

I don't care too much how the trip data gets into the nav app, as long as it's very easy. But after a trip is planned on using an internet connection, and synced to the mobile device, the stops (at least, if not the via points) must be available offline and the navigation must be startable while offline.

...
@GoneNomad:

That is a good wishlist. We used to give MSFT wishlists.

One thought on POIs: You can save a map in Google with multiple pushpins of your choice. You could have separate maps saved for, say, Home Depot, Lowe's, Texas Roadhouse, etc. and then pull up the map, copy and save your target selection, paste that into your current map and proceed. I know I have created a map in Google with a bunch of very specific locations that must have come from some file I have, but I'll be danged if I can remember how I did that. I have the saved map, but I don't recall how I made it. It is not a route, just the pushpins.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush: That is a good wishlist. We used to give MSFT wishlists..
Well, we know how that eventually worked out
I think most of the suggestions they did implement was mainly the easy stuff Larry had some influence over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush...
One thought on POIs: You can save a map in Google with multiple pushpins of your choice.
AFAIK that functionality now exists only in "My Maps"
which doesn't quite work the way many people expect it will.
It's great for building custom maps for distribution, but not so great for navigation. You can open a "My Maps" into the googleMaps app, and you can view the points created on it, but you can only select the first one directly. After that first point, on the googleMaps app it's not possible to EASILY select any other "My Map" points to add to the route for navigation. The workaround in the googleMaps app is a kludge and the only other way AFAIK is to open my the "My Map" on the desktop site and capture the address to paste into the route in googleMaps app. In the the mobile version of that site (from which navigation can be launched) you can only create a route to one destination.


...

BTW, I just tested creating a google calendar event, and it shows up in the googleMaps app.
But it takes a net connection to access that "upcoming" list as well as the others in "Your Places"

If you're already in the googleMaps app anywhere ELSE other than "Your Places" and have no net connection, you can't access those lists.

Their scheme probably works by trying to sync every time the "Your Places" section is accessed.

But they really *should* automatically cache the last sync'd version of all those 'saved places' locally, and evidently that does not happen.

The only workaround is to go into "Your Places" and select each of those lists (not each place) after launching the maps app (with a data connection), so that they will remain available if the data connection is lost subsequently.

UPDATE: that workaround seems to work only for the "Labeled" and "Saved" lists in "Your Places" which evidently are cached locally, if each section is manually accessed.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
...

BTW, I just tested creating a google calendar event, and it shows up in the googleMaps app.
But it takes a net connection to access that "upcoming" list as well as the others in "Your Places"

...
Gee, I don't know. I just signed my phone off from the wifi and I still got "Upcoming" on it. It may just take a little time to filter through the snakes and ladders @ Google.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
Gee, I don't know. I just signed my phone off from the wifi and I still got "Upcoming" on it. It may just take a little time to filter through the snakes and ladders @ Google.
Does your phone have cellular data?

-----------------------------

I guess the overall takeaway is that their are a lot of pitfalls with google's scheme, which is built upon an assumption of almost always available 4GLTE data.

If the map area is stored locally, the google maps app will find any address in its database.
It's just a shame that to be sure you can actually map & navigate to one of the built-in "Places," you might have to retype it or copy&paste* from an external list.

I'm going to have to check to see what data is needed to instigate the "launch default nav app" process, that allows other apps to start a navigation. Maybe just copying the text of an address?


* too bad that doesn't work in CoPilot, because it has the old-fashioned step-at-a-time address entry, rather than now-commonplace single line address entry.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Does your phone have cellular data?

...
Yes, it must have been collecting the Upcoming locations using the cellular data medium. If I disable my SIM cards, Upcoming finds no locations.
GoneNomad
^ Glad to know that explains it.
If not, it could have been that it tries to sync, but failing that it falls back on locally cached data (for which I may have not waited long enough), but I didn't think that was the case.

-----------------

I just took a look at google's relatively new "timeline" feature.

Seeing all that at once reminds me that doing everything with a sync'd google account may not be a prudent thing to do, for privacy reasons, on top of the unreliability of various functions with no data connection.
Ken in Regina
@SpadesFlush
Quote:
I hear what you say about the OneNote iOS client but I am reluctant to introduce that particular user to a new app in the spirit of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
That's something I can relate to completely!! My copilot hates change of any kind, never mind technology change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@ ken re OneNote:

...
I use Nuance's PaperPort Professional (see http://www.nuance.com/for-individuals/by-product/paperport/index.htm) to visualize folder contents. ...

When I look at a OneNote tab, I immediately miss being able to get a better sense of what the file contents look like, as I can with PaperPort.
Ah Ha!! That explains it perfectly. As long as I was picturing you simply using the Windows File Manager and having to launch files in individual apps to view/edit, I felt there were possibly significant benefits from looking at OneNote. But seeing the tool you are primarily using I can understand perfectly. There really is not sufficient additional benefit, generally speaking, to learning a new tool rather than continuing with one that you probably operate without even thinking.

The only way there would be any worthwhile benefit to incurring the learning curve would be if there were things you really needed that can't be done some other way. As you have already noted, the Google Contacts and/or Calendar will probably supplement your needs sufficiently, and again, without incurring any significant learning curve; just a minor incremental bit of experimenting with a tool(s) you already know how to use.

Thanks for the clarification. It all makes perfect sense now. Directly parallel to my move from more than 15 years of Palm's Memopad to OneNote.

(I may take a peek at the free trial of Paperport.)

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@ken

I think the file "size" criterion has to do with the content in the area as Google sees it for navigational purposes rather than population (to which GM is completely indifferent) or geographic area.
Yeah, that's what I said.

It's what I was trying to express ... badly ... that the size of the file is related to the amount of detail it contains rather than the geographic area it covers.

Thanks to both of you for clarifying why that is.

...ken...
SpadesFlush
@GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
^ Glad to know that explains it.
If not, it could have been that it tries to sync, but failing that it falls back on locally cached data (for which I may have not waited long enough), but I didn't think that was the case.
I think the way it works is that, yes, you need a link to sync, [apologies] but once the destination is in GM and so long as you have power and a GPS signal, you should be able to navigate without continuous data access. That seems to be OK for my needs.

-----------------
Quote:
I just took a look at google's relatively new "timeline" feature.

Seeing all that at once reminds me that doing everything with a sync'd google account may not be a prudent thing to do, for privacy reasons, on top of the unreliability of various functions with no data connection.
We have had some discussions on that in other threads in this forum in the past. Privacy concerns vary from user to user and that will guide individuals' willingness to use this feature. On the other hand, I found it to be a bit flaky in that it was spotty in tracking my actual locations. And it loads up memory like crazy. There may be some occasional narrow uses but other than that, it is just a gimmick.
SpadesFlush
@Ken
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
@SpadesFlush
...
Ah Ha!! That explains it perfectly. As long as I was picturing you simply using the Windows File Manager and having to launch files in individual apps to view/edit, I felt there were possibly significant benefits from looking at OneNote. But seeing the tool you are primarily using I can understand perfectly. There really is not sufficient additional benefit, generally speaking, to learning a new tool rather than continuing with one that you probably operate without even thinking.
...
Now I feel guilty about not revealing my use of PaperPort earlier in the thread.

I started using it because it supported scanning fairly well. My business was very paper-intensive and I needed to digitize and organize. There were not many programs around that did that effectively and PaperPort was a big help. I helped the company with suggestions and testing and the product evolved substantially for the better in the 2000s. It is quite mature now but I find it useful still although I am no longer swimming in documents. Actually, some scanners manufacturers bundle PaperPort with their hardware. However, there is a big difference between the freebie version and the big-buck Professional but at least it does not expire or get out-dated now that it is so fully developed. Every so often, Nuance runs flash sales on it, knocking $100 or so off, so it might not be a bad idea to get on their e-mail list, if the product has any appeal. There used to be a 30-day free trial; I don't know if there still is.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush... I think the way it works is that, yes, you need a link to sync, [apologies] but once the destination is in GM and so long as you have power and a GPS signal, you should be able to navigate without continuous data access. That seems to be OK for my needs.
Only the "Labeled" and "Saved" works this way. As far as I can tell, the others: "Upcoming" (from the calendar) and "Visited" (from the timeline) require a data connection when trying to see them, and at that point they do work with data turned off (but only once), after which any time you try to access them again, a data connection is required.

-----------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush... re: [Google Timeline]
We have had some discussions on that in other threads in this forum in the past. Privacy concerns vary from user to user and that will guide individuals' willingness to use this feature [Google Timeline]. On the other hand, I found it to be a bit flaky in that it was spotty in tracking my actual locations...
Well, all I can say for sure is that after I realized how this worked, I checked a friend's 3-week old Android6 phone, and it had EVERYTHING, including the place names in most cases (even though she never entered any of those placenames nor searched for any of those places nor used navigation to get there. The only ones it didn't have the name were in parking lots of big (non-mall) shopping centers and in those cases it had the approximate address range.

Anyway, personally I'm not too concerned about the interconnections of all google's "helpful" stuff (helping themselves to as much of your data as they can) because (was one thought at first, but it turned into 3a, b & c by the time I was done ):

1. My goal is to create a modern nav system/scheme using the best available pieces, customized as required for different flavors of HFT user needs (Truckers vs. RVer vs. fly&drivers, etc.), to replace a traditional PND and gets past some of the undue burdens that traditional PND makers have continued to impose on users (e.g.: multi-step address entry) because they feel compelled to retain what is essentially a legacy UI.

2. My goal is not necessarily just a nav system intended primarily for use on a phone. That's one reason for all the emphasis on off-line functionality: what I come up with will need to work on any device/tablet with a GPS (4gLTE data not required, although of course that would make some things easier).

3a. Since it's not intended primarily for use on a phone, it won't necessarily be personally identifiable (at least not as easily or to the same extent) since a phone almost always have service billing name, address, credit card, etc. It's possible to set up unique user account specifically for a mobile device used primarily as standalone replacements for high-end PNDs. Those whose business requires keeping secrets call this "compartmentalization." But even so, if any part of google's interconnected data-grabbing modules are used, in real-world usage, I suspect that personally identifiable data would still leak from that mobile-device-specific-unique-user-account.

3b. A PND is not-so-easily-personally-identifiable because it's self-contained (unless the user pays for a map upgrade service via credit card). True, a PND's location history can be read by authorities, but they'd need the device in their possession and usually follow a legal process, and I'm not trying to prevent that. But the other scenario is very different...

3c. Compare a PND's self-contained location history to the wide ranging history that google is keeping track of (more like an extremely detailed history of your life than a mere location history), all of which is available to ANYONE who can manage to guess - or hack - ONE password. Remember, your email address itself is READILY available. Yeah, WOW! It's just that easy. [I guess Hillary Clinton finally understands that now ]

4. My expectation is that this modern nav system outperform high-end PNDs costing several hundred bucks, which in terms of specs and all-around capabilities offer a very poor value compared to a tablet.
These PNDs still command a premium mainly because they are niche products with low production volume, and because free apps like googlemaps have picked off the low-hanging fruit, and because the other apps (with the exception of CoPilot, which has its own UI drawbacks) haven't stepped up to meet the needs of HFTs who need real-world PND functionality. The traditional PND makers had the nav technology and software long before googlemaps, but the most they've done is essentially port their existing legacy PND software to mobileOS (usually poorly) they've all repeatedly screwed up by not adapting to the interconnectability capabilities of modern mobileOS devices. Both Magellan and Garmin have taken cracks at doingsomething better that than legacy PND software on mobileOS.
To see how that worked out, check out "Magellan SmartGPS" or "Garmin Viago" (which really didn't do much more than "Streetpilot iOS but had the potential to do so)

OK, as usual this turned into a greater expansion upon my thinking on this than I intended as a reply to Spades thoughts, and real-life intercedes, so that's all for now. More to come.

Here's a hint on what appears to be the way forward at this point, though:

Android: Furkot or equivalent (trip planning)->Copilot (navigation of long distance trips) & "HereWego + ???" (navigation of short trips/detours that begin now)

Windows: Furkot or equivalent (trip planning)->Copilot (navigation of long distance trips) & "Win10Maps + ???" (navigation of short trips/detours that begin now)

It will take some addtional resources though, otherwise too many users won't be willing to expend the time required to setup up these tools for their needs.

And that's where a modern equivalent of the POI MegaFile (along with a few other productivity enhancement widgets) should make this a viable option for (at least) abandoned S&T users and others who really nedd what S&T might have become if meaningful development had been done (by other-than-microsoft) during the last decade.

UPDATE: looks like some form of Magellan SmartGPS is actually available now.
Reviewers have it rated 2.7 stars out of 5 though.
GoneNomad
Just got done testing CoPilot on a few demo routes.

I had forgotten that for highways that turn into urban boulevards, CoPilot's voice guidance (still) refers to them by their number instead of the street names that are on all the physical signage you'd be looking for as CoPilot is telling you to turn on "US ##".

Another indication of CoPilot not really being the best option for travel inside city limits.

I see that version 10 just came out on iOS.
CoPilot’s Next Generation App Features # 1
CoPilot’s Next Generation App Features # 2

Not much info about anything else on CoPilot's "What's New" blog.

If they follow the usual pattern, I guess v10 will be out on Android next year.
According to DieselBoss website, they only updated the (non-truck) WinLaptop to version9 some time this year.
GoneNomad
Just got done testing Furkot a little more.

One part of its POI import capability "would be" really useful:
Furkot allows more info, including a URL
(
the name Pilot travel Center #34 is clickable just like it is here)
when the POI is shown in the list of imported
POIs, e.g.:


and even more info if added to the route, as shown the list of stops on the route:



So, why "would be" really useful?

Furkot is limited to importing only 200 records from a .CSV or .GPX file.

If that wasn't enough of a drawback considering that most POI files include all locations in the US, the inconvenient workaround of splitting up POI files into 200-record sections won't work either...
...because Furkot "forgets" the first set of POIs as soon as you click the button to import another set.

The only other "workaround" is to add all 200 POI locations to a route as "skipped stops"
(which isn't practical to begin with), after which they just show up at the bottom of the active stops, and there's no way to manage them.

Oh well....
Attached Images
furkot-11-04-16-1.png   furkot-11-04-16-2.png  
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
CoPilot is looking better all the time, especially since the Windows 7/8/10 laptop version is now only twenty bucks. It used to be $100.
It might be the way to go, if used only for navigation.
...
But this recent review
3200 Miles with CoPilot RV: It's the Best of Bad Choices for RV Navigation
confirms that CoPilot's routing problems I experienced when I tested it back in 2012 are still painfully evident, even on rural interstate highways.

(see also: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4926-copilot-features-q-p3#post50617)


But after reviewing TomTom's latest offerings, I think I'm going to disagree with his headline.

TomTom has a googlemaps style online trip planner, and they make it easy to export routes - either online or directly via USB - to a TomTom PND OR to Android & iOS devices devices running the TomTom mobile nav app.

In fact, evidently I already knew this because I'd already set up an acccount on the TomTom trip planner site.

That caused me to remember that after I tested CoPilot & Navigon, I later got a copy of an early version of the then-new TomTom Android app. It was buggy but the voice guidance was better than CoPilot or Navigon.
Well, looks like TomTom has worked out a lot of the bugs.

Best of all, google.com/maps and/or Furkot can still be used in TomTom's trip planning workflow.
GoneNomad
Well, it looks like google has already taken a stab at part of this:
Google Trips


And this is similar to EverNote & OneNote:
Google Keep

..
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