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What's the best laptop GPS software for me?
flannigan
rayall01:

I suppose this doesn't directly reply to your question. However, I use a Garmin 1490LMT GPS. It is relatively easy to program routes & waypoints. You can even do it on your loaptop (in Map Source) and transfer to your GPS. With the beanbag mount it sits on your dash and is easily transportable from your home/hotel to your car.
I just saw it on sale for $238.
Mike Flannigan
Ken in Regina
Hey Mike,

His point was that if you find local problems on the route your navigation device is trying to take you on, like construction or an accident, if you are using a laptop with a nice size screen it's really easy to use it like a paper map to visually survey the local area and visually navigate yourself around the problem. But it's next to impossible to do that on most personal navigation devices.

Even the ones with 5" screens on them are nearly impossible to use that way because of the way the manufacturers draw the maps on them. If you zoom out to where you can see what's a few blocks in any direction, you lose the necessary detail to see the streets. If you stay zoomed in to a level where you can see the streets, you can't see enough of the area to make any useful decisions about how to get around the obstruction. Catch-22. And damned frustrating.

...ken...
flannigan
Ken:

Whoops - Thanks for keeping me straight. I'm glad I'm having a glass of wine. Gives me an excuse for my red face.

Regards,

Mike
tcassidy
Its ok Mike as it is strictly a 'Point of View' discussion anyway. I am a terrible navigator and can get 'lost' easily. Although I love the big picture, I have never been in a situation the PND couldn't lead me out of with a bit of thought.

Terry
flannigan
I have also been in some doozies where the PND has taken me out of, particulary in major cities that I was not familiar with.

Mike
rayall01
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Hey Mike,

His point was that if you find local problems on the route your navigation device is trying to take you on, like construction or an accident, if you are using a laptop with a nice size screen it's really easy to use it like a paper map to visually survey the local area and visually navigate yourself around the problem. But it's next to impossible to do that on most personal navigation devices.

Even the ones with 5" screens on them are nearly impossible to use that way because of the way the manufacturers draw the maps on them. If you zoom out to where you can see what's a few blocks in any direction, you lose the necessary detail to see the streets. If you stay zoomed in to a level where you can see the streets, you can't see enough of the area to make any useful decisions about how to get around the obstruction. Catch-22. And damned frustrating.

...ken...
Well said!
Syndetic
From your self-description, I'd say you're best off getting a standalone unit, ESPECIALLY if you're in Philly and you'll be doing only city driving. I can't imagine the horror of having to constantly look over at the passenger's seat to see my laptop's screen _while_ trying to navigate busy city streets. And, if I already have a passenger in the car, then forget it

I bought a Garmin nüvi 1350T last Fall for a trip to Toronto, CA (pretty busy place!), and I can tell you with no hesitation that it was easily worth 3 times the cost of the unit. The gas that I would have consumed by getting lost without the GPS would have cost more, let alone the frustration and anxiety it would have caused. Go get the standalone unit.
resophil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndetic
...I bought a Garmin nüvi 1350T last Fall for a trip to Toronto, CA (pretty busy place!), ....
Just out of curiosity, which part of California is Toronto in...?
malaki86
Close to City of Industry and such. It's all part of "just outside of LA"
roadrelics
I started out many years ago with a Garmin Street Pilot III with a PC interface cable that makes you live on the PC with Mapsource program. It has the best detail & options I have ever seen & they discontinue it??? I travel a lot & have a permanent police stand for the laptop. I also use a Nuvi 1390t (crap), the new Garmin Mobile PC, which is the worst & I will only use this in emergencies...

Well, everything was just stolen & I'm looking at new systems & already got the old Street Pilot 3 & all accessories, except laptop for $100...

After 12 years, I'm done with Garmin however. I can't find another GPS brand that runs a PC interface cable to a laptop for a better view... Any ideas???

Thanks
Ken in Regina
Well, if you could be persuaded to stick with Garmin there is a solution that you will be quite familiar with. Somewhere along the line Garmin split the nav functions away from Mapsource into a program called nRoute. It still works just fine. So you could connect your StreetPilot, load some maps for nRoute and just do what you used to do. If you decide not to dump Garmin you can put "nRoute" into the Search box at the top of any page in this forum and you'll see lots of discussion about it. After you read up on it a bit we'll be happy to answer any questions you have.

If you are serious about dumping Garmin, go to the main page of this site and look at the reviews listed on the right side of the page. There are many PC navigation programs that are designed to work with a GPS receiver connected to your laptop. Take a look through the reviews and we'll be happy to answer your questions about any that you might be interested in.

To help narrow it down a little here is a very gross distinction:

1. Navigation programs that include strong trip planning abilities, similar to Mapsource:

Microsoft Streets & Trips
DeLorme Street Atlas

These programs have very strong trip planning features. The realtime navigation functions in both work well but feel a little awkward to use.

2. Navigation programs that are mainly PC versions of standalone auto navigation units:

iNav iGuidance
ALK CoPilot

The navigation features of these programs are very strong and intuitive. The trip planning abilities are very limited.

I hope that helps a little.

...ken...
roadrelics
Thanks... It all helps... I just finished downloading nRoute on my new 64 bit laptop, but will my Street Pilot III work with nRoute on this new laptop, or should I get different Garmin GPS? Thanks DT
tcassidy
It depends on a couple of things. Do you have a serial to USB adapter for your SPIII? Do you have maps on the computer which are unlocked to your SPIII?

Terry
roadrelics
I have used this system for many years with Mapsource, however the SPIII & cords were just stolen, but I did replace the SPIII, interface cord, & adapter serial to USB... I have the same computer with unlocked maps on Mapsource & can't get it to work. .....
tcassidy
The maps are locked to the previous SPIII. If you want to use it with nRoute, the easiest solution would be to download GPS Gate. Install it and let it find you SPIII. It will provide appropriately modified data to a COM port that will work with nRoute and your maps.

Terry
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