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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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  #1  
Old 23 Mar 2006
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Location: Wimborne - Dorset
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Which GPS?

Hi all..

I posted before about a forthcoming trip, I have to say that even though it's not planned til October there are still some nights I can't sleep 'cos I'm thinking about it so much (what a kid I am!).

Anyway, GPS seems to have become an indispensable tool now, and I'm a member of this growing band of non-map-readers! I still can read a map of course, but it's easy to get lazy isn't it? So, I bought a Garmin StreetPilot III, I can use it on the bike as well as in the car, and the lovely lady never gets impatient with me when I make a wrong turn. But the SPIII is a bit of a lump on the end of a Ram mount, so I splashed out and bought a second smaller Garmin GPSIII (an Ebay special - mint condition for £51.00!!) to use specifically for the off-road stuff. The GPSIII is great with waypoints, but can't store street level road maps like the SPIII, but that level of detail isn;t going to be much use on M6 for example.

I think I'm answering my own question here, but which do you think would be more appropriate to take??

Cheers

Greg

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  #2  
Old 6 Apr 2006
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HI Gregorius

I use Gramin 60C. Display is very good and constuction is strong. Keeps good after 2 Enduromania editions, Ukrainian Carpatian tour and 3 years cross country ridding in Poland in all weather conditions. Beter prepair your own suport, dedicated for your bike, because original Gramin or Touratech product is not guaranted good keeping in wen you do any "figure". Great tool but be carefuly. IMO it's not posibile in fast riding looking on display and road/tack in the same time!

Regards
rrolek
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  #3  
Old 6 Apr 2006
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i recently purchased a GPS V. i like it but in hindsite with only 19MB of storage i would maybe want something with more space. for really long trips (like RTW) you would need a laptop to reload new maps. also, a larger screen is always better as previously mentioned looking at the screen and riding can be hazardous..................
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  #4  
Old 7 Apr 2006
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Greg:

I test GPSRs on motos for Garmin - every year I ride about 20,000 miles with whatever the 'latest and greatest' is. Here's my advice:

First of all, it's not the hardware (the GPSR) that matters, it's the cartography (the maps) inside it that matter. If you will be riding within the EC or North America, all you need is a GPSR that has autorouting capabilities (such as the SP III that you have now) and up to date electronic maps inside it.

If you plan to ride in Africa or Asia, it doesn't matter how fancy or expensive your GPSR is, if there is little or no electronic cartography available for where you are riding, the GPSR will not do any more than simply tell you your present latitide and longitude - something that the cheapest $50 GPSR will do.

For moto riding in well developed areas (EC, North America, middle east, urbanized areas of Asia excepting China), any automotive GPSR that supports autorouting will be sufficient. The SP III does this. Newer models such as the SP 25xx, 26xx and 27xx series do the same thing, simply faster and with a better screen display. The newer ones also usually come pre-loaded with an entire continent full of maps, thus eliminating the need to re-load data chips as you move around.

For serious off-piste riding in the EC or North America (meaning, down trails that no car could ever dream of driving on), you need to get a GPSR that supports display of topographic maps.

For riding in South America or Africa, where there is little or no electronic cartography available, all you need is a GPSR that tells you where you are, so you can relate your position to a paper map. Any GPSR will do this.

Please don't make the (very common) mistake of thinking that it is the hardware (the GPS unit itself) that is important, and forgetting about the cartography (the mapping). The quality of the mapping - meaning, how up to date it is - is far more important than how fancy the GPSR is. I would much rather have a 10 year old black and white GPSR that is loaded with Spring 2006 maps than a 2 year old top of the line GPSR that is loaded with two year old maps.

Although electronic map coverage for the highly urbanized countries (German speaking countries, Benelux) was 100% completed about 3 or 4 years ago, major improvements in mapping for other countries (e.g. Spain, Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland) are still taking place with every issue of the electronic cartography. So, if your travels will take you to Spain or Ireland, you need to either buy fresh maps for your old GPSR, or simply buy a new GPSR that comes with the most up to date maps.

In general, it does not make economic sense to buy GPSRs that are more than 2 or 3 years old UNLESS the come with fresh maps. The maps get bigger with each release (just like computer programs), and trying to run 2006 maps on a 2001 GPSR is like trying to run Windows XP on a 2001 computer - it will work, but very slowly.

To sum up: It's the cartography that matters, not the GPSR. Don't ever forget this. Also, set aside a budget for cartography - on a RTW trip, the cartography will cost at least three times what the GPSR costs you.

Michael
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  #5  
Old 7 Apr 2006
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Michael, your email address is bouncing! Please update in your profile.

Or drop me a note, thanks, Grant
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  #6  
Old 7 Apr 2006
KJ KJ is offline
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Posts: 30
Hi Michael

what do you think of the BMW Navigator II ?

Looking at a Russia & America trip, but also for Europe afterwards.

Love some feedback !!

Kevin
Quote:
Originally posted by PanEuropean:
Greg:

I test GPSRs on motos for Garmin - every year I ride about 20,000 miles with whatever the 'latest and greatest' is. Here's my advice:

First of all, it's not the hardware (the GPSR) that matters, it's the cartography (the maps) inside it that matter. If you will be riding within the EC or North America, all you need is a GPSR that has autorouting capabilities (such as the SP III that you have now) and up to date electronic maps inside it.

If you plan to ride in Africa or Asia, it doesn't matter how fancy or expensive your GPSR is, if there is little or no electronic cartography available for where you are riding, the GPSR will not do any more than simply tell you your present latitide and longitude - something that the cheapest $50 GPSR will do.

For moto riding in well developed areas (EC, North America, middle east, urbanized areas of Asia excepting China), any automotive GPSR that supports autorouting will be sufficient. The SP III does this. Newer models such as the SP 25xx, 26xx and 27xx series do the same thing, simply faster and with a better screen display. The newer ones also usually come pre-loaded with an entire continent full of maps, thus eliminating the need to re-load data chips as you move around.

For serious off-piste riding in the EC or North America (meaning, down trails that no car could ever dream of driving on), you need to get a GPSR that supports display of topographic maps.

For riding in South America or Africa, where there is little or no electronic cartography available, all you need is a GPSR that tells you where you are, so you can relate your position to a paper map. Any GPSR will do this.

Please don't make the (very common) mistake of thinking that it is the hardware (the GPS unit itself) that is important, and forgetting about the cartography (the mapping). The quality of the mapping - meaning, how up to date it is - is far more important than how fancy the GPSR is. I would much rather have a 10 year old black and white GPSR that is loaded with Spring 2006 maps than a 2 year old top of the line GPSR that is loaded with two year old maps.

Although electronic map coverage for the highly urbanized countries (German speaking countries, Benelux) was 100% completed about 3 or 4 years ago, major improvements in mapping for other countries (e.g. Spain, Ireland, Czech Republic, Poland) are still taking place with every issue of the electronic cartography. So, if your travels will take you to Spain or Ireland, you need to either buy fresh maps for your old GPSR, or simply buy a new GPSR that comes with the most up to date maps.

In general, it does not make economic sense to buy GPSRs that are more than 2 or 3 years old UNLESS the come with fresh maps. The maps get bigger with each release (just like computer programs), and trying to run 2006 maps on a 2001 GPSR is like trying to run Windows XP on a 2001 computer - it will work, but very slowly.

To sum up: It's the cartography that matters, not the GPSR. Don't ever forget this. Also, set aside a budget for cartography - on a RTW trip, the cartography will cost at least three times what the GPSR costs you.

Michael
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