--- In email@example.com, "Chris Martinson"
I have read all the technical debate about GPS, handhelds,Bluetooth,
etc, etc and am very very tempted to buy. I love gadgets,electronics
and computers. I see that I am urged to upgrade `this', addvoice
directions or the view of the map while I am driving. I get lostlanguage.
I have a fairly good sense of direction, unlike my wife. If I spenta
lot of time driving around a major city in the van then, yes, itmust
be a wonderful thing to have but these are the places I geneallyof
the adventure out of new places although I can see the possibleI'm not sure you're a luddite (didn't they bust up machinery?) but
you are adventurous! For me, one of the greatest benefits of SatNav
is avoiding areas I don't want to be. Narrow roads in the motorhome
or less salubrious areas of some of our cities.
First of all I'm going to declare an interest because I'm talking
about something I sell.
For those who already have a laptop computer you should consider a PC
based package. Navigator gives you street level mapping for the whole
of Europe, all the UK full 7 character postcodes, visual and audible
directions, automatic recalc of the route if you leave the planned
route, map rotation in the direction of travel and a wealth of other
features. None of this is revolutionary but it is affordable. We sell
Navigator bundled with a GPS mouse at £110 for GB & Ireland and
for Europe (including GB & Ireland). Software is updated free of
charge and the latest maps are available for a small fee.
I always start it before setting off even if I ignore it. Like most
people I can probably find my way to most areas and there are times
when I know a better route. But it's when I DON'T know where I'm
going that it is priceless. It really is fabulous having an A-Z of
every village, town and city available. Last year I had to go to
Maximillianstrasse in Munich. It took us unerringly from Venlo to the
If anyone would like to see it I'm going to be exhibiting at Malvern
and Peterborough shows.
On another note, GPS isn't always the best idea for terrain as it
encourages straight line navigation. Not a great idea if you don't
know what's ahead of you! I remember one exercise a few years ago
when we were first issued with Trimble GPS. One group banged in the
target coordinates and away they went. Unfortunately the target was
just on the other side of a very deep and fast flowing river! Had a
very long walk to find somewhere to cross.
<SMUG MODE ON>We, on the other hand, used maps and compasses saw
immediately that we needed to cross the river and set off in a
completely different direction but arrived at the target a couple of
<SMUG MODE OFF>