2 Very Essential features


Hello. I have been searching for the Complete Auto GPS system (hardware based or software based) with 2 Very Essential features. I am still unable to find a complete GPS system that has it all!!!!!. Please suggest a unit or units that have these essential features and still offer the other Advanced Features (i.e. Spoken Street names, Bluetooth,
1. Address Book integration: - Where people can download there Outlook Address Book instead of having to type in each and every address…This one is really surprising!! You would think that it would be easy to upload an Address Book, or at the very least a CSV file (containing exact street addresses) directly into the GPS Unit Database similar to uploading a Custom POI database. I have seen this feature on several people’s wish list. However, it appears that none of the major manufacturers have this feature !!!! … coincidently, many of the smaller GPS companies do offer this feature. However, then they lack some other advance feature
• Garmin: had this feature on their IQue series but took it out!!!
• Magellin: Offers this by using their POI Loader, with Batch Geocoder and upload them as custom POIs, but they are not integrated with the advance search criteria such as Auto Trip Planner or any type Multiple Route Optimization of etc.
• Not sure if Tom-Tom offers anything similar!

2. Multiple Route Optimization: Where people could simply pick several addresses from their Address Book ….or manually type them in! And the the GPS would develop the ideal route (on the fly) with minimal back tracking.
• Garmin: had this feature on their IQue series but took it out!!! It is only available on there most expensive models now.
• Magellan: Does offer this but on a very limited basis (and defiantly not with Custom POIs)

Thanks for your help!


1. You can export your Address Book to a CSV and then use an online geocoder to get the coordinates for the addresses. The you can create a Custom POI file in the proper format and load the locations as Custom POIs. Should be a fairly simple process. No Garmin unit that I am aware of will read a CSV directly. And no GPS unit that I am aware of will geocode a list of addresses in the unit.

2. This is actually a fairly complex routing algorithm. It is sometimes known as The Traveling Salesman Problem.

Garmin models that support this are the SP 2820, the SP 7200, the Zumo series, and the nuvi 7xx series. I think that the upcoming 8xx and 5000 also support it.

They will all optimize the points.

Aftermarket software

There are software apps that will make transferring an addressbook into the GPS as waypoints. One of the easier applications to use for this is GeePeeEx Editor. You export your Outlook contacts to a CSV file and then load that into the editor. It will automatically geocode the addresses and you can verify the coordinates returned for accuracy. It will format the address and phone fields properly and then let you save directly to a formatted GPX file with "dialable" phone numbers if your GPS supports bluetooth. Or you can save the output to an unformatted CSV file with the cordinates if you prefer.

There are numerous web sites that provide batch geocoding and various tools to edit and massage the data to prepare it for importing into your GPS. I doubt if you will ever see direct importing of Outlook Contacts instead of taking the intermediate step of CSV first. There are just too many data fields in Outlook and other Contact software to deal with. The step of geocoding and adjusting addresses and/or coordinates is just too cumbersome to be practical directly on the GPS unit. It is far more efficient to do do this on a computer prior to importing it into the GPS.

As for multiple point routing, you just need to look at the higher end units. Even there, it will still be more practical to input and optimize the route on a computer first.

Route Optimization

John C, How do I optimize on the computer? I use Mapsource. Will it determine a routing to the various waypoints?


Mapsource Doesn't Optimize

zuma314 wrote:

John C, How do I optimize on the computer? I use Mapsource. Will it determine a routing to the various waypoints?

You can use Microsoft Streets and Trips to generate the optimized order but most GPS units won't accept the route info -- you will have to do that manually, or use the techniques in http://home.comcast.net/~ghayman3/garmin.gps/page2.htm#setup .

Nuvi 660 -- and not upgrading it or maps until Garmin fixes long-standing bugs/problems, and get maps to where they are much more current, AND corrected on a more timely basis when advised of mistakes.