I have gotten a variation of this comment a number of times when people in my garage ask me why I bought a GPS.
I certainly know where I live, but after visiting a customer, I don't always know exactly which way to go to return home. Even then there are the one way streets which I don't have memorized. There are a number of non through streets which I now can avoid. I know how to get to a friends house about thirty miles away, but coming home, the route is not the same. there are no street ligts at the location, plus one way streets that I didn't use to get there.
Up until about 3 weeks ago, I thought the best mapping system was paper. I've gotten my family and our travel trailer from Wisconsin to Monterey, Ca and back with paper maps. Almost 6k miles of travel, never got lost once. Why would I need an expensive toy? Well a friend begged me to borrow his. So I did. I suddenly realized I needed one.
1) POIs. We really want/need to know what's coming up, gas, food, rest areas, etc. The Next Exit book is great but only covers interstates.
2) Get quick, accurate routing to location in a strange place. We'll have a much lower stress level on vacations.
3) Geocoding is fun!
4) My wife can now find her way around our own city without me having to print out mapquest maps for her, or having to sit on the phone with her.
I still won't give up my paper maps. First and foremost I enjoy using them. However, GPS is another very useful tool to aid in traveling.
A GPS is just another device meant to simplify and and more efficiently get you from place to place especially in areas you aren't completely familiar with. Sure, I can use a map also just like I can use a stove instead of a microwave to warm food; I can try using an abacus or my fingers instead of a calculator or computer to calculate figures; walk for miles instead of using an automobile etc. (the list goes on).
I just purchased my first GPS (Nuvi 760) a week and a half ago and it is rapidly becoming one of those devices that makes me say "whatever did I do without this thing before?"
I went through exactly the same, even mocking my friends for using a gps... and the outcome was: hard to believe from the outside but once in, you're in for good!
A GPSr is a wonderful safety device, too. My wife travels to locations all the time for work and with a GPS, she never has to stop (in a potentially bad area) and ask for directions if she gets lost, which she used to a lot.
Also, a lot of people feel "covered" when traveling because they have a cell phone. What if they break down in the middle of nowhere? Who are they going to call then if they don't know what's around? A GPSr can get you a list of the nearest mechanics, dealerships, etc around. Same goes for emergency services like police, fire, etc.
Another great feature is the ability to recalulate quickly if you miss a turn or exit.
Before with maps, I'd have to pull over and try and re-direct myself. Quite frustrating/stressful if you're in a hurry or traffic all around.
Now just let the device do all the work.
Look guys you can come up with all the reasons but the best one is that you will not get told anymore from you know who in the passenger seat you are lost.
I think since using GPS for auto navigation, we've saved innumerable stress points on our marriage. I had to train wifey poo when I first got mine. I told her I only needed one bitchin' Betty at a time. Didn't go over so well, but she got the point.
For those that don't know who BB is, it is the affectionate term pilots give to the traffic and terrain avoidance systems. "Pull up now, pull up now!"
In july two of my grandaughters and I took a trip from north tx to jacksonville fl. We were going to take cruise to the bahamas. When we got to our exit to go to the terminal it was closed. Sonja, gps c320, recalcutlated so we went down the road and the next one was closed. But sonja took us down the road to the next exit and took us to the terminal, if we had been using maps we would have to get off of the road to read maps. Who knows what part of town we would have been in me with two young girls.enough said..
Yup, especially in most places in Jax, FL. I know...I used to be stationed there (Mayport).
I have a file drawer full of maps, and a briefcase, gazetteers and state maps by county... and topos. They are all just fine and I'll still use them.
I have a couple of laptops with GPS and DeLorme Street Atlas USA. A little on the bulky side, a big distraction.
For travel, driving, directions, the GPS is the best.
We use our unit to navigate around the USA and Canada. We are full-timer RV'ers and with a gps we are able to get to the correct lanes for exits, etc. where before that was always a real hair razing experience. Paper maps rarely tell you which lane to be in (can't remember ever seeing this). We've also been able to enjoy places we'd never have found if it weren't for input from folks on this site giving locations of places to see in their fine cities. Of course, some places we found, nobody would want to go, but that's another story and now avoidable with our gps...
I still use paper maps for getting the big picture of an area. I used one to plan a cross-country trip. I even took the map with me on the trip, but I hardly looked at it.
The GPS let me not only find hotels but told at what time I would arrive and gave the phone number to make a reservation. I found restaurants in towns I would never have found with any other map or guide book. When we were detoured or took side trips I did not have to rely on the navigational skills of my 15 year-old.
On top of all that its traffic warning system saves time and money by avoiding jams. I also find the routing computer will show you ways you may never have thought would be faster by looking at a map.
my computer, my cell phone, my microwave, my cruise control, my Tivo, and my wife. I don't know how I got along without either of them before I got it.
For the record, those are in no particular order.
because its convenient fast and easy
I have my maps and I have a naturally good sense of direction. In fact, I like to drive around and get myself 'lost' so I can explore new places. I know the greater Pittsburgh area better than most natives.
So why a GPS? Honestly, it's just fun. I guess being inclined to explore stuff, it's just another way to enhance the experience. Can I beat the destination time Can I find a faster route than the GPS (often, not always)? Can I laugh at the various GPS voice screw ups (Lincoln Dr E becomes.... 'Lincoln Doctor East')?
It gives me a birds eye view of where I am (I typically have it zoomed pretty far out, while still local). So even when I know where I am, I don't always know where I am in relation to other things... in particular small towns you hear about in the news but never go to. 'Oh, so THAT is where White Oak is...' Then, sometimes, time permitting, I go explore there.
How about the ability to mark sites that you want to visit again? You could mark a dot on an interstate map...very inaccurate. Most people don't have detail level paper maps of their entire trip.
Plus, a paper map doesn't give you trip info.
I guess I'm the only one who found this great site first and felt left out because I didn't have a gpsr. So I joined and bought one.
Welcome! You'll have fun...a lot. I've been using GPS for years, mainly in aviation. At 1.5 years or so, I'm relatively new to the auto GPS and I've been loving it!
So, what unit did you get?
'Cause a map can't talk to ya!!
"Why do I need a GPS, I can still read a map?."
Even though I have been using GPS for a good number of years I still carry a compass, topo maps and/or street maps for the odd occasion when you still have questions.
Paper maps can't find POIs, either.
I used to get that almost every time I setup the GPS in the car with the family coming along even though we knew where we were going...
that has changed a lot since my wife got nailed from a speed/red light camera here in town.
It was fun watching the cute little internet video of her avoiding the red light trap by a heavy foot on the accelerator but instead triggering the speed trap... $150 in fines later and all of a sudden a huge interest in POI alerts.
My map never tells me about a redlight camera
Of course with my nuvi 680 it also has MSN Direct services so I get live Traffic, Weather, Fuel, etc. It is immediate savings for me using the Fuel price check with any gas stations nearby.
Also navigating at night is a breeze compared to daytime. I was in San Antonio this summer in a great little neighborhood for the Southwest Regional Little League Tournament. Well that neighborhood is very nice and quaint but it didn't have street lights. You couldn't read the street signs that were there when the sunset came! My GPS saved me tons of stress and aggravation driving around in that blacken area trying to get back out to the main road where street lights are located.
This winter it snowed heavy in town. Albuquerque doesn't get tons of snow usually but when it snows 6 inches the street traffic goes nuts and accidents everywhere. The GPS allowed me to easily get off the normal roads that were stalled and sneak through all the back neighborhood roads to get home. Of course the route I took was longer but I never got stuck so I got home HOURS before others did.
I take taxis sometimes when traveling. Ever wonder if the cab driver is pulling a fast one on you and taking a long route? I have questioned more than one driver because of my GPS. I never wonder again.
is "BETTY" and even have the wife calling her that.
As many have said - I have no problem with my sense of direction or reading a map. In fact, because I love maps and have many, I was a natural early adopter of GPS.
GPS gives me information easier than a map. I can find a location the without the stress of looking for street signs and verfying if I have not gotten to my turn or gone too far. With the GPS, I can focus instead of traffic flow always knowing exactly how far to my next turn.
I can get anywhere with a map and a compass, but with a GPS I can get there safer and with a lot less effort.
rigel: You've come to the right place for answers. I too got the " he must be too dumb to read a map" stuff from friends. Most of them now own a gps!!
I can now travel worry free and with peace of mind. I can't get lost. I will never leave home without my gps; I don't care what anyone else says.
A year ago, I took a set of printed Mapquest directions for my trip to Victoria, B.C. All well and good until I was invited to a dinner with the speaker of the seminar I attended. No map, no direction, and I got lost. I had to play an ignorant American tourist to get the direction.
During my last trip, I planned refueling points based on the distance to the gas stations shown on my GPS.
I'm worried about the same comment from my parents for Christmas. They are both retired, and because of this they have started to travel more often. My mom is one of those older folks that tends to avoid modern technology. My parents just bought their first cell phone a year ago when they decided to drive from Ohio to Arizona for the winter. She still does not have call waiting at home, and she refuses to pay for high speed internet, she only uses dial-up. Anyways, as I said, they are starting to travel a lot, and they keep a US Atlas in their car at all times, so I figure this is a great gadget for them. My biggest obsticle is going to be loading it with POIs that they would be interested in, as well as showing them how to use it. I just hope they are open-minded enough to allow me to show them how to use it, and how simple it will be for them to truely enjoy travelling now.
The only bad thing is my dad left this morning to drive to Arizona again and will then fly back to Ohio for Christmas, then fly back down to AZ with mom afterwards. He claims he is doing it to get the car down there before the weather gets too bad, but my theory is he is trying to get away from the Ohio winter and a little vacation from mom. Had he waited until after Christmas to make the trip, he could use their new toy that they don't know about.
My parents used to say the same thing, but now are considering getting a GPS. They're beginning to have difficulty reading maps quickly, and considering that the voice instruction would be easier and safer in LA traffic.
The reverse is true with me... I'm the gadget freak (69 years old) and my daughter (35) is the one I have to deal with...
I was saying the same until I sent out my unit to get repaired, LOL I MISS IT SO MUCH, using map is so old
It also gives a quantitative answer to: "Are we there yet?"
Before leaving the Notre Dame Stadium parking lot(After Navy beat Notre Dame)I checked the map for the route home. But the cop at the exit made me turn right instead of the left I wanted. Cops at the next intersection blocked left turns. Heavy traffic kept me from turning left yet again. Soon I was lost at night in heavy traffic with no idea where the Interstate was but knew I was heading east, not west. But I should soon see a sign directing me to the Interstate. First sign to an interstae was 9 miles later with another 9 miles to get back to South Bend. I started reading the Amazon.com GPS unit reviews the next day.
That's why you go with the rest of the Brigade on the busses.
Seriously, when I was at USNA, you had to take the busses. Even as a firstie.
As I always say... If the car's still movin', then we ain't there yet.
Now my kids are saying, "I want to see the GPS map!"
I still don't have the best answer to the "I need to go to the bathroom," but the rest area POI certainly helps. They now say, "Please stop at the next rest area."
When we are driving without the aid of the GPS the question is "are we arriving at destination on right or left mommy?"
Yeah, my daughter keeps a sharp eye on the ETA. When it goes up (due to traffic or whatever) she goes, "Ahhhhhhhh man, we aren't going to get there until 9:30 now"
Using a Garmin GPS with Paper Maps:
I got one for my wife, whose sense of direction is not so finely tuned, so she could always get where she was going and then back home and have confidence in not getting lost. She loves the GPS and would never be without one again. For this reason alone, her piece of mind, these units are worth more than their weight in gold!
The GPS can remember things I can't...Like where I parked!
So funny, I am obviously a kid at heart then, because I DO THE SAME THING!!! LOL
If you are married then the best reason to buy one is it saves marriages.
My parents relocated to FL from the NYC area a few months ago. I have used the GPSr for years but my dad always relied on the maps, his recollection and good sense of direction for most of their driving.
With the pending move, my mom mentioned that she wanted one of those "talkers" like I have. After a question or two I realized what she wanted.
I bought her the Nuvi 350 since she absolutely wanted the turn-by-turn tts that announced each street. Before I wrapped it, I found local shops that I knew she would want to find and made them favorites.
At first she though that the screen would be too small and wanted to upgrade to a larger (and a few months ago, MUCH more expensive unit).
They used the Nuvi 350 on the drive down to FL and found it to be a great tool. Her scare about the screen being too small was unfounded. Now they use the GPSr all of the time. It is easily one of their favorite tools and favorite gifts. It has given them a lot of freedom to get around, to explore and to find the resources/interests they need in their new neighborhood.
Had my parents not considered moving, that "talker" would just continue to be an extraneous device.
My parents used to say the same thing, but now are considering getting a GPS.
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