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Old 04-23-2012, 05:00 AM
20,793 posts, read 51,029,939 times
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Originally Posted by Drover View Post

Anyway, the problem I've found with GPS traffic data is the lack of coverage. (TomTom, Garmin, doesn't matter -- they use the same data services.) I've found it will only cover the major expressways and a very small handful of major surface streets. It's really only useful if your route involves one of the major arterial expressways covered, and even then its usefulness is limited to telling you how much longer it will take you to get to your destination than normal. There is an "Avoid Traffic" feature but I find it often it re-routes you right into heavy surface-street traffic that ultimately doesn't save you any time -- and sometimes adds even more time to your commute than if you were to just slog it out through the expressway traffic jams.

I don't understand why Google Maps can provide traffic data on several surface arteries for free while GPS services that you pay for can't.
I agree. I had a Garmin GPS that I used and it wouldn't take you anywhere but major roads, and often miles out of your way because of that. If you first mapped out your route on Google maps or something and entered a couple points along the route you wanted to take, it was fine but if you were somewhere and needed to get to point B, many times you were driving out of your way because it won't route you on surface streets. It was fine for highway driving but not so much for local driving.

Oh, and the "avoid traffic" feature, sure, it would take you off the highway, for a while, then send you right back into the middle of it if you didn't know how far the back up was.

On the Google maps, it shows you where the back up is and for how long and then you can route around accordingly. It gives you color gradients for how heavy the traffic is as well.

My FAVORITE feature of the Google Maps app, though, is when you get to your destination, it shows a picture of where you are supposed to be so if you are looking for a new building in say, downtown, it shows you what the building looks like so you know which one to go into .
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:02 AM
Location: Minnesota
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Traffic alerts don't cost on mobile devices. Sure with the right subscription you can get it on GPS. The other gripe I've heard about GPS is that they don't necessarily give the best routes. I wonder if there's a site online to critique the route-selection of different services. There was a news story a while back about a couple that got stranded on a back country road in Oregon when they followed a GPS route in unfamiliar terrain. The snow had closed the road, and they were stranded. So I really think it pays to look up complaints for the various brands. Usually state highway departments will warn you NOT to take certain roads when weather closes them.
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