GPS Units in Europe

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Re: GPS Units in Europe

Postby Audax67 » 3 Jan 2012, 3:54pm

Positioning with a smartphone costs nothing, but using GPS the batteries don't last long. Positioning wrt. cellphone relays might drink less juice, I don't know. On NiMH AA cells I get around 20 hours with the Garmin Etrex. Sufficient for most rides I do. I usually have a spare set of NiMH cells and a couple of alkaline cells in the HB bag.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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Re: GPS Units in Europe

Postby Graham O » 3 Jan 2012, 4:00pm

Positioning isn't the problem, but access to maps is. Although I believe some apps will dowload and store maps offline.

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Re: GPS Units in Europe

Postby loafer » 6 Jan 2012, 11:08pm

on our tour in the french alps 2009 4 ppl had the garmin 705 showed up all the roads no prob all now up graded to the 800 touch screen is brill i got some mapping from here ...if your not puter savy martin will do it all for you just pay for his time and the sd card... :D

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Re: GPS Units in Europe

Postby cycloret » 7 Jan 2012, 5:50pm

For cycling and walking with my Edge 705 I prefer using the Openstreet map from TalkyToaster to the Garmin Navigator Europe which came with the unit. For our camping holiday in France last year, I specified the area I wanted then downloaded it from this site-
Looking for cafes in France I switched over to using the Garmin map as the POIs are currently better.

From Talky Toaster you get maps with contour lines and footpaths, not something my TomTom displays. What the TomTom has is more reliable routing. It may be my settings on the 705 but I'm doubtful.
Following prepared tcx courses on the 705 for my C2C and WofR last year made for relaxed cycling except on my WofR. Signpost pointed Right for Brid, 705 wanted Left. The 705 was correct, the WofR route passes through level crossings now barred to vehicles.

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Re: GPS Units in Europe

Postby Reigncloud » 17 Jan 2012, 1:48pm

Graham O wrote:Positioning isn't the problem, but access to maps is. Although I believe some apps will dowload and store maps offline.

I've posted about this before. Highly recommend the mobile-phone-as-a-satnav option. You don't need to have it connected to the network (which preserves battery and ££s) and it's light and unobtrusive. Another upside is that the device is replaceable on the road throughout most of Europe, should it be lost or stolen - just need to carry a small USB stick with you containing the TomTom software and your routes.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=46919 (page 4)

and here:


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Re: GPS Units in Europe

Postby andrew_s » 17 Jan 2012, 2:17pm

When on tour, I use large scale (1:400,000 or 1:250,000) paper maps for route planning, and my 60SCx (similar to a Vista HCx) for following the planned route on the road.
In the evening, I decide where I'm going tomorrow, pick a few waypoints (4-12, depending where I am and where I want to go), and enter them into the GPS by driving the map pointer to the correct location, pressing "enter", giving it a name and saving it. I can then construct a route from the waypoints just by picking them from the list. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes.
The next day, I navigate the route in "follow road" mode, much like a car satnav (but without the voice prompts). If I change my mind about where to go, it's easy enough to modify the route by removing waypoints or adding new ones in.

It requires a little experience so that you can pick waypoints so the shortest route between them goes where you want and not down the motorway, but is fully flexible and has no problems with number of points limitations.

Mapping is City Navigator. OpenStreetMap still has too many missing bits for general use, unless you check the full region you are touring in beforehand (or did last time I checked).