GPS?

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andrew_s
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Location: Gloucestershire

Re: GPS?

Postby andrew_s » 20 Jan 2012, 5:33pm

I use my GPS (60CSx, similar to eTrex Vista HCx) mostly as a glorified cycle computer, with the added benefit of a rolling map of the immediate area.

However I also use it on tour to reduce the required map stops and provide detail in towns and cities so I don't have to carry lots of small scale maps.

I use a convenient large scale map (1:250,000 to 1: 400,000 sort of thing), so I'm not carrying a lot of paper maps, and use them for route planning, but use the GPS when riding.
Having decided where I'm going, I pick a number of waypoints (typically about 8) positioned so the shortest route between them goes pretty much where I want to go, enter them into the GPS and add them into a route the previous evening (takes 15-20 mins), then navigate the route Satnav style, in follow road mode. You have to disable U-turns so that you can divert without being nagged to turn round, and be prepared to divert off the indicated route if it looks better (eg if you didn't succeed in placing the waypoints so the main road route was longer). It's also simple enough to change a youte during the ride by adding and removing waypoints, and starting navigating again.

lebarronblue
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Joined: 20 Mar 2011, 4:46pm

Re: GPS?

Postby lebarronblue » 23 Jan 2012, 8:18pm

I'm currently using a Memory Map 3500 when I purchased it I tried to add the French Maps to it but having tried a PC,a laptop and a net book I'm having the same issues

Having telephoned the UK distributor on several occasions to find a solution, they say its my fault and not there server stopping me from registering my product,also after 9 months the touch screen is now playing up and a humming noise is coming from the unit

Has anybody else had the same problems with these units..?

Nick

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Jonboy
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Location: Worcestershire

Re: GPS?

Postby Jonboy » 25 Jan 2012, 6:55pm

The function of a GPS unit is to get you from A to B by giving turn by turn directions, and possible by showing you a limited view of the next one or two junctions that you will have to navigate.


That's not it's only function!

With the newer devices they have on-screen mapping - so any routes you have created you can either navigate along with pop-up turn-by-turn directions or just use it as a scrolling map display with your route on it.

I've used one for Audaxes, LEJOG and Calais to Montpelier with no problems whatsoever!

Good luck!

DevonDamo
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Joined: 24 May 2011, 1:42am

Re: GPS?

Postby DevonDamo » 25 Jan 2012, 9:01pm

I also find a paper map to be a far more powerful tool for planning a route than using a GPS. However, there will always be that odd awkward moment when you're in the middle of nowhere and the map and reality just don't mesh. On a recent tour round Brittany this happened - I just wasn't sure whether I was supposed to be riding up what looked like someone's drive, and couldn't make head nor tail of my surroundings.

So I used the GPS on my phone. You're going to bring a phone anyway, so just make sure it's got a GPS programme on it, which has the map data pre-loaded on the memory card. For short bursts, getting you out of holes, it's fantastic, and doesn't use too much battery, but I've bought 4 spare batteries for mine so I can do what I like for a week.

The king of the budget smartphones is the Orange San Francisco. Mine cost £70 from a couple of years ago, and it still more-or-less keeps up with the latest expensive offerings, provided you keep the software updated. I think they're about £100 in Argos now.

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Jonboy
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Location: Worcestershire

Re: GPS?

Postby Jonboy » 25 Jan 2012, 9:07pm

I too don't use a gps device for planning. I use pc-based software with on-screen mapping. I plan the route and upload it to the gps device.

Best of all worlds.

Ayesha
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Joined: 30 Jan 2010, 9:54am

Re: GPS?

Postby Ayesha » 26 Jan 2012, 7:46am

A GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM is for seeing whereabouts you are in the Earth's atmosphere ( Troposphere or Stratosphere ).

It will tell you your Latitude, Longtitude and Altitude.

Use this to calculate the Great Circle Navigation course or Rhumb Line direction to the Lat and Long of your destination.

A Garmin on a yacht or microlite will do the calcs for you and the big red arrow on the compass display will tell you which way to go.

Only recently have Garmins been used by bicyclists.

Nhammy
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Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 8:34am

Re: GPS?

Postby Nhammy » 28 Jan 2012, 1:44pm

DevonDamo wrote:So I used the GPS on my phone. You're going to bring a phone anyway, so just make sure it's got a GPS programme on it, which has the map data pre-loaded on the memory card. For short bursts, getting you out of holes, it's fantastic, and doesn't use too much battery, but I've bought 4 spare batteries for mine so I can do what I like for a week.


Mmm, I was thinking about just using the iPhone, which I will be taking. I know this is basic but does data roaming need to be on for the GPS to work? Obvious cost issues. But I suppose OK to bail out of a hole with.

Again, thanks to everyone for really helpful info - no obvious right answer but at least I'm better informed!

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Jonboy
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Location: Worcestershire

Re: GPS?

Postby Jonboy » 28 Jan 2012, 1:51pm

Seems obvious but remember iPhone is not waterproof.

bealer
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Joined: 1 Apr 2010, 1:16pm

Re: GPS?

Postby bealer » 28 Jan 2012, 2:59pm

Answering the question. Garmin Edge series are great. I have an older Edge 705, it's been serving me well for 2 years and got me from London to Perth recently. The newer series is the 800-something. It costs, from memory, around £320.

Regarding maps just look for some free ones. The "velo maps" (google it) are great. On some countries (like China) they lack detail but this relates to my next point.

To answer the debate people seem to have created around the question. Paper maps and GPS offer two different functions.

GPS - offers a smoother ride in my opinion. It gives an easy to see picture of where you are, and where you are going. It allows you to be more adventurous. When doing LEJOG I did it mostly by country lanes, I wouldn't have wanted to navigate the constant turns and bends via a map. It offers a very limited scope view of where you are.

Map - gives a much better overview. Great if you need to change your route, or want to see what is ahead. Great for planning.

Personally I use both, they compliment each other very well.

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Cunobelin
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Re: GPS?

Postby Cunobelin » 28 Jan 2012, 5:33pm

Of course an IPad would give you a bigger area as well....


Image

bikefish
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Re: GPS?

Postby bikefish » 30 Jan 2012, 8:45pm

Nhammy you will cycle through central France this summer and you already have an I phone and Michelin road atlas. Sounds like you are all set - good cell cover and well mapped.
A problem might be leaving the phone on charge in a campsite - you would be daft to leave it unattended and there are not enough powerpoints - this also applies to the training aid type of gps that some posters recommended. Most mapping gps run on AA batteries (and most Android phones have user replaceable batteries) - so you just charge the batteries.
Re mapping gps - most popular is Garmin - their maps and esp. POIs are out of date by several/many years - 3rd party stuff - apart from OSM - is also old ( eg Archies camping or POI factory) or plain badly designed (IGN vector maps at 800 euro for all France) and development has moved to phones. Just compare gps on downloaded cached map (and integration to other functions) on Iphone app and Garmin City Nav preview on Garmin website. IMO mapping handhelds are aimed at a niche market - eg. for places where there is no cell phone cover, where there are no paper maps and maybe for people who have time for hacking/making/mashing up data into some kind of special interest map.

Mattie
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Joined: 23 Feb 2009, 9:19pm

Re: GPS?

Postby Mattie » 30 Jan 2012, 10:59pm

I am still curious about the whole COST of the iPhone / Android mapping solution.

Can anyone tell me from experience, not theoretical, but from actual experience how much it cost to use a smartphone as a mapping device on a two week tour in France or other mainland Europe cycling tour.

How much to use the device for mapping whenever and wherever you wanted, to check mileage to and location of next campsite. Regular where am I now checks, becoming more frequent in towns and cities. And to track your actual route from day one to end of the trip.

How much does that actually cost in real life ? Can someone tell me what their actual phone bill was after using a smartphone for their tour using it as described ?

Reigncloud
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Joined: 2 Mar 2011, 2:00pm

Re: GPS?

Postby Reigncloud » 30 Jan 2012, 11:28pm

Mattie wrote:Can anyone tell me from experience, not theoretical, but from actual experience how much it cost to use a smartphone as a mapping device on a two week tour in France or other mainland Europe cycling tour.


Probably not for several reasons:
1) I don't think anyone uses smartphones like that i.e. to track themselves all day and use as a map system
2) even if you wanted to the battery wouldn't probably last a full day on either device
3) there's better ways of doing what you're asking about i.e. getting around battery and data cost limitations

The thing to remember is that most people who use smartphones overseas just connect to free wifi to check maps online (e.g. google maps), or have an app that stores the maps on the SD card (like MM tracker or copilot for android, which I've successfully used in many countries without incurring data costs).

The first rule of travelling with smartphones is don't use them overseas unless you really, really need to or you're on free wifi!

bealer
Posts: 375
Joined: 1 Apr 2010, 1:16pm

Re: GPS?

Postby bealer » 1 Feb 2012, 10:27am

You could try out MapDroyd if you have an Android phone. I have it on mine, although haven't used it for cycling. The maps are all downloaded in advance (open street map). You then just need the GPS enabled on your phone. It'll eat the battery though, so you'll need a battery pack hooked up to it, or run it off a dynamo hub.

ianmac5
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Joined: 1 Feb 2012, 3:30pm

Re: GPS?

Postby ianmac5 » 1 Feb 2012, 3:44pm

I did this ride, Caen to Cannes/Nice, last September with a CTC Tour.

Our leader, Bob, had a GPS on his 'bars. It came into its own on those occasions when our overnight accommodation was in the middle of town. He led us, for example, by bike-friendly urban street to the centres of Blois, Montlucon and Carpentras. Occasional mid-day rides through Puy-en-Velay, Aubanas and Manosque too.

But for the kilometres along country roads, it's not really needed. Nor for finding accommodation in small villages.

If you like, let me know you're interested and I'll pass your details to him (rather than just post his email address here without his permission).

What he did for the group in advance was to sent each of us printouts of each day's ride (i) in the form of a map with the route superimposed (ii) as directions on the ground and (iii) as an ascent / descent graph. The third one was appreciated by me; I liked knowing when the big effort each day was coming and when it was over! This applied particularly in the second half of the tour.

A bonus on the final evening was that one of the riders in the group gave everyone a copy of his altimeter readings so we could double check.

Hope this helps,

Ian