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Magellan Vs Garmin Autorouting Why is Garmin's better?

#1 User is offline   geognerd 

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 09:21 AM

After seeing so many people comment that autorouting in Garmin's receivers works better than the autorouting in Magellan's, I finally had to ask. What exactly makes Garmin's better? And why is Magellan's not so good? No one ever explains why one's autorouting is better than the other. Not seeking to start a Mag vs Garmin flame topic, just want a good "scientific" comparison. Maybe a list of strengths and weaknesses.

#2 User is offline   Timpat 

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 09:50 AM

Not ever seeing a Magellan autoroute first-hand, I can only say that my Garmin Map 60C refreshes and responds lightning fast when autorouting. A friend who owns a Magellan witnessed mine in action and remarked how he was impressed.

#3 User is offline   embra 

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 09:57 AM

Don't get me started (too late! :) )

Both provide autogenerated turn-by-turn instructions

These are some of the things that Garmin will do that Magellan can't:

User can insert via waypoints to customize generated autoroute.

User can specify general road types (toll roads, interstates) or specific sections of roads to avoid in route.

User can specify whether to favor high quality vs. quick generation.

User can specify routes to favor automobile, bicycle, or trucks (not sure of the vehicles, doing this from memory).

Garmin units will automatically recalculate a route on deviation, Magellan requires two button pushes.

Recalculations can be told to not uturn, essentially forcing a new route calculation rather than the equivalent of "turn around and go back to the way I told you in the first place."

Magellan will autoroute only within a 64MB region-file, while Garmins can utilize the routable basemap to create routes of great length. Also, Garmins use a more efficient means of detailed street map files. Magellan does have an edge in virtually unlimited detailed map file storage with SD memory, but it requires multiple files that can only be used one at a time.

Additional Magellan annoyances include a warning beep that requires a push of a button to silence, hijacking settings and not putting them back if unit is turned off before completing the route (this was fixed in Explorist implementation), and backlight activation that is hard to dampen.

What did I forget?

Edit: well, the quality of Garmin routes is much better than Magellan. The Magellan routes are very basic point A to point B by what it thinks is the fastest route. In my experience it always got me there, but often by routes that I would not have taken. In one extreme case it told me to go 3 miles into town and back out on another road to get to a place a half mile down the road in front of me. It usually wasn't that bad, and even poor autorouting was extremely valuable to me when I was in unfamiliar territory.

I base the above on several years' experience of DirectRoute on a Meridian Platinum, 6 months on an Explorist 500, and three months experience with a Garmin Quest.

This post has been edited by embra: 14 October 2005 - 10:02 AM


#4 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 11:24 AM

Well said, Embra. Baiting you into buying that Quest has saved me many hours of answering this kind of stuff and I welcome another wizard with experience in both camps. Mind if I throw in a few more based on my experience with a couple of Magellans (Plat, x400, x600) and a couple of Garmins (60CS, 2610)?

The Magellan routes are clearly point to point routes under the hood with knowledge of only turn points. This can be seen in two places. First, the total route length is short becuase in the real world, roads aren't straight. Second, if you zoom out any distance, the "follow this route" part of the map turns into straight lines. The effect is slightly less exaggerated than the first foto at http://www.gpsbabel....ips/arcmap.html but similar - Once you leave Indy, you don't actually _turn_ on I-69 until you reach FTW....

The Garmin not only automatically recalculates on missed turn, it does so intelligently. For the first three times you deviate, it does a quick recalc (under a second) to get you back to the original route. It figures that if you haven't rejoined your route given three chances, it'll do a full recalc of the route from where you are to your destination. This process takes a couple of seconds.

The route generation is just plain faster. The time it takes a Magellan to build a route is slug-like when compared to the Garmins.

The Garmins offer differ routes based on your mode of transportation. What works well on foot (one-ways don't much matter) works badly for a semi truck (truck routes, weight restrictions, etc.).

CitySelect lets you pick county (ish) sized chunks of detailed maps along a chosen route for upload to the unit. Mapsend requires you to select rectangles that have one edge parallel ot the equator. I frequently travel hundreds of miles, but want detailed maps along the interstate to my destination. CitySelect requires less overhead than Mapsource. (Ironically, CityNAVIGATOR 7 pretty much wipes out this advantage as the region size is now about the size of many states...)


I have to say that Magellan's street routing is very much like a singing dog. (When they taught the Meridians to sing, it was impressive.) The first time you see it, it's kind of impressive but it gets old quickly and once you've heard anything other than a dog sing, the appeal is mostly for comic relief. The fact that the second generation (explorist) of this particular dog doesn't really sing any better than the first disappoints me greatly.

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 11:32 AM

robertlipe, on Oct 14 2005, 11:24 AM, said:

I have to say that Magellan's street routing is very much like a singing dog. (When they taught the Meridians to sing, it was impressive.) The first time you see it, it's kind of impressive but it gets old quickly and once you've heard anything other than a dog sing, the appeal is mostly for comic relief. The fact that the second generation (explorist) of this particular dog doesn't really sing any better than the first disappoints me greatly.

ROFL

I almost blew iced tea out my nose on that one!

#6 User is offline   geognerd 

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 12:02 PM

Robert and Embra answered my questions very well. Thanks guys. Particularly enlightening was Robert's explanation of Magellan's routes really being based on turning points. That's kinda lame and last century. Almost like the road centerlines are just for decoration on the map instead of being used in calculating the route and distance. Magellan needs to get on the ball. Garmin's approach better matches what I expect from an autorouting receiver. And probably the expectations of a person new to GPS navigation. Now I understand when people say Magellan gets the job done, but not as nicely as Garmin when it comes to routing.

#7 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 12:14 PM

That's a phrase I've used for years.

Prior to your quote above , every occurrence in the searchable archives of this forum back to 1/2003 referencing musical canines is either Embra referring to one of my posts or one of my posts.

#8 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 12:41 PM

geognerd, on Oct 14 2005, 03:02 PM, said:

Robert and Embra answered my questions very well..

We're here all week. Next show is at nine...

Quote

Particularly enlightening was Robert's explanation of Magellan's routes really being based on turning points.  That's kinda lame and last century.  Almost like the road centerlines are just for decoration on the map instead of being used in calculating the route and distance. 


I won't disagree with your conclusion, but since I have a feeling this thread may turn into one frequently referred to, let me clarify that DR does have a concept of centerlines, divided highways, one-ways, connection points (i.e. overpasses vs. connecting roads) and such. It's not blindingly stupid; merely a little goofy.

At some level, pretty much all map geometry has to be reduced to pairs of points. The key difference is whether you use a dozen points (that you steal from user waypoint space, grrrrr) to represent only those places that require driver action or do you internally track the endpoints of the interesting road segments.

For example, the ETA/Distance thing wouldn't be terribly hard to fix - it knows the segments you need to traverse and it knows the length of those segements. Instead of just pulling the great circle distance to the next turn point, it needs to loop over the segments (and even that can be improved upon...) and strike a tally.

It's very clear that one vendor built the firmware from the ground up to do street routing and the other added it later in the lifecycle of the product. For Meridian era units, that was OK, but I'm saddened that Explorist shares so many of these goofy traits.


"All GPSes suck. They just suck in different ways."

#9 User is offline   embra 

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 02:55 PM

robertlipe, on Oct 14 2005, 02:24 PM, said:

Baiting you into buying that Quest has saved me many hours of answering this kind of stuff and I welcome another wizard with experience in both camps.

Yeah, that was a bit of a sucker punch. As soon as I can figure out how you got Garmin to drop their price by so much, I'm going to suggest a few other things you might bait me with. ;)

The point-to-point distance calculation was the other thing that occured to me while I was away the last two days. Thanks for picking that up.


Geognerd, I think you got the gist of things. To be fair, Magellan does (I think) the kind of thing we're looking for in its higher-priced car navigation units. But in the handheld street navigation arena, Garmin clearly offers the superior product at this time.

#10 User is offline   Renegade Knight 

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 03:03 PM

embra, on Oct 16 2005, 03:55 PM, said:

...To be fair, Magellan does (I think) the kind of thing we're looking for in its higher-priced car navigation units....

Based on the reviews on cNet alone Garmin, Magellan, and Lowrance all seem to have their act together in this arena.

#11 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 05:17 PM

embra, on Oct 16 2005, 05:55 PM, said:

robertlipe, on Oct 14 2005, 02:24 PM, said:

Baiting you into buying that Quest has saved me many hours

Yeah, that was a bit of a sucker punch. As soon as I can figure out how you got Garmin to drop their price by so much, I'm going to suggest a few other things you might bait me with. :o

It was pretty easy. All I had to do was hijack your computer (and since you use Windows, that was easy) and replace all the "price" pages with ones of my own making. I just paid the difference to the vendor... <_<

embra said:

To be fair, Magellan does (I think) the kind of thing we're looking for in its higher-priced car navigation units.

For the mass market, the reviews on the Magellan dashtops say they have about the nicest user interface around. For geocachers, however, they're dead in the water since you can't enter waypoints and you can't navigate by coordinates. If you're trying to find the Chinese restaraunt nearest your hotel or the nearest place to get a tire changed (which, in fairness, is surely a larger market than geocachers...) they're allegedly pretty sweet. But this audience doesn't live in that world.

Quote

But in the handheld street navigation arena, Garmin clearly offers the superior product at this time.

Yep

Two years ago when it was DR on a Meridian vs. Mapsource on a GPS V, I was more forgiving of the shortcomings. Both companies shipped completely new hardware since then (explorist and the "c series") and one substantially improved the units while the other didn't. Garmin is pretty much taking candy from fish in a barrel or shooting babies or something like that ...

#12 User is offline   GOT GPS? 

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 05:52 PM

Seems like the Garmin Autorouting handheld GPS units have hidden memory for use for many autorouting points, instead of highjacking user waypoint memory, so with alot of autorouting points, the garmin handhelds give you a good distance, and time to go for the rest of the trip.

Magellan doesn't seem like they are going to reallocate memory for larger tracklog memory or for hidden autorouting points for better autorouting.

Some of the newer Garmins have the user waypoint memory limited to 500 waypoints, because they allacated alot of hidden memory for autorouting.

Magellan needs to at least take the Explorist XL, and reallocate it's memory for the hidden autorouting connect-the-dot points along the roads, and redo the Direct-Route software for the XL. The XL does have a huge memory for this, and shouldn't be limited to an active tracklog of only 2000 points.

This post has been edited by GOT GPS?: 16 October 2005 - 06:03 PM


#13 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 08:54 PM

GOT GPS?, on Oct 16 2005, 08:52 PM, said:

Seems like the Garmin Autorouting handheld GPS units have hidden memory for use for many autorouting points, instead of highjacking user waypoint memory,.

This is somewhat correct. Garmins never hijack user-visible waypoint space for autorouting functions. It's silly that Magellan does. But that "hidden memory" isn't the root of the mooning that Garmin's street routing hands Magellan.

Think about it: any unit that autoroutes has megabytes of memory available to it. Does it make sense that of the (absurdly limited/fixed) pool of memory set aside to you, the user, for waypoint storage, that the unit's internal needs should come from *that* pool?

As someone experienced designing similar systems, it doesn't make any sense to me.

I also don't think that "many autorouting points" is the secret super sauce to a sensible user interface, but keeping internal peanut butter out of the user-visible chocolate goes to cluefulness.

Quote

Some of the newer Garmins have the user waypoint memory limited to 500 waypoints, because they allacated alot of hidden memory for autorouting.

This is true only on the lower end Garmins. (I'm reasonably sure they're limited becuase of "marketecture" and not technical reasons.) The 60's and above have 1000. But even the Garmins with 500 waypoints have 500 "no excuses" waypoints, not the "500, but only 200 with comments and of that pool of 200, the street routing needs some of them" so I'm not going to give Magellan any brownie points here. Besides, the features described above really don't take additional interim points; they require traversing the road network which you've already done to build the route anyway.

Quote

Magellan needs to at least take the Explorist XL, and reallocate it's memory for the hidden autorouting connect-the-dot points along the roads, and redo the Direct-Route software for the XL.  The XL does have a huge memory for this, and shouldn't be limited to an active tracklog of only 2000 points

The XL is hardly unique in this regard, so you're correct they they need to modernize "at least" the XL. The Meridian Gold/Plat/Color and Explorist 400/500/600 all have user expandable memory...but the user-visible problem isn't the allocation of memory, it's that the street routing in the handhelds is clearly an afterthought and that their competitor just plain does a better job in this regard.


(I tried "power caching" with a 600 today and it drove me totally nuts...)

#14 User is offline   BC71 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:42 AM

I have a Meridian Color and just bought a Garmin Quest. I've been playing with the Quest's routing features over the weekend and feel it's alot better than the Magellan for the reasons already stated. The biggest things to me are you have more options for telling it how to route you and it's alot faster at calculating routes. I also like the auto-reroute feature.
Toss in the better screen and the voice navigation and you know why I just sold my Meridian color.

#15 User is offline   welch 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:01 AM

robertlipe, on Oct 14 2005, 01:24 PM, said:

The Garmins offer differ routes based on your mode of transportation. What works well on foot (one-ways don't much matter) works badly for a semi truck (truck routes, weight restrictions, etc.).


What unit (or software?) asks for mode of transport?

#16 User is offline   geognerd 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:12 AM

The Garmin GPSmap 60 allows you to choose Car/Motorcycle, Truck, Bus, Emergency, Taxi, Delivery, and Pedestrian. At least according to the manual.

This post has been edited by geognerd: 17 October 2005 - 08:53 AM


#17 User is offline   geognerd 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:30 AM

robertlipe, on Oct 14 2005, 02:24 PM, said:

The Magellan routes are clearly point to point routes under the hood with knowledge of only turn points.  This can be seen in two places.  First, the total route length is short becuase in the real world, roads aren't straight.  Second, if you zoom out any distance, the "follow this route" part of the map turns into straight lines.  The effect is slightly less exaggerated than the first foto at http://www.gpsbabel....ips/arcmap.html but similar - Once you leave Indy, you don't actually _turn_ on I-69 until you reach FTW....

I just saw the following on the DirectRoute FAQs:

Q: When I zoom out on the map screen, I don’t see the highlighted street route any more. Why?
A: At zoom levels above .20 miles, DirectRoute displays the route as a series of straight line segments rather than highlighting the actual road. This improves performance of map redrawing on the screen as you travel. DirectRoute will still prompt you for the next maneuver, regardless how the active street route is displayed.


#18 User is offline   peter 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 08:04 AM

geognerd, on Oct 17 2005, 07:12 AM, said:

The Garmin GPSmap 60 allows you to choose Car/Motorcycle, Truck, Bus, Emergency, Taxi, Delivery, and Pedestrian.

Does the Map60 not have a bicycle option? The GPS V provides for that so it avoids routing on limited-access freeways but still pays attention to one-way streets (unlike ped. mode). Unfortunately the CitySelect maps don't seem to be aware of which freeways allow bicycles so it avoids them all even when a short allowed stretch would shorten the trip considerably.

#19 User is offline   welch 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 09:48 AM

peter, on Oct 17 2005, 10:04 AM, said:

geognerd, on Oct 17 2005, 07:12 AM, said:

The Garmin GPSmap 60 allows you to choose Car/Motorcycle, Truck, Bus, Emergency, Taxi, Delivery, and Pedestrian.

Does the Map60 not have a bicycle option? The GPS V provides for that so it avoids routing on limited-access freeways but still pays attention to one-way streets (unlike ped. mode). Unfortunately the CitySelect maps don't seem to be aware of which freeways allow bicycles so it avoids them all even when a short allowed stretch would shorten the trip considerably.

ok, my next question is how do I select this in the V? And is it related to CS version??

I have a V and it asks do I want the fastest, shortest, or 'off road' route. and you can avoid certain roads, etc, but I've never had it ask me if Im in a car, Truck or bicycle.... maybe I need to upgrade from version 5 software? :D

#20 User is offline   CenTexDodger 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 10:41 AM

The 60c/s does not prompt you if you want car or bicycle or truck, I think it is under the setup menu, under routing, you can choose between the type of routing you want to do.

#21 User is offline   embra 

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 10:52 AM

welch, on Oct 17 2005, 12:48 PM, said:

peter, on Oct 17 2005, 10:04 AM, said:

geognerd, on Oct 17 2005, 07:12 AM, said:

The Garmin GPSmap 60 allows you to choose Car/Motorcycle, Truck, Bus, Emergency, Taxi, Delivery, and Pedestrian.

Does the Map60 not have a bicycle option? The GPS V provides for that so it avoids routing on limited-access freeways but still pays attention to one-way streets (unlike ped. mode). Unfortunately the CitySelect maps don't seem to be aware of which freeways allow bicycles so it avoids them all even when a short allowed stretch would shorten the trip considerably.

ok, my next question is how do I select this in the V? And is it related to CS version??

On the Quest, Bicycle is thrown into the mix, too...I'll bet it's on the Map60 as well.

Again, on my Quest I get to the "Calculate routes for..." setting by menu/setting/route setup. That's also where avoidances, route preference, calculation method, and off-route recalculation mode are set. I've seen it for CS6 and 7; don't know if it's a CS thing or not.

This post has been edited by embra: 17 October 2005 - 10:53 AM


#22 User is offline   GOT GPS? 

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 12:57 AM

On my Map60C, I have to scroll all the way to the bottom, to select Bicycle.
It is the very last option in the list.

#23 User is offline   geognerd 

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 06:33 AM

Can the roads in the eXplorist 400's basemap be used alone to create routes? I noticed on a co-worker's GPSmap 60 that it seemed his basemap could be used for a route. I don't have DirectRoute (yet). About 90% of my daily commute is on roads included in the basemap, and I'd like to get a taste of the turn-by-turn routing and instructions. I had my office's coordinates as a POI and did a GoTo for it, but I only got a straight-line route.

#24 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 06:42 AM

Magellan handhelds never route on the basemap.

The Garmin handhelds that support autorouting do route on the basemap. This is another reason why the same amount of detail map memory in the two brands is a deceiving comparison. No, you won't get as much details, but it'll get you over the interstates between X and Y without having the maps for every place between X and Y...

#25 User is offline   DeRock & The Psychic Cacher 

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:44 AM

For the record: I use a Meridian color, wife uses 76cs.

Often we both use autoroute at the same time.

To be fair they both have their good points and their bad points. It would appear to us that the 76cs has fewer bad points.

Garmin and Magellan could both learn from each other.

Happy trails,

DeRock

#26 User is offline   embra 

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 07:18 AM

Because I refer people to this thread incessantly, I wanted to include some relevant information that was either not mentioned above or has come out subsequent to the original discussion.

1. Garmin releases annual updates to their mapping software database; Magellan had expressed an intention to do the same but the first update to the original release seemed to take several years...3? I kinda lost track. Upgrades costs seem comparable, around $70-$75.

2. Robert Lipe posted a detailed review of Magellan's DirectRoute v3 on his web site here. The review/comments were provided by Skramblr, the moderator of the Yahoo Meridian users group. I wanted to summarize some important points/changes here:
  • DR v3 is locked to a single GPS serial number (Garmin allows two units with the possibility of purchasing additional licences). DR can be loaded on more than one computer using same GPS serial number, but if you cannot use two GPS units on the same computer...each DR/GPS combo needs uniqure computer (I had a frustrated email from one guy who bought 3 Explorist/Topo3D packages for his family, when he found he needed three computers to use them).
  • Map size in DR was raised from 64mb to 122.8mb.
  • CD no longer required to run the program

and a direct quote at the bottom of the page:

Quote

The Exit / Route number or Street name does not appear on my Meridian Color when traveling on a limited access highway and using the street to street go to function. Secondary roads are OK. Ed: This is a regression from V1/V2 and ultimately caused Skramblr such frustration that he returned the product.


#27 User is offline   geobc 

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 09:03 AM

View Postembra, on Oct 14 2005, 10:57 AM, said:

These are some of the things that Garmin will do that Magellan can't:
- snip -
User can specify general road types (toll roads, interstates) or specific sections of roads to avoid in route.

You can specify sections of roads to avoid? I had a 76C and now a 60CSx and haven't run across this feature. Is it something the Quest has but not the 60/76? How do you specify which section of road to avoid?

GeoBC

#28 User is offline   embra 

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 09:10 AM

View Postgeobc, on Jun 6 2006, 12:03 PM, said:

View Postembra, on Oct 14 2005, 10:57 AM, said:

User can specify general road types (toll roads, interstates) or specific sections of roads to avoid in route.

You can specify sections of roads to avoid? I had a 76C and now a 60CSx and haven't run across this feature. Is it something the Quest has but not the 60/76? How do you specify which section of road to avoid?

If you haven't seen it, this may be a feature of the Quest & higher level models. In the Route Setup page is a button for Avoidances. There are check boxes for avoiding U-Turns, Toll Roads, Highways, and/or unpaved roads. Additionally, you can insert custom avoidances defined by a road section or an entire rectangular area.

The handhelds do a nice job of autorouting all told, but the units designed more for driving appear to include some nice additional features.

Thanks for limiting my apparently overgeneralized statements.

#29 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 11:09 AM

Embra is (as usual) correct. This is present on Quest and up; the C handhelds don't do it.

The detour options are present on the Automotive members of the Mobile products line and not in the [url=http://www.garmin.com/outdoor/products.html]Outdoor product line.

Exceptions to the above rule may apply, but I think it's a good guideline. Remembering which of their models has any given feature can be mind-blowing.

#30 User is offline   geobc 

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 11:49 AM

View Postembra, on Jun 6 2006, 10:10 AM, said:

If you haven't seen it, this may be a feature of the Quest & higher level models. In the Route Setup page is a button for Avoidances. There are check boxes for avoiding U-Turns, Toll Roads, Highways, and/or unpaved roads. Additionally, you can insert custom avoidances defined by a road section or an entire rectangular area.

Thx for the reply. Custom avoidance areas would be a nice feature to have, especially if they could be activated during specific dates/times.

GeoBC

#31 User is offline   BootsFlyer 

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  Posted 31 December 2006 - 07:04 AM

Wow, alot of great information in this post. I am a 2 GPS geocacher and am looking to replace my in-car unit that i use to get me at least close. For out-of-the-car use, I have a Garmin eTrex Legend which works great. It is very easy to upload/download waypoints and is very accurate. For in-the-car, I curently use a Garmin StreetPilot III and am considering replacing it with a Garmin c320. It looks to have all the features I need but the upload/download of waypoints is unclear. I typically will upload new waypoints once a week for the that week's adventures while at home and then hit the road. Is this a difficult process with the c320 or should I keep looking for a different unit for in-the-car use? Thanks for you opinions.

BootsFlyer :anitongue:

#32 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 10:43 AM

C320 supports waypoint xfer much like your others. What it lacks is a "delete waypoints en masse" feature. For a 2 GPS cacher, the portability of the C3xx isn't likely to be an issue; I'd take the bigger screen and more powerful routing a 27xx over a C3xx. If you can still find a refurbished 26xx, they have much more powerful routing than a C3xx and likely at a comparable price.

(Please start another thread with an appropriate title if you wish to follow up on that...)

#33 User is offline   raybonz 

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 10:15 AM

View Postrobertlipe, on Oct 14 2005, 11:24 AM, said:

Well said, Embra. Baiting you into buying that Quest has saved me many hours of answering this kind of stuff and I welcome another wizard with experience in both camps. Mind if I throw in a few more based on my experience with a couple of Magellans (Plat, x400, x600) and a couple of Garmins (60CS, 2610)?

The Magellan routes are clearly point to point routes under the hood with knowledge of only turn points. This can be seen in two places. First, the total route length is short becuase in the real world, roads aren't straight. Second, if you zoom out any distance, the "follow this route" part of the map turns into straight lines. The effect is slightly less exaggerated than the first foto at http://www.gpsbabel....ips/arcmap.html but similar - Once you leave Indy, you don't actually _turn_ on I-69 until you reach FTW....

The Garmin not only automatically recalculates on missed turn, it does so intelligently. For the first three times you deviate, it does a quick recalc (under a second) to get you back to the original route. It figures that if you haven't rejoined your route given three chances, it'll do a full recalc of the route from where you are to your destination. This process takes a couple of seconds.

The route generation is just plain faster. The time it takes a Magellan to build a route is slug-like when compared to the Garmins.

The Garmins offer differ routes based on your mode of transportation. What works well on foot (one-ways don't much matter) works badly for a semi truck (truck routes, weight restrictions, etc.).

CitySelect lets you pick county (ish) sized chunks of detailed maps along a chosen route for upload to the unit. Mapsend requires you to select rectangles that have one edge parallel ot the equator. I frequently travel hundreds of miles, but want detailed maps along the interstate to my destination. CitySelect requires less overhead than Mapsource. (Ironically, CityNAVIGATOR 7 pretty much wipes out this advantage as the region size is now about the size of many states...)


I have to say that Magellan's street routing is very much like a singing dog. (When they taught the Meridians to sing, it was impressive.) The first time you see it, it's kind of impressive but it gets old quickly and once you've heard anything other than a dog sing, the appeal is mostly for comic relief. The fact that the second generation (explorist) of this particular dog doesn't really sing any better than the first disappoints me greatly.


Hello Robert,
Your post was both enlightening and entertaining! I use a Garmin Streetpilot i3 for auto navigation which I feel does an excellent job for such a tiny unit. I know that Garmin uses Navteq mapping which is considered to be the best for USA. Does Magellan use this as well and if they do does their poor routing have more to do with a poorly designed routing engine?

Thanx,
Ray

#34 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 02:16 PM

Both use the same Navteq data sets. The origin dates leapfrog from time to time, but they're both definitely Navteq.

My disappointment is totally in the firmware, not the quality fo the map data. Is the map data perfect? Of course not. It's good enough and I haven't seen anything better than the Navteq data here in the U.S. Requiring manual reroutes was a reasonable compromise when autorouting was added to the Meridians that were already out there, but it's just quaint on Explorist. Stir in the "one region, and you manually flip maps" and the limited routing options and I have to say that routing just plain feels like an afterthought on these products.

#35 User is offline   Cacheoholic 

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 04:55 PM

Iíve found one thing that is really, really bad about the Magellanís routing software. They canít get the city name correct in rural Pennsylvania where I live. Iíve owned/own a Magellan Roadmate, DirectRoute V1.0 and DirectRoute V3.0. All have it wrong. I makes the search by address pretty much worthless since you donít know what city name they used. I own a Garmin c330, MetroGuide V4, MetroGuide V8, City Select V6, City Select V7 and City Navigator V8. Garmin has always had it right.

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