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GPS Astray

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Mark Holtz, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    This is a two-part video story from ABC News about a mom and two girls who decided to go to Death Valley on a hot summer day. On the way back, they decided to visit Death Valley's "Racetrack", and got very lost. Here are the links:Personally, I think it wasn't technically the GPS, as all it reports is the latitude and longitude. It more is with the maps database which can contain old and outdated information. As noted in the report, the GPS still had a road listed that was washed out.... in 1976.
     
  2. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    And this is not the first time this has happened. The National Park Service has this posted on their web site:

     
  3. gov

    gov Legend

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    I would hope everybody everywhere takes GPS directions with a grain of salt.

    Around here there are many errors in the database; home addresses off by a mile, paved roads not in the database and abandoned cow paths that are in the database, unnoted gravel roads, unnoted dirt roads, river banks listed as roads when it is illegal to drive upon them, and utility easement 'paths' that dead end listed as passable roads.

    Also, since this a rural area with many folks still on dial up or slow over-the-air internet, updating a GPS device can be an ordeal. My internet takes over 10 hours to update my GPS and Tom-Tom kicks generally kicks me off far sooner than that.

    As a local, I just laugh when the GPS makes a blunder in my home area, but a visitor to this area could wind up very lost, very stuck, or even missing without a trace.
     
  4. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Near where I live, the Lincoln Bypass (CA-65) was opened in October, 2012. The July, 2013 GPS update for my Garmin finally included that route change. Google Maps had it sooner. People need to realize that GPS will only get the latitude/longitude, and the map data is either stored through a map update or a small portion is obtaind online. And, there are highways (CA-89 over the Sieraa, US-101 in Washington) where there is no cell phone coverage, thus the phone can't get a map update.

    Here is a nice little catch.... GPS usually includes one free map update when you purchase the unit. However, updating it is a pain as it downloads 1GB of information. I end up updating My GPS at work because of the higher speed connection than at home. Even then, it takes about 90 minutes.
     
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I did the free updates on my first GPS ... and then paid for a year of quarterly updates a couple of years later. After scratching the touchscreen I decided to buy a new GPS that included free map updates "for life".

    Even with free updates and good Internet it takes a while to update the device. But as the device warns, roads change all the time.

    Regardless of the map source people need to be prepared for survival. Many things can go wrong besides having an out of date map.
     
  6. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Having stayed in DV a number of times, and visited Scotty's Castle during Winter, I can only shake my head in amazement that such unpreparedness in July daytime travel didn't end worse than it did.
    I'm glad they were rescued, but Darwin's law almost prevailed.
     
  7. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Ive run across some directions one time where the GPS told me to turn left off the main road. There was a sign (posted by a farmer) on the corner that read "Your GPS is wrong, this is a driveway".

    I had to laugh. Apparently, he has had a lot of lost visitors...
     
  8. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    We love our GPS - but as stated above - you have to take the directions with a grain of salt. We have only gotten GPS's (we're on our second) with "Lifetime map updates" ( what good is the GPS with out-of date info ?). we update about once per quarter, or before a long road trip (like we are currently on). For several years - there were NO electronic maps that could find my house (anything online, or any GPS updates that I had seen) - that changed about 2005.
     
  9. gov

    gov Legend

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    It's weird, many addresses in my area are shown around a mile due south of their actual location. But not all of them, mine, for instance, is correct.

    Also, you can be driving on a gravel road for 10 miles, and then suddenly, the GPS announces the road is gravel. Duh, I already noticed 15 minutes ago.
     
  10. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    I use Google Maps to plot trips rather than GPS. That works pretty well, although a couple years ago even Google was somewhat unreliable with directions.

    The current street view of my house from Google maps, though, is a picture taken from my back alley. I can recognize my garage, but I can't figure out why Google drove their camera truck down through all the back alleys in town.
     
  11. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    That wasn't Google- that was NSA while they were going through your trash cans....

    !rolling
     
  12. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Using what device? Have you tried others?
     
  13. gov

    gov Legend

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    I have an un-updated Tom Tom.

    Not a problem around home, but it even is off a mile at my sisters house 140 miles away.
     
  14. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Have you tried Google Maps or Earth? Or a smart phone?
     
  15. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    For a while, every time I wanted to go somewhere east of me, Google Maps would direct me to go past the E-W road, then make a U-turn followed by a left, instead of simply turning right.
     
  16. wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

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  17. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    For a while, every time I wanted to go somewhere east of me, Google Maps would direct me to go past the E-W road, then make a U-turn followed by a left, instead of simply turning right.


    My Sonata Navigation System does that too for me for one particular right turn. I don't use that system too much anymore as I use Google Maps or Apple Maps on my iPhone (through my car audio). I don't know if I'll update my maps again on the Sonata. It costs $199 for the map update, which I think is ridiculous. I got the first one on sale for $99 and got another one for free (after my system was replaced under warranty and the update disc can only be used once). Also, in order to do the update, you need to reset the whole system which wipes everything. The newer models have fixed that issue. I have found the car system good as a backup though for when you don't have good cell reception.


    - Merg

    Sent from my iPad using DBSTalk mobile app
     
  18. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    just turn off "michigan mode" :lol:
     
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Michigan mode would be a u-turn followed by a right instead of a simple left. :)
     
  20. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Kinda like Jersey's jug-handles... Gotta turn right in order to turn left!

    - Merg
     

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