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Guest Message by DevFuse

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GPS Astray


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22 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:37 AM

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 It more is with the maps database which can contain old and outdated information.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.
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#2 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:37 AM

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

 

 

Using GPS Navigation
GPS Navigation to sites to remote locations like Death Valley are notoriously unreliable. Numerous travelers have been directed to the wrong location or even dead-end or closed roads. Travelers should always carry up-to-date road maps to check the accuracy of GPS directions.
DO NOT DEPEND ONLY ON YOUR VEHICLE GPS NAVIGATION SYSTEM.



#3 OFFLINE   gov

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:45 AM

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 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:59 PM

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.
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#5 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:40 PM

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.
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#6 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:49 PM

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. 


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#7 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:00 PM

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...


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#8 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:43 AM

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.


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#9 OFFLINE   gov

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:49 AM

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 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:57 AM

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.


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#11 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:25 AM

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

 

!rolling


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#12 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:27 AM

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.

 

 

Using what device? Have you tried others? 


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#13 OFFLINE   gov

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:55 AM

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 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:04 PM

Have you tried Google Maps or Earth? Or a smart phone? 


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#15 OFFLINE   4HiMarks

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:20 AM

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.

 

 

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.


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#16 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:46 AM

rofl up to date reporting, that happened 3 years ago

 

http://www.rd.com/tr...death-valley/2/



#17 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:38 AM

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.


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#18 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:06 PM

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.

just turn off "michigan mode" :lol:


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#19 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:27 PM

just turn off "michigan mode" :lol:


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

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 10:47 PM

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

 

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

 

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