GPS Tips and Tricks
A GPS is only as good as its maps. Staying current is critical and there are many ways to ensure your GPS is up to date with the latest directions as well as many cool extra features.
Telstra’s Whereis map service is comprehensive, as you’d expect, and can be costly, also no surprise. Many GPS devices use Whereis by default, and the presentation is very good, as is the accuracy. Maps can be downloaded, or you can order a CD that is sent to you for uploading onto your PC, then it’s easy to transfer them to your GPS.
Whereis maps are updated often, and include extra features like traffic conditions and speed limit info. Rural coverage is outstanding.
Using Nokia maps, you'll first need to purchase the maps for your chosen country. They sell for around $100 for a twelve month subscription, which you'll save many times over if you get lost in a dingy back alley in Romania.
Nokia uses the latest Whereis Australia maps, but even those aren’t always accurate, which is where TomTom’sMapShare technology comes in handy. This lets you make changes to your maps and download changes made by other users through the desktop software.
Suna traffic updates, as well as safety camera alerts and speed sign alerts on the map display are included. If you pair it with your mobile phone over Bluetooth, you can search for points of interest online through Google or TrueLocal.
Google Maps for mobile
Like everything Google does, it’s clever, fully featured, easy to get and free. Maps are clear, current and accurate and Google has the full suite of extra features you’d expect from a paid service, but it’s all free.
You must have a compatible handset, but the range is growing and you can be sure Google is going out of its way to make sure Google Maps works perfectly with phones that use its Android operating system.
Google Maps for Mobile is, as the name suggests, designed mainly for smartphones. It uses your smartphone’s always-online connectivity to keep maps updated and send real-time traffic info. Maps is designed to run on your PC too, so before you set out use the convenience of your home computer to update maps and plan trips.
New features are being added all the time and Google Maps for Mobile is hard to go past as the preferred maps service. Many third party applications are available that add cool features, and as Google is open source the door is wide open for developers to add more applications.
A comprehensive traffic info service including accident reports.Suna compliments existing map services and is commonly included with new handsets. Suna is compatible with Google Maps. It includes safety camera alerts and speed sign alerts on the map display. If you pair it with your mobile phone over Bluetooth, you can search for points of interest online through Google or TrueLocal.
Look online for bushwalking clubs, as they often have a great database of tracks and waypoints ready to download, usually free. Be a part of the community too and return the favour by creating your own adventures and uploading them for others to enjoy.
It’s become more common to find cameras with built-in GPS. They tag your photos with the spot the shot was taken. Usually the info is compatible with map services, like Google, and you’re encouraged to upload location shots to Google Earth to help others get a good idea of what a place looks like.