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post #1 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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GPS use

Well, I did attempt to search this section to see if this topic has been done to death already and didn't find anything, but maybe I'm just not searching well. Anyway, anybody have any opinions on what GPS to use? I looked on Amazon for specific GPS units but many had a lot of sub-optimal reviews - plus they were pretty expensive. I just use Google maps when I'm in the car but I plan to be riding in a lot of areas with no cell service on the bike and it cuts out when I don't have service, from what I remember. I'm not sure how smart phones work as compared to stand alone GPS units. Do the phones have the capability to latch on to the GPS system like a stand alone device does? If you guys are using phones, what app are you using? Thanks!
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post #2 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 05:33 AM
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For Android, one of the best options is OSMAnd. All the available regional maps are downloaded to the phone, so no Internet connection is required to use the app after installing the maps.
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post #3 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 05:43 AM
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In Google Maps, make sure you plan the route when still in Wifi/cellphone range. But once the route is planned it's perfectly OK to lose the signal - the route will stay loaded. You can even stray from the route: It will pick it up again once you're back on track.

Also, in Google Maps, you can download certain areas in advance. This will not just include the roads, but also points of interest and such. You can then track your progress and I think even plan a route, while offline.

Obviously live traffic information and similar will not be available when offline.
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post #4 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt B View Post
Well, I did attempt to search this section to see if this topic has been done to death already and didn't find anything
That's because you looked and posted in general Strom discussion.

Moved to tech and GPS.

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post #5 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 07:34 AM
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I'm not sure how smart phones work as compared to stand alone GPS units.
Very well

Do the phones have the capability to latch on to the GPS system like a stand alone device does?
Of course ...they are a GPS

If you guys are using phones, what app are you using? Thanks!
That's a huge topic and of course evolving rapidly as new software comes out.

Now that GMaps allows regional downloads it is a player in offline routing.

I use TomTom mainly because it gives me Winding Roads ....some other Apps are out with a similiar feature.

If you search on TomTom or Garmin or Furkot you will come up with a number of threads.

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post #6 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 09:27 AM
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A $100 used android phone is light years ahead of even a top of the line $$$ Garmin. Waze and Google maps for roads with cell service. Locus pro and Osmand+ for offline no cell service.

This forum is a great resource Mapping & Navigation | Adventure Rider
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post #7 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 10:03 AM
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What he said!
Smartphone all the way. I have never even owned a stand alone GPS.
Kyocera DuraForce Pro running OsmAnd for off line and Google Maps for online nav. I use ITN Converter to plan routes and can export to my phone as both .GPX for OsmAnd and Google Maps. Sweet setup!!!

Last edited by PineLaneRider; 12-05-2017 at 10:10 AM.
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post #8 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 10:56 AM
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I have mapping/navigation apps for my cell phone and for my iPad's. They work okay, especially if sitting as a passenger in a car, but the challenge is that cell phones aren't designed to use on motorcycles.

I have two Garmin GPS units. a Garmin Zumo 660 and a Garmin Zumo 590. (The 590 was a gift from my wife, both are mounted on my bike.) Motorcycle specific GPS units are expensive since they are designed to be used in the conditions riders might encounter. They have mounts that keep them powered without worry about vibration wrecking the device or the USB connections. They have quick release mounts so that you can instantly take them off the bike and put them in a safe spot when untended. They have the ability to work in extreme conditions... my Garmin Zumo 660 experienced Death Valley at temperatures of 52c/126f in a clear sunny day with no issues. Both units have been used on the bike in temperatures near 0f/-18c with no issues. They fire up and work perfectly after being left overnight in the car in temperatures as low as -27c/-17f. They work in the pouring rain with soaking wet gloves.

The 590 has apps that connect with an app on my phone. It has weather radar and shows alerts on the screen. It has a traffic app that shows traffic and warns me of delays and asks me if I want to re-route if it sees big traffic issues. It also has an app that shows live traffic cameras (although these aren't all that useful for my normal riding. If I find something on my phone I can send the address to the GPS and set it as a destination. All this stuff is nicely integrated and presented to me in a useful way that works while riding.

I keep navigation on my cell phone (and on the iPad's if I bother to take them anywhere) as a backup and haven't needed them to navigate. I like the fact that if something should happen - say a crash that might destroy stuff on my handlebars or separate me from the bike - my cell phone is safely tucked away in my pocket within reach.

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post #9 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 12:28 PM
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I use an android phone for voice nav, and I download areas in advance if I know I won't have service.

I also have a Garmin GPSMap78, which has been recording tracks since 2012. That alone makes it worth its weight in gold to me. It's also waterproof, powered off the bike, more readable in daylight, and operable with gloves while soaking wet. Far better overall as a GPS, even though it's slow to calculate long routes or reroute.
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post #10 of 144 Old 12-05-2017, 01:36 PM
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I use both. I have a Garmin Nuvi 2455, and also a Droid Turbo loaded with OsmAnd. I prefer the Garmin, but it's not one of those "it has to be a dedicated GPS system or else you suck" type of preferences.

The Garmin is easier to see in the daylight than my phone. The Garmin screen is pressure sensitive, rather than inductive like my phone. Makes it easier to push a button on the GPS screen with gloves on (though I did sew conductive thread into the index fingers of my gloves so I could activate the cell phone screen).

I use the Tyre program to create routes. It's easy to load routes from Tyre onto both the GPS and the phone (OsmAnd will read a .gpx file created on Tyre and give you turn by turn directions just like a GPS will). The upside to using the phone is I can create a route on Tyre and email it to my phone, then open it in OsmAnd; no usb cable needed.

I still use a GPS, for much the same reason that some guys will wear a pair of boots long after their usable life span is ended; because it's comfortable to me. In the past I've bought used and refurbished Garmins on Amazon for a very decent price, but I've noticed lately that their used prices have increased to the point that they're now in the range of a used cell phone. My next GPS will be a an old smart phone. I'm not going to activate it; I'll just use the built in GPS and download a offline maps program like OsmAnd, or maybe Co-Pilot. I need to do additional research for an offline navigation app that can accept a premade downloaded .gpx file and can provide turn by turn directions. OsmAnd does fine with it, but I've never really grown to like it.
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