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Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

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Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by tictoc on Tue May 07, 2013 10:23 am

Ok so I see allot of people talking about using a Garmin GPS. I had several back in the day and they work great. But these days I use Google maps on my smart phone (with wifi) in the states. So here is my question. Are the Garmin maps of Ajijic that much better than the Google maps? is a Garmin GPS that much better than a smart phone with the GIS data downloaded to the phone? For people who have both do you find the Garmin that much better? Are there people who only have a Smart Phone and think that is the way to go? /Why?

thanks

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by CheenaGringo on Tue May 07, 2013 10:47 am

tictoc:

I am a long time user of a Garmin GPS and just yesterday, I had a brief opportunity to compare maps found on an iPhone directly with my Garmin maps for a location here in Albuquerque. In a quick observation, I found the iPhone maps difficult to read versus the Garmin. With the owner of the iPhone pulling up the location and me running the Garmin, pulling up a location took about the same amount of time. Both units seemed to have similar visibility problems in direct sunlight. Other than this one brief encounter, I don't know "jack" and wouldn't begin to make a valid comparison.

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by CanuckBob on Tue May 07, 2013 1:55 pm

I have both, the problem with using the smartphone (IE. Iphone) is you have to be connected to the 3 or 4 G network and that is dicey at best while driving around the city and non-exsistent in some places in the country. It will also burn data on a long haul thus costing you some pesos

Now if they make a smartphone that connects directly with the GPS satellites then that would be a different story. Maybe they do?
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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by tictoc on Tue May 07, 2013 2:47 pm

CanuckBob wrote:I have both, the problem with using the smartphone (IE. Iphone) is you have to be connected to the 3 or 4 G network and that is dicey at best while driving around the city and non-exsistent in some places in the country. It will also burn data on a long haul thus costing you some pesos

Now if they make a smartphone that connects directly with the GPS satellites then that would be a different story. Maybe they do?
Yes with droid, once you have your directions (need data for directions but not for map) and downloaded the map (GIS) data, you don't need to be connected. I use my old (Non activated) Droid X on my motorcycle (country riddin) like this all the time. Thus my question about Garmin maps vs Google maps. The nice thing with google is the maps are free and I can download new ones any time. This is why I got rid of Garmin. So it sounds like I don't need to go and get a Garmin again just for Ajijic. Any other thoughts?

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by HelperGuy on Tue May 07, 2013 3:15 pm

I've tried a variety of devices like Garmin here, and even DeLorme's Earthmate for the car, with a laptop... and they all have serious drawbacks. Maps are frequently incomplete. In major cities, they can point you the wrong way on one-ways, into walls and dead ends, and like that.

Now of course I can't be buying all of them all the time to see what's the latest, but it still feels like the early days of computer DVD encyclopaedia: a lot of missing stuff in a cool tool.

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by tictoc on Tue May 07, 2013 3:22 pm

HelperGuy wrote:I've tried a variety of devices like Garmin here, and even DeLorme's Earthmate for the car, with a laptop... and they all have serious drawbacks. Maps are frequently incomplete. In major cities, they can point you the wrong way on one-ways, into walls and dead ends, and like that.

Now of course I can't be buying all of them all the time to see what's the latest, but it still feels like the early days of computer DVD encyclopaedia: a lot of missing stuff in a cool tool.
That is my feeling as well. That is why I ditched Garmin. It just got too expensive to have good maps. atleast with google it is free. But if Garmin has better maps of Ajijic/Mexico, I'd be willing to go back to them...

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by CheenaGringo on Tue May 07, 2013 4:04 pm

tictoc:

I believe a majority of the latest Garmin devices are designated LM for lifetime maps now and they now include Mexico in the North American package. Without going into my actual logs, I am guessing that we have recorded 15 to 20K miles on our Garmin in Mexico. I went into Garmin ownership with the understanding that there would be limitations on the Mexico map detail and have been repeatedly surprised by the accuracy and detail for small towns & villages in Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Oaxaca, Puebla, Chihuahua, Durango, Zactecas, Aguascalientes and Mexico States.

Sure there are simple frustrations when it attempts to direct one down the wrong way on a one-way street, when streets change names at a traffic circle or bend in the road or finding the actual address number. I have done direct comparisons with Google Maps for small towns and villages and have found Garmin to have better detail.

YMMV

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by MexicoPete on Tue May 07, 2013 4:54 pm

Thanks for the input, Neil
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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by CanuckBob on Tue May 07, 2013 5:00 pm

tictoc wrote:
CanuckBob wrote:I have both, the problem with using the smartphone (IE. Iphone) is you have to be connected to the 3 or 4 G network and that is dicey at best while driving around the city and non-exsistent in some places in the country. It will also burn data on a long haul thus costing you some pesos

Now if they make a smartphone that connects directly with the GPS satellites then that would be a different story. Maybe they do?
Yes with droid, once you have your directions (need data for directions but not for map) and downloaded the map (GIS) data, you don't need to be connected. I use my old (Non activated) Droid X on my motorcycle (country riddin) like this all the time. Thus my question about Garmin maps vs Google maps. The nice thing with google is the maps are free and I can download new ones any time. This is why I got rid of Garmin. So it sounds like I don't need to go and get a Garmin again just for Ajijic. Any other thoughts?

So what good would the Droid be without the on-going directions and coordinates? I don't want to be staring at a static map and not knowing my exact position. If I make a wrong turn I want to be directed back to the proper route. That is why I use a Garmin and not a mapbook. Am I missing something here?
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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by conbtrarian on Tue May 07, 2013 9:34 pm

My newish TomTom GO 2535 Live works flawlessly and includes free U.S./Mexico map updates for the lifetime of my GPS.

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by tictoc on Tue May 07, 2013 11:46 pm

I think I missaid that. once you have directions it is on-going with you coordinates. But for some reason, data is needed to get initial directions. It is starting to sound like Garmin (or other) is a good way to go.

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by CanuckBob on Wed May 08, 2013 8:08 am

OK, how does the phone get it's coordinates every few seconds? Does it connect directly with the GPS satellites or does it need to connect with the 3 or 4 G network?
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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by tictoc on Wed May 08, 2013 10:12 am

CanuckBob wrote:OK, how does the phone get it's coordinates every few seconds? Does it connect directly with the GPS satellites or does it need to connect with the 3 or 4 G network?
It used to be that the data only came from the cellular tower (1G, 3G, 4G). However nowadays, phones get their coordinates a couple of ways. One could be from the cellular tower; however with the absence of that info, it uses GPS only. In fact nowadays to achieve faster acquisition times they use both. My Galaxy SII also has a pressure sensor so it can provide accurate altitude (barometric pressure).


Last edited by tictoc on Wed May 08, 2013 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by papa chango on Wed May 08, 2013 10:12 am

My smart phone connects directly to the GPS satellites. If you pre downloaded your maps you don't need a 3G or 4G connection. A problem is that a smartphone unless you have a lot of memory cannot hold the data for a lot of maps. So let's say you want to drive from Lakeside to Puerto Vallarta and you wanted to do it using smartphone Google Maps. So before your trip you download those maps for your route.

Surte
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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by tictoc on Wed May 08, 2013 10:15 am

papa chango wrote:My smart phone connects directly to the GPS satellites. If you pre downloaded your maps you don't need a 3G or 4G connection. A problem is that a smartphone unless you have a lot of memory cannot hold the data for a lot of maps. So let's say you want to drive from Lakeside to Puerto Vallarta and you wanted to do it using smartphone Google Maps. So before your trip you download those maps for your route.

Surte
And my old SII will hold plenty of map data. I have allot of pictures, LA maps, Ajijic maps, Portland maps, and SD Maps. And it does not have a memory card slot :(

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by tictoc on Wed May 08, 2013 10:37 am

papa chango wrote:This papa chango post was dictated by voice using my Android 4.1.2 Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone.


do you use only your SIII for directions? How does it work for you in mexico? Do you have another GPS device? Tell me more...

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by CheenaGringo on Wed May 08, 2013 10:53 am

No experience getting directions from a smartphone but I have figured out that people typically don't take the time to experiment and learn what their GPS capabilities or limitations are. Probably that instant gratification thing and after all, how hard is it to get directions? Just this week, I had occassion to drive another vehicle with a friend's Garmin GPS installed. I couldn't figure out why it was attempting to direct me on oddball routes. When I had a few spare minutes, I looked into his settings and found the unit set on "shortest route" rather than "fastest route" that I was familiar with. I later quizzed him and he didn't even know these settings existed - I had to show him where and he has owned the unit for close to two years.

On various Mexico forums, I have read any number of members badmouthing these units and half the time it boils down to inexperience and simply not knowing what they were doing with the units. Heck - even a regular map can be a challenge if one failed Map Reading 101 or is simply detail challenged!

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by akjerry on Wed May 08, 2013 8:54 pm

This would be an invitation to get Ajijic better map coverage.
If you go to the link provided, and zoom in, you will see that Ajijic is not that well covered, many streets and highways are missing.
It is very easy to sign up and provide some data, or if you wish, you can actually add to the map and improve the location ability.

One way to contribute, if you have a cell phone with gps capabilities, turn on that service, go for your morning walk, and then upload that data to openstreetmap, when you get back.

If you don't want to participate, thats ok as well,no harm, no foul

I've contributed some data in my neighborhood, Alaska, and the updates on openstreetmap are there momentarily.

My wife and I have committed to at least a year in Chapala, we leave in August, driving from Alaska.

Jerry

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Mexico

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by papa chango on Thu May 09, 2013 1:39 pm

tictoc wrote:
papa chango wrote:This papa chango post was dictated by voice using my Android 4.1.2 Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone.


do you use only your SIII for directions? How does it work for you in mexico? Do you have another GPS device? Tell me more...

Before I bought my first smartphone I had purchased a TomTom GPS device with Mexico maps which I use in my car.

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Re: Garmin GPS VS Smart Phone in Ajijic

Post by CheenaGringo on Fri May 10, 2013 10:35 am

Just received an email from Garmin announcing some newer features they are promoting:

Active Lane Guidance:
Without knowing about this new feature, I received the update to my older Garmin with my last download. The first time it appeared on the screen, it took me by surprise:


Garmin Real Directions:
Since I typically drive with the voice muted, I don't know whether this feature downloaded too. For me, this would be a much more natural feature since I tend to drive by landmarks and not street names:


I am curious if either of these new features will work in Mexico but will have to wait for our next trip to see!

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