July 30, 2007

New Magellan Handhelds on their Way?

Rich over at GPSTracklog is reporting that Magellan may just have a new handheld on the way which would be announced at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer show that is happening August 7 & 8 near Ogden, UT. It would not be a surprise to me or nearly anyone that they would be upgrading their eXplorist line and from what Rich tells us, it sounds like they are planning a big intro.

Let's hope that they don't just match the Garmin line of excellent handhelds which have been steadily improving over the years and chewing up market share in the process. The features to beat right now are on the DeLorme PN-20 handheld with color satellite imagery capability. Cool.

More at GPS Tracklog


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July 30, 2007

Inrix Updates Traffic Software Engine

Inrix has announced an update to their main traffic reporting capability with the upgrade of their Traffic Fusion Engine version 3.0, INRIX focused on key enhancements in accuracy and in improving the flexibility for its OEM customers to integrate real-time incident information for congestion avoidance. This is big, and should parallel an imminent release of GPS Navigation devices with Historical Average Speeds pre-loaded.

The big advantage will be better and more accurate reporting of estimated time of arrival (ETA) and a better sense of what traffic will do to you in your travels.

“Market demand for traffic-enabled applications is building on the significant market growth in the portable and auto navigation device markets, the emergence of the offboard navigation market, and the availability for the first time of nationwide traffic speed data,” said INRIX CEO, Bryan Mistele. “In just one year, we've grown the maximum available coverage of real-time traffic flow information in the U.S. from 36 markets to 94 and 8,000 miles to 55,000. Correspondingly, the overall number of traffic-capable navigation device models in the U.S. and the penetration rate have more than tripled.”

ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Updates Traffic Software Engine"

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July 30, 2007

XM Expands Traffic Service

XM satellite radio service announced that its real-time satellite information service for GPS navigation will add 29 new markets, providing XM NavTraffic subscribers in the U.S. access to real-time traffic data in a total of 79 major and secondary North American markets, beginning July 31. In addition, four current markets will also benefit from increased traffic data coverage within their metro areas.

XM NavTraffic feeds data on incidents directly to the vehicle's GPS navigation system via XM's satellite pipeline, alerting the driver to blockages directly on the navigation screen. He or she can then route around a jam before getting caught in traffic.

If you are keeping track, XM uses Traffic.com/NAVTEQ data.

ArrowContinue reading: "XM Expands Traffic Service"

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July 30, 2007

Where's Your GPS Made?

Well, more than likely it's made in Taiwan; almost three quarters of them were made in Taiwan during the first six months of 2007 according to the Market Intelligence Center a part of the Taiwanese government. They shipped around 7.28 million GPS units in the first half of the year, and expect to ship around 11.83 million units in the second half of the year. That's a lot of navigation going on!

As far as the global big three are concerned, I am not sure exactly where all TomTom's units are made, but my TomTom ONE XL was made in China. Most if not all of Garmin's are made in Taiwan as well as Mio's.

Via DigiTimes

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July 28, 2007

GPS Steals and Deals - 7/28

Highlights
Sure enough; Amazon has dropped the TomTom ONE pricing for now, TomTom ONE is $268; a pretty good deal. Last week, I had this to say about the Nuvi 200 line.....

"I have to say that the Nuvi line, especially the Nuvi 200 series has dropped in price recently to be pretty darn close to my predictions for what it should be for the summer (see my post from early May on my summer pricing expectations for Garmin and TomTom. I still think TomTom will put up specials and you'll find the TomTom One for $249; online)." Hey $268 is close to $249....

So, if you want a dead-easy to use GPS under $300, and don't need frills or maps of Canada; go for the Nuvi 200. The Nuvi 250 includes North American maps, and is running in the low $300's. The thing is that if you want Text to Speech (TTS) you can pay $40-$50 more and get the Nuvi 350.

  • Noticed that the Nuvi 200 is dropping; around $275. Better meeting my expectations on the price vs benefits.
  • The Nuvi 250 has settled in and is available for about $309 online, down again this week. This is a much better place to be than the days when it was MORE expensive than the Nuvi 350. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 250 for an idea of how well this will perform.

  • The popular Garmin Nuvi 350 dropped to $368, and it's the #1 seller in Electronics at Amazon, and their most popular GPS. More info on the Nuvi 350.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 adds Bluetooth to the Nuvi 350 capabilities and is now around $429.

  • The Nuvi 650 offers the widescreen and no Bluetooth or traffic for $462.

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price around $565 at Amazon - way under $600. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 660

  • The Nuvi 680 is selling at Amazon - $674 - Down $50 in the last few weeks. - see my hands on Review of the Nuvi 680.

  • Garmin Nuvi 670 - Need to travel to Europe and navigate when you get there? Garmin Nuvi 670 comes pre-loaded with both US and Euro maps. It's the very capable Nuvi 660 base unit with the extra maps pre-loaded. Also consider the Nuvi 370, or the Nuvi 270 which also have Euro Maps pre-loaded. (Confused? Compare the Nuvi line here)

    tomtomONEXLsm.jpg

  • The new TomTom ONE XL is back to $399. Read my Review of the TomTom ONE XL.

  • The Mio C220 is selling around $179 through Amazon sellers. Read my Review of the Mio C220.

    Rebates this Week:

  • Garmin Forerunner 305 - $50 rebate and
  • Edge 305 - $75 Rebate when you sign up for the Powerbar Nutrition Edge Newsletter Offer ends 11/30/07.

  • Garmin has a $30 rebate on their Garmin Topo U.S. 2008 MapSource DVD - Price is about $50 online. Rebate good through 12/31/07 for upgrade only. Rebate form here (pdf)


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • July 27, 2007

    Win a Garmin Nuvi 350 from GPSLodge.com


    We know that you are still driving around this summer wondering where to go, well if you subscribe to our GPSLodge mailing list you can be in the drawing for a new Garmin Nuvi 350, the most popular GPS on the market today. Not only will you get all of our articles emailed to your inbox in a newsletter once per week (every Monday Morning), but you will also have a chance to win the Nuvi 350, a top-notch flat GPS navigator with great Text to Speech capabilities and one of the best interfaces on the market.

    Drawing is August 30th, and current mailing list subscribers are already qualified & don't have to do anything! One of the perks of being a member around here.

    Want to be on our Mailing List? Just put your email address in the box below and hit “Subscribe”. Good Luck!

    Enter your Email


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    Cabbies Ready to Strike in NYC over GPS

    According to USA Today, Cabbies in NYC are pretty upset over the idea that they will be tracked by GPS if they install the mandated GPS system in the coming months and years. The NY Taxi Alliance is talking about a strike for some time in September if they don't get relief from putting in the GPS and touchscreen capable systems for their occupants. I guess other than the fact that the system is going to cost them a few grand, they are afraid that they might get tracked to that store that sells all those flower wilting power-air fresheners twice a week? The secret will be out!

    More at USA Today

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    PixGPS - New Geotagging Software

    There's a new photo Geotagging available for Microsoft Windows called PixGPS. PixGPS is software that will calculate the exact location where you took your photos and store this in the photo file. You can also view the location of photos on maps, in Google Earth, or save the coordinates as a comma separated text file.

    PixGPS offers an inexpensive way of tracking the exact location of your photos. All you need is a GPS Receiver with tracking capabilities (most GPS' will do this). Turn on the GPS and put it in your camera bag or a pocket. Take the photos. When you get home, download the photos and the GPS track file to your computer. Run PixGPS. PixGPS will now read the track file and calculate the latitude/longitude for each photo. This takes only a couple of minutes for hundreds of photos.

    These positions are stored as EXIF-GPS meta data in the image files. This way the position will stay with the photo. PixGPS can export the positions in KML format so you can see where the photos were taken in Google Earth. Positions can also be exported as CSV (Comma Separated Values), ready to be used with any software supporting this format, for example Microsoft Autoroute.

    PixGPS can be used on PC running the Microsoft Windows® 2000/XP/Vista operating system. The price is $19.95 (US), which includes two years of free upgrades.

    More at BR Software

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    July 26, 2007

    Nextar X3-02 GPS

    NEXTARX302.GIF
    So the Nextar X3-02 GPS is bringing Text to Speech to the masses with a small affordable GPS. The unit comes with NAVTEQ maps on board, and has maps of the US and Canada. The thin device rolls a thin 1.6 million points of interest (POI) into the unit which is sure to leave you with a few holes in the US for POI; twice this is better. The 3.5 inch screen appears decently bright, and there is a built in rechargeable battery.

    The unit also comes with the usual compliment of MP3 player, and a photo viewer.

    The big news here is that the Nextar X3-02 GPS has Text to Speech at a mid to low $200 price range. That's pretty ground breaking at this point in time.

    The Nextar X3-02 is currently available at Staples and Amazon.

    Update: I posted my Full Review of the Nextar C-3, and I can't recommend it. It has the same core interface as the Nextar X3-02 GPS, which makes me uncertain about the usability of the Nextar X3 also.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Nextar X3-02 GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (10) | social bookmarking

    July 25, 2007

    Nuvi 680 vs Mio C520 Comparison

    There is an interesting head to head comparison at the Washington Post (by PC World) that takes a look at the Garmin Nuvi 680 vs. the Mio C520 GPS units. Both are widescreened GPS units that are pretty capable navigators running the SiRF star III chipset and offering Text to Speech capability. The article takes a nice consumer focused point of view on the comparison running through some good basic instances of troubles on both units that may weigh in on your mind as you consider spending money on a new GPS. [I used the Nuvi 680 with MSN Direct before it hit the market; read my review.]

    I have to say that I run into these dilemmas everyday as people write in and ask about what units they should buy. In general, it’s hard to compare a $350 Mio C520 to a $600+ Garmin Nuvi 680, as the feature sets just don’t match up beyond what I mentioned above. The MSN Direct features of the Nuvi 680, and its incredibly bright screen coupled with its dead easy interface make it an all around better unit. The issue for consumers is though is if it’s worth nearly twice the money, and for basic navigation, maybe not. If you attach any value to the MSN Direct capabilities, or are “technology challenged” and need the simplest interface possible and can afford the money, the Nuvi 680 is worth the money. If you can navigate your way around some more challenging but still overall good menus, and are focused on very good navigator you may just be able to save $300 with the Mio C520.


    ReadMore at Washington Post

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 24, 2007

    Garmin Forerunner and Edge Sponsor & Monitor Sports Teams

    Just in case you wanted to follow athletes via the web, Garmin has given you the ability to check in on Team Milram on the Tour de France, and the Premier English Soccer League team from Middlesbrough. This continues their outreach to specific communities in the sports world to display the capabilities of the wide array of GPS devices. This also follows their sponsorship of NASCAR driver, Jeff Green on the racing circuit in the US to get into the hearts and minds of middle America putting the automotive GPS front and center in one of America’s most popular sports.

    As a bike rider, I am amazed at the abilities of Team Milram as they climb the Alps, maintaining the pace and heart rate that would pretty much knock me over dead. At Motionbased.com you are able to check out the tracks and associated data for the Edge 305 equipped Team Milram and see one of the most grueling races play out in all its beautiful data and charts.

    Apparently the Middlesbrough Soccer team will be wearing Garmin Forerunners while training and working out on the practice field. No news yet if they will be wearing them during the games.

    More on the purchase of the Middlesbrough Football Club of the English Premier League at Garmin Blog.

    More on Team Milram at Motionbased where you can see the results of the Garmin Edge 305 equipped Tour de France team with all the heart rate information that will blow you away. Other news on the Tour de France and the Edge equipped Team Milram at Garmin Blog, or the Tour de France website.


    Remember that Garmin has committed to coming out with new fitness products this year; can’t wait to see what they will be.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 23, 2007

    TomTom Sales up 37%, Earnings up 81%

    TomTomlogoSM.jpgTomTom released earnings along with the news of their offer for TeleAtlas, and things were strong for the GPS navigation system maker. Revenue was up 37% over last year to €380 million (~$520 Mil) , driven by their 118% unit growth in navigation devices. Earnings was up 81% over last year, to €68 million (~$91 Mil).

    “In the second quarter of 2007, TomTom again delivered good results with strong revenue and strong profitability. We continue to deliver high margins, demonstrating our ability to manage our growth and costs.

    These results are underpinned by the quality of our products and services. We continue to provide innovation leadership in the personal navigation category which was once more demonstrated recently by the positive reaction of our partners to the launch of our new GO range and our revolutionary new Map ShareTM technology in early June.

    We are especially excited about our second country contract to deliver superior real time traffic services. This will be made available to our customers in the UK in the first half of 2008. The launch of the Dutch service is expected in the second half of 2007.

    For the second half of the year, we have a strong product line-up in place and market conditions in both Europe and North America continue to be very positive. We now expect to ship a higher number of PND units and to deliver stronger margins for the full year when compared to our guidance last quarter.

    Highlights include......

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Sales up 37%, Earnings up 81%"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    TomTom to Buy TeleAtlas; $2.8 Billion

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg

    WOW; in a pretty amazing move, TomTom has apparently made a bid for TeleAtlas, the big map data provider. The offer is for about $2.77 billion (USD), which is a 28% premium over the TeleAtlas stock price close on Friday.

    What does this mean for the rest of the world's GPS makers who use TeleAtlas data? Well, you wouldn't pay all that money and then cut off a lot of your customers, one would think, right?
    teleatlaslogo.jpg

    One thing that is starting to take shape is that the TeleAtlas van isn't needed for basic map making anymore. As we start to get programs like MapShare, and GPS units that can communicate back to servers, the GPS units do the mapmaking for the company.

    When I was at TomTom last month I asked President Jocelyn Vigreux about MapShare and if the information learned about roads would be shared back with TeleAtlas. Now, that really doesn't matter anymore does it; they should be one company in the future.

    My conclusion here is that with a tightening of the Map Data set to GPS Navigation system bond, we'll see better innovation coming out of the TomTom shop as this relationship matures.


    Commenting on the proposed Offer, Harold Goddijn, Chief Executive Officer of TomTom said: “We think that the navigation industry is going to change dramatically in the next few years as end customers will give ever increasing importance to intelligent routing and continuously updated maps. By integrating customer feedback into the Tele Atlas map manufacturing process, we will be able to considerably enhance the user experience and further increase all Tele Atlas and all TomTom's customers' satisfaction. We will supply all companies wanting to rely on the improved maps for their PNDs, wireless handsets, in-car systems, internet services and in-house routing services.”


    Update: There is a well written article over at Business Week that explores this deal, and discusses amoung other things: Mio/Mitac's reaction to the deal; they buy their maps from TeleAtlas, and are the #3 GPS manufacturer in the world, as well as Garmin's interest or ability to buy NAVTEQ. Check it out.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    July 20, 2007

    GPS Steals and Deals - 7/20

    Highlights

    I have to say that the Nuvi line, especially the Nuvi 200 series has dropped in price recently to be pretty darn close to my predictions for what it should be for the summer (see my post from early May on my summer pricing expectations for Garmin and TomTom. I still think TomTom will put up specials and you'll find the TomTom One for $249; online).

    So, if you want a dead-easy to use GPS under $300, and don't need frills or maps of Canada; go for the Nuvi 200. The Nuvi 250 includes North American maps, and is running in the low $300's. The thing is that if you want Text to Speech (TTS) you can pay $40-$50 more and get the Nuvi 350.

  • Noticed that the Nuvi 200 is dropping; around $274. Better meeting my expectations on the price vs benefits.
  • The Nuvi 250 has settled in and is available for about $325 online. This is a much better place to be than the days when it was MORE expensive than the Nuvi 350. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 250 for an idea of how well this will perform.

  • The popular Garmin Nuvi 350 dropped to $368, and it's the #1 seller in Electronics at Amazon, and their most popular GPS. More info on the Nuvi 350.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 adds Bluetooth to the Nuvi 350 capabilities and is now around $429.

  • The Nuvi 650 offers the widescreen and no Bluetooth or traffic for $465.

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price around $568 at Amazon - way under $600. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 660

  • The Nuvi 680 is selling at Amazon - $674 - Down $50 in the last few weeks. - see my hands on Review of the Nuvi 680.

  • Garmin Nuvi 670 - Need to travel to Europe and navigate when you get there? Garmin Nuvi 670 comes pre-loaded with both US and Euro maps. It's the very capable Nuvi 660 base unit with the extra maps pre-loaded. Also consider the Nuvi 370, or the Nuvi 270 which also have Euro Maps pre-loaded. (Confused? Compare the Nuvi line here)

    tomtomONEXLsm.jpg

  • The new TomTom ONE XL is back to $399. Read my Review of the TomTom ONE XL.

  • The Mio C220 is selling around $175 through Amazon sellers. Read my Review of the Mio C220.

    Rebates this Week:

  • Garmin Forerunner 305 - $50 rebate and
  • Edge 305 - $75 Rebate when you sign up for the Powerbar Nutrition Edge Newsletter Offer ends 11/30/07.

  • Garmin has a $30 rebate on their Garmin Topo U.S. 2008 MapSource DVD - Price is about $50 online. Rebate good through 12/31/07 for upgrade only. Rebate form here (pdf)


    Finally - I noticed that my local Target store had the Garmin eTrex Legend on CLOSEOUT for $104; maybe yours does too; check it out if you are in need of a decent entry level handheld.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Spain Considers GPS Mis-use Illegal

    Wow in a bold move, Spain is considering making it illegal to use/type on a GPS system while driving. The fine would be €300 as well as three points removed from the driving license. Apparently the lawmakers said that navigation systems and interacting with/typing on them while driving can cause a distraction and that about half of car accidents are caused by driver distractions.

    If this type of law gains momentum, expect voice recognition capabilities to become widespread. It's now featured on the Magellan Maestro 4050.

    Via GPS Business News

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    July 19, 2007

    TomTom GO 920 - Advanced Traffic Reporting

    tomtomgo720.jpg


    The GO 920 should have a the same form factor as the GO 720 (above).


    UPDATE: The TomTom 920 and 920T have been officially announced. While they do not have advanced traffic capabilities as speculated here they do have some pretty cool features and TMC traffic capability.
    OK I've been sitting on this for a while, but with yesterday's announcement by Inrix, I have to let this one fly.... My guess is that TomTom is readying their new TomTom GO 920 to be an advanced traffic enabled GPS that will hit the market this Fall, which will include GPRS, TMC, and/or HD Radio traffic reporting capabilities as well historical average speed data from Inrix.

    This will not be the only unit in the marketplace like this, as I believe that Garmin is working on a similar device that I already speculated would be something like the Nuvi 700 or maybe even the Nuvi 690. It too would use historical average speeds to create a different class of GPS units, and bring the next level of innovation to the market.

    Why the TomTom GO 920? See after the jump...

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom GO 920 - Advanced Traffic Reporting"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

    Sanyo Ships EasyStreet NVM-4070 & NVM-4050

    sanyoeasystreetNVM40304050.jpg
    Sanyo announced that htey are shipping their EastStreet NVM-4070 and NVM-4050 GPS units int he US. These were announced back at CES in January. The NVM-4070 offers text to speech (TTS), maps for North America, and 1.8 million POI (a little light for a higher end unit). The 4 inch semi-widescreen unit is also TMC traffic capable, and a free 90-day trial is included with the unit; subscription fees apply after that. The unit also features Bluetooth Handsfree calling, MP3 and WMA playback, as well as MPEG-4 video capabilities. The unit also features an FM trasmitter to play music over your card stereo. The NVM-4050, does not offer the TMC, video player, or the FM transmitter.

    More from the press release below...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Sanyo Ships EasyStreet NVM-4070 & NVM-4050"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    July 18, 2007

    Inrix Updates Historical Average Speeds Traffic Model

    INRIX announced the upcoming availability of the latest version of its historical traffic speeds product, Nationwide Average Speeds (NAS) version 2.0. Designed for navigation application providers and device manufacturers to improve the accuracy of fastest route calculations, NAS provides “typical” or average speeds and travel times in as short as 5 minute increments for each day of the week, by season and for holidays across all major freeways, highways and arterial roads throughout the U.S.

    Gotta love this stuff; we all know that traffic slows up during peak travel times, and that GPS units don't yet have the ability to predict travel times through these highly trafficed (clogged) areas, so the estimates are always off. This data capability will make better prdictions for travel times and teamed up with traffic reporting (i.e. TMC) you can get some pretty solid traffic capabilities.

    Key things to pull from this press release below:
    1) These are coming this Fall; apparently demand from manufacturers is big. I predict it will be a big demand among consumers too if priced right.
    2) For devices that use GPRS.... can you say "TomTom"?
    3) Great explaination on how this Inrix data will work (below)


    ReadMore from the press release below...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Updates Historical Average Speeds Traffic Model"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom ONE XL Review

    tomtom-one-xl.jpg

    PCMag has published their review of the TomTom ONE XL. They gave it an overall “Good” rating and noted that it lacked text-to-speech (TTS) capability, which is reserved for their higher end units. The TomTom ONE XL is their basic device in the now more popular widescreen package. PC Mag found that it did a good job routing to desired locations, and came with the familiar TomTom interface that has become more popular in the US market.

    I have reviewed the TomTom ONE XL, and agreed with everything Craig Ellison said here in his article for PC Mag. I think that the TomTom ONE XL is a solid unit, and with the newest version of the TeleAtlas maps, a lot of those nasty kinks are worked out. The $399 price point is a tough one to beat for a widescreen unit. PC Mag smartly compares the TomTom ONE XL to the Mio C520. I already reviewed the TomTom ONE XL and my Mio C520 review is just around the corner.

    ReadMore on the review at PCMag

    More on the TomTom ONE XL here at GPSLodge

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    July 17, 2007

    Boeing Talks about Future GPS Capabilities

    Boeing is getting ready to submit a proposal to the US government for the next generation of GPS satellites. The potential $1.8 billion contract award for the first eight Block A GPS III satellites along with an option for four more, is anticipated by the end of 2007 to meet a projected 2013 launch.

    "GPS III will further evolve navigation and positioning capabilities," said Howard Chambers, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "Boeing’s GPS III solution delivers accelerated warfighter capability on time with a low-risk, high-confidence program. Our solution, which combines signal and power improvements, is the best value for the nation and will provide a more capable GPS service for both civilian and military users."

    GPS III is set to take navigation timing and accuracy to the next level. Its more powerful broadcast signals will incorporate a new civil signal making it interoperable with Europe’s upcoming Galileo system, advanced anti-jamming capabilities and the military signal known as the M-code, which provides more secure operations for the warfighter.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin to buy Spanish Distributor

    newgarminlogo.jpg

    Looks like Garmin is setting up the groundwork for a more robust Euro distribution system, with a new letter of intent to buy a Spanish distribution company, Electrónica Trepat S.A. (“Electrónica Trepat”), the principal distributor of Garmin’s consumer products in Spain.

    “The proposed acquisition of Electrónica Trepat is a further step in our ongoing strategy to strengthen Garmin’s presence in key European markets through vertical integration and to enhance our ability to support our key retailers and OEMs in these markets,” said Dr. Min Kao, chairman and CEO of Garmin Ltd.

    Fernando Trepat, president of Electrónica Trepat said, "We are very pleased to be able to become fully integrated within Garmin and we look forward to continuing to expand Garmin’s sales in Spain."

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Mio C310x Map Updates Available - NOW!

    MioC310GPS.JPG
    The Mio C310X firmware and Map update is available for purchase. We broke the news in late June, and are available for ordering now at the Mio website. I just ordered mine in a pretty painless checkout process; total cost is $24.90 with shipping. This is a thank you offering by Mio who I am sure pulled some strings to offer the maps at this price to those folks who helped put them on the map per se when they bought the Mio C310x.

    From their website:
    "Upgrading your device is simple! Once you receive the DVD just open the Quick Start Guide and follow along with our simple update process. There are only two steps: 1) Update Firmware and 2) Update Maps (this step updates the mapping software and map data all in one step)."

    Follow this link to get started with the Mio C310X Map Upgrade DVD Ordering process.


  • More information on the Mio C310x
  • GPS Lodge Review of the Mio C310x

    Also see my Review of the New Mio C220; I also have the new widescreen Mio C520 in for review.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (18) | social bookmarking
  • Harmon Kardon Guide & Play GPS-500 Review

    harmonkardonguideandplay.jpg

    CNet has a review up of the Harmon Kardon Guide Play GPS-500, the GPS unit from the makers of high end audio equipment. Overall they rate this wide-ish screen product “Very Good”, which is generous for them. The unit combines navigation and audio/video playback with a pretty long list of compatible file types. The unit uses a Centrality Atlas II GPS chip and they report that the unit took a long time to acquire satellites both from a cold state (10 minutes), and a warm state (longer than competing products).

    The Harmon Kardon Guide & Play GPS-500 does a reasonable job of playing audio and movies, but the limited speaker capabilities of a handheld unit impair things. When using headphones the unit does well.

    Overall, the unit appears to have a nice set of features and is nicely designed. It uses TeleAtlas maps as its mapset. Overall, in this review and other feedback I have heard on the unit, its interface design is a bit above average for GPS units from electronics companies.

    Read the entire review at CNet

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 16, 2007

    GPS and Galileo to Play Nice Together

    Word has it that the US and Euro governments are planning nice in the navigation satellite game, and letting both the GPS and Galileo systems to work together instead of being two separate incompatible systems. This has got to be good news for the struggling Galileo system administrators who are having trouble fully funding the entire system.

    The plan is that navigation units will be able to work off both satellite systems and not just one or the other. The good news for all is that if there are more GPS satellites in the air, the better the accuracy in more parts of the world. Does it mean you will be able to get sub-foot accuracy on your street? Well, not yet, but it certainly will give better coverage in areas that are struggling either because of the remoteness, or the urban jungle effect because you can’t get a solid clear shot of the skies.

    This news doesn’t affect the Russian Glosnass system, Chinese, or Indian plans, that have been mentioned in the news….

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GlobalSat GH-615 Fitness Training GPS Watch

    GH615M_combo.jpg

    GlobalSat has announced the GH-615 GPS fitness watch that includes a SiRF star III and is water resistant to IPX7 standards. The unit will record your tracks for analysis later. The unit can also be paired with a heart rate monitor. From their press release, “For hikers, runners, bikers, skiers or any other athlete who incorporates GPS technology to fine tune their workout, the GH-615M GPS wrist watch is the ideal device. The watch utilizes state-of-the-art technology including the SiRF Star III GPS chipset that is available in all the new product lines. The wrist watch also supports WAAS / EGNOS for superior precision marking and has enough memory to store up to 60,000 waypoints. The GH-615M records and stores traveled routes using pre-set time intervals on its oversized LCD screen, displaying GPS coordinates, speed, heart rate, altitude, laps, time/alarm functions and various other functions.”

    ArrowContinue reading: "GlobalSat GH-615 Fitness Training GPS Watch"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 13, 2007

    GPS Steals and Deals - 7/13


    Highlights
    tomtomONEXLsm.jpg

  • The new TomTom ONE XL is around $349. Read my Review of the TomTom ONE XL.


  • The Mio C220 is selling around $180 through Amazon sellers. Read my Review of the Mio C220.

  • Noticed that the Nuvi 200 is dropping; around $315. Better meeting my expectations on the price vs benefits. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 250 for an idea of how well this will perform.

  • The popular Garmin Nuvi 350 dropped to $370, and it's the #2 seller in Electronics at Amazon, and their most popular GPS. More info on the Nuvi 350.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 adds Bluetooth to the Nuvi 350 capabilities and is now around $429.

  • The Nuvi 650 offers the widescreen and no Bluetooth or traffic for $465.

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price around $590 at Amazon - Back under $600. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 660

  • The Nuvi 680 is selling at Amazon - $674 - Down $50 in the last few weeks. - see my hands on Review of the Nuvi 680.

  • Garmin Nuvi 670 - Need to travel to Europe and navigate when you get there? Garmin Nuvi 670 comes pre-loaded with both US and Euro maps. It's the very capable Nuvi 660 base unit with the extra maps pre-loaded. Also consider the Nuvi 370, or the Nuvi 270 which also have Euro Maps pre-loaded. (Confused? Compare the Nuvi line here)

    Rebates this Week:

  • Garmin Forerunner 305 - $50 rebate and
  • Edge 305 - $75 Rebate when you sign up for the Powerbar Nutrition Edge Newsletter Offer ends 11/30/07.

  • Garmin has a $30 rebate on their Garmin Topo U.S. 2008 MapSource DVD - Price is about $50 online. Rebate good through 12/31/07 for upgrade only. Rebate form here (pdf)


    Finally - I noticed that my local Target store had the Garmin eTrex Legend on CLOSEOUT for $104; maybe yours does too; check it out if you are in need of a decent entry level handheld.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • TomTom to enter China Market

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg


    TomTom is rumored to be starting a move into the GPS market in China. DigiTimes is reporting that they are going to start marketing a line of GPS products there by the end of the year. So while there are over a billion people there who's monthly salary wouldn't even buy a TomTom ONE, there are millions there who make a western level wage.


    Garmin and Mio are already in the market, the growing number of cars and the growing number of lost drivers should help create a healthy navigation market there.

    via DigiTimes

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    July 12, 2007

    Garmin Topo U.S. 2008 MapSource DVD - Rebate

    GARMINMAPSOURCETOPO.jpg

    Garmin Topo U.S. 2008 MapSource DVD has a new rebate available; $30, effective through the end of the year (12/31/07), for people upgrading from a previous version. This rebate, combined with the lower price online brings it to less than half the regular retail price of $116. Not bad.

    I have used the TOPO 2007 version pretty extensively around New England on my eTrex Vista, and overall I like it for hiking around the woods and on trails. I have noticed that it does have some issues matching exactly where the trails are in reality vs where the map has them. That's forgivable though as I think that it's simply great to have the TOPO detail in your hand as you are out hiking through the mountains. We're heading again up to the White Mountains to hike this weekend and I've already loaded the TOPO maps for the trip.


    Garmin TOPO US 2008 MapSource DVD
    is available at Amazon

    Garmin TOPO 2008 - $30 Rebate Form HERE (pdf link)


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Mio Digiwalker C220 Review

    MioC220FrontUS.jpg

    PC Mag has a nice review up on the Mio C220 and overall they seem to like it. Recall that the Mio C220 is a value oriented model that can be bought for less than $200 online. With a price like that, you'll get an entry level GPS without text to speech, and without media players, but what you will get is a solid unit with good routing.

    In my use of the Mio C220, I liked it and thought it did well for its price range when I wrote up my review on the Mio C220 about a month ago. In the PC Mag review they say "As a portable navigation system with an entry-level price, the Mio DigiWalker C220 has a number of surprising features, including good POI handling, support for locating traffic cameras, multisegment routing, and track logs. If you're in the market for a portable navigation system but on a limited budget, it would make an excellent choice."

    I think they pretty much nailed it.

  • More Information on the Mio Digiwalker C220 or go straight to my review of the Mio C220.

    ReadMore at PCMag

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • July 11, 2007

    Intellinav 2, 3, 4 & 5 GPS Units

    intellinavgps.jpg

    Intellinav has announced a new line of four GPS units that have some pretty good features despite the pretty boring model numbers. The Intellinav 2 & 3 are standard screen sized units (3.5-inch), while the Intellinav 4&5 are widescreen models with a 4.3 inch screen. So while the GPS market is taking off, with big gains had by the big names in the market, smaller innovative makers are also coming to the market, like Intellinav. The Intellinav units are bringing features like the “Parked Car locator”, “ Fog assist”, and Fatigue Alarm”. Not sure how these features work, but the market certainly is ripe for extending the capabilities of the navigation device into the infotainment center of the car also bringing much needed safety capabilities to the driving experience.

    The Intellinav 2 has US and Puerto Rico maps, and offers text to speech capabilities; it also features a slightly anemic 1.2 million location POI database. The Intellinav 3 adds Canadian maps, and a more robust 6 million POI list, and some more sophisticated trip time tools. Both have on-board batteries that claim 3 hours of life.


    Press release (pdf) link

    More at Intellinav

    Via Ubergizmo


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 10, 2007

    Traffic via HD Radio

    clearchannellogo.jpg
    Clear Channel Radio’s Total Traffic Network today announced that it has begun transmitting traffic data via HD Radio in 48 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas. This launch marks the first commercially available data service over HD Radio and leverages the robust data delivery capabilities of HD Radio. Clear Channel is working with a variety of receiver manufacturers to make the specially-equipped receivers available by the end of this year.

    OK - This could be big; why?

    1. HD Radio carrys better bandwidth = more information = more informed you.
    2. "...specially equipped receivers by the end of the year" + "Historical Average Speed data" = powerhouse traffic capabilities on new GPS units in time for the holidays.
    3. Finally the extra bandwidth can carry other information like that on the MSN network, like gas prices, weather, and who knows what other interesting data you need traveling down the road.

    I was told back at the beginning of the year that these pre-loaded GPS units were coming in 2007, and recent events like the TeleAtlas bundling of their map data with Inrix speed data leads me to believe that this is for real.

    This starts to complete the trifecta I was talking about back in February when I talked about the coming wave of better traffic reporting.


    Thanks Jim for sending this in....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Traffic via HD Radio"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 9, 2007

    SkyCaddie Golf GPS based on Magellan eXplorist Series

    SkyCaddieS4

    Another day, another round of golf improved by the use of GPS. This time SkyCaddie has their units based on the Magellan eXplorist series. The units are designed for "Avid Golfers" and they offer several plans for you to subscribe to ranging from statewide coverage ($29.99/yr) to worldwide coverage for ($59.99/yr). The units have some advances features and look like a nice upgrade versus their previous models. Recall that Garmin's eTrex is the base model for another company; GolfLogix.


    More on SkyCaddie at SkyGolf


    Via GPS Tracklog

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    NAVTEQ Maps on VW Line for Europe

    NAVTEQ has reached a new agreement with the VOLKSWAGEN Group. NAVTEQ will supply digital maps for vehicles with a factory-fitted navigation system with map display as of middle of 2007. NAVTEQ started appearing on VW's in June on the mini-minivan the Touran. The Nav systems are expected to fill out the line of VW cars as well as head over to some SEAT and Skoda models.

    This is an interesting development in Europe where the GPS navigation systems have higher penetration into the public than the US. This move shows that Nav systems aren't just for high end cars. Expect the same trend in the coming years in the US.

    ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ Maps on VW Line for Europe"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 6, 2007

    GPS Steals and Deals - 7/6

    Check out my pricing predictions for the spring and summer - things are starting to line up with what I expect is a good price on these models.

    Highlights
    tomtomONEXLsm.jpg

  • The new TomTom ONE XL is around $349. Read my Review of the TomTom ONE XL.


  • The Mio C220 is selling around $180 through Amazon sellers. Read my Review of the Mio C220.

  • Noticed that the Nuvi 200 is dropping; around $315. Better meeting my expectations on the price vs benefits. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 250 for an idea of how well this will perform.

  • The popular Garmin Nuvi 350 dropped to $370, and it's the #2 seller in Electronics at Amazon, and their most popular GPS. More info on the Nuvi 350.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 adds Bluetooth to the Nuvi 350 capabilities and is now around $429.

  • The Nuvi 650 offers the widescreen and no Bluetooth or traffic for $465.

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price around $590 at Amazon - Back under $600. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 660

  • The Nuvi 680 is selling at Amazon - $674 - Down $50 in the last few weeks. - see my hands on Review of the Nuvi 680.

  • Garmin Nuvi 670 - Need to travel to Europe and navigate when you get there? Garmin Nuvi 670 comes pre-loaded with both US and Euro maps. It's the very capable Nuvi 660 base unit with the extra maps pre-loaded. Also consider the Nuvi 370, or the Nuvi 270 which also have Euro Maps pre-loaded. (Confused? Compare the Nuvi line here)

    New Rebate this Week:

  • Garmin Forerunner 305 - $50 rebate and
  • Edge 305 - $75 Rebate when you sign up for the Powerbar Nutrition Edge Newsletter
  • Offer ends 11/30/07.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • TomTom MapShare – Clearing up the Confusion

    TomTomMapShareMapErrorIcon.jpg

    TomTom announced that they are going to bring the new TomTom GO 720 to market with a program called MapShare. This program, or rather system is a connection of GPS based features to other TomTom users so that users can collaborate to improve maps. Those improvements will only create a better experience if there are safeguards in place to keep malicious users from ruining your maps. I think that TomTom is taking a cautious approach to this and know that they have a check and verify system in place.


  • Complete Information on the TomTom GO 720 here at GPSLodge.com


    More after the jump...

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom MapShare – Clearing up the Confusion"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • July 5, 2007

    What are Historical Average Speeds?

    As we continue to develop more and more sophisticated traffic reporting and prediction capabilities I thought I would just cover a basic element of the changing face of traffic coverage in the US and how you will be able to integrate it into the new GPS units that are coming later this year. These new units should have historical average speeds for most major US roadways. This will allow them to realize that offering a route THROUGH a major city at rush hour is probably not as good as skirting around it on a major highway well outside that city. The GPS will give more accurate estimations of the trip times to get from here to there when taking into account traffic’s effect on the speed you can travel.

    How to Get Historical Average Speeds?

    ArrowContinue reading: "What are Historical Average Speeds?"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    July 3, 2007

    Places to Rent a GPS

    Garmin StreetPilot C330
    A lot of readers have written in asking about places to rent a GPS for a summer trip, so I thought I would compile a list of them for you to take a look at. Generally the prices are reasonable, and often include shipping labels for the return. With the prices running what they are, you may consider renting for shorter times, and anything over a two-week period; you should consider buying a unit. There are a lot of low priced, high quality units that give you the option to sell the thing if you find that you aren’t using it after your trip.

    Below is a list of the offerings:

    ArrowContinue reading: "Places to Rent a GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    July 2, 2007

    Track Teen Drivers with GPS

    Safeco has announced a new teen driver insurance program that includes GPS tracking. The program will allow parents and clever hacker teens set up alerts that trigger when teens go out of bounds, drive too fast or curfew limitations. What if mom puts that "Inspiration Point" parking place out of bouunds? Argh! Can you say Big Brother is watching you?

    Wow, this is a slippery slope; you’ll have one mandated in your car by your insurance company in the not-to-distant future.... uh, oh.

    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    EMTAC Navigator 4.0 for Palm

    EmtacTreo.JPG

    Transplant GPS, Inc., the worldwide distributor of the EMTAC branded products, has announced the release of the EMTAC Navigator 4.0 GPS Navigation software for the Palm OS. With the latest 2007 NAVTEQ map data, EMTAC Navigator 4.0 is a full featured navigation solution for your Bluetooth enabled Palm OS PDA or Palm OS Treo Smartphone. Improvements in routing, map rendering, and increased functionality give EMTAC Navigator 4.0 the ability to provide customers with a reliable, low cost GPS solution.

    ArrowContinue reading: "EMTAC Navigator 4.0 for Palm"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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