Going to Europe this summer? no traveler should be without a GPS when driving in a foreign unfamiliar country. It's just to easy to get a GPS equipped with European maps to make sure you can get from one place to another. I mean, getting lost is a problem everyday, but it just wastes way too much time when you only have a limited amount of time touring a great country. Don't have a GPS? Get one with Euro Maps built In
Garmin Nuvi 275 - Standard Screen (3.5 inch) GPS with maps of North America and Europe - plus Bluetooth - $176
Garmin 1370T - Widescreen (4.3 inch) GPS with maps of North America and Europe - plus Bluetooth - $248
Have a Garmin GPS? Add Euro Maps
I am going to talk about Garmins exclusively here because it's just too easy and too convenient to get maps and add them to a select set of units. It's as simple as adding an SD card in the side slot. That covers: Nuvi 200, 300, 600, 5000, 700 & 800 Series, Streetpilot 7200, 7500 & C-Series & Zumo. I just bought the SD card for a single country - a bit cheaper than all of Europe. How to install? Take the SD card out of the pack, and slide it in the SD card slot. It's that easy.
If you are a GPS geek and have a handheld, the product is actually a micro SD card in an SD card adapter, so not only does it fit the auto GPS units, but a wide variety of handhelds including: Colorado Series, Edge Series, and newer Etrex Series. You can get the Garmin City Navigator for Europe or you can get individual countries - details at Garmin for finding the right product.
Inrix has a vast network of sensors, commercial fleet GPS "probes" and crowdsourced GPS "probes" covering thousands of miles of roadways in what I think it the best coverage and quality of coverage out there. They recently updated their iPhone App to include crowsourced incident reporting - want to report Live Police (Speed Trap too), Fixed Camera Trap, Accident, Construction, or an Event/Gathering you can now and send it in. Want some street cred? They also report on top ten contributors on another tab. You might be wondering about "Events" and "Gatherings". Let's face it, big events like major sports games and other large gatherings impact traffic. Inrix already pulls in many major events as a factor for predicting traffic, but they are looking to bolster that dataset too with you reporting it.
So, update the App to version 2.4 and get a new way to report on things you don't already see reported.
With the Nuvifone a faint memory, the Garminfone is starting to make waves as early industry insiders are bringing out the positive reviews for the unit. In this quick overview, TheStreet.com takes a look at its features and its navigation capabilities. I like the fact that when you take it out of the windshield mount, it thinks that you just parked the car and automatically remembers how to get you back there. The Garminfone will be on the market in June with T-Mobile at a $199 price point. According to TheStreet.com it "Worked perfectly out of the box."
TeleNav went public yesterday with shares going public at about $8 and climbing to about $10 by day's end. The maker of the Shotgun connected GPS, and various other mobile phone programs, like the AT&T Navigator for the iPhone is looking to expand its capabilities and its reach in the competitive navigation market. With a cash infusion, I would expect to see more good news and new products coming out of the TeleNav shop this year.
The Garmin Nuvi 295W is probably the coolest GPS to hit the market in a long time; it's new and it's based on the form factor of the Nuvifone. Seeking to blur the lines between phones and navigators, Garmin has packed innovation in here, giving you classic Garmin navigation plus the ability to snap photos on your Nuvi with the 3MP camera, geotag them and then email the through the WiFi hotsot at the local coffee shop or your home office. The connected fun doesn't stop there - Google local search, and the ability to see email attachments comes in the package too - MS Office, PDF and JPGs.
Navigation is pretty standard Garmin with the simple to use "Where to?" and "View Maps" interface, adding a scrollable filmstrip of options at the bottom that you can cruise through with the flick of a finger. Of course it says street names and of course it has maps of the US and Canada, as well as about 6 million Points of Interest.
TomTom has put out a line of super-widescreen units - five inch diagonal screen size. It offers a way to get plenty of real estate for those who need it or who are piloting an RV down the road when the GPS is about a yard from the driver.
The series offers the features that make sense with some choices to be made for you to customize what you may value. The main features fro the series are, maps of North America (Canada, United States and Mexico), their new Easy Menu (a simple Map or Where to type splash screen), and Advanced Lane Guidance - a simple way to understand what lane you need to be in for your upcoming turn on major roadways.
Additional Features on the TomTom 550 Series
All have text to speech - they say road names, have a 5-inch screen, and TomTom's Map Share feature which offers you the user the ability to make map edits and share with the broader TomTom community. The units feature over 7 million Points of Interest.
TomTom has a new workhorse widescreen in the TomTom 350 series navigators. The series offers the features that make sense with some choices to be made for you to customize what you may value. The main features fro the series are, maps of North America (Canada, United States and Mexico), their new Easy Menu (a simple Map or Where to type splash screen), and Advanced Lane Guidance - a simple way to understand what lane you need to be in for your upcoming turn on major roadways.
Additional Features on the TomTom 350 Series
All have text to speech - they say road names, have a 4.3-inch screen, and TomTom's Map Share feature which offers you the user the ability to make map edits and share with the broader TomTom community. The units feature over 7 million Points of Interest.
TomTom announced that a new and more powerful set of voices are coming to your TomTom; the Star Wars set. The Darth Vader voice is available, for about $13, and it sounds pretty cool from the sample sound clips. "Turn around when possible, your lack of faith is disturbing....". Very Vader. C3P0 is coming soon; high on the annoying meter with this one. Yoda and Han Solo later this year.
Check out the Vader voice samples, then get free content like a Darth Vader start-up image (shown above) and a few free sound bites from Vader if you have a X40 or X50 model.