August 23, 2007

How To: Custom Car Icons on TomTom GO 720


Tired of that arrow on your GPS screen; how about putting a picture of your own car on there to guide you? Well, the new TomTom GO 720 allows you to do just that; take a picture of your car (or someone else's pimped out ride) do a little image work and drop it onto the TomTom GO 720 so that you can navigate with a customized interface.

Club TomTom, TomTom's own Blog, gives step by step directions on how to make this happen; all that you need to supply is a little image editing capability and a picture of a great car, or whatever you want to follow down that road...... Who says you need to follow your own car, or a car icon at all?

1) Select the digital image you’d like as a car icon;
2) Convert it to a 256-color bitmap file;
3) Size it such that it’s between 24 x 24 pixels and 128 x 128 pixels.
It has to be square or it won’t work;
4) “Erase” any imagery you don’t want to appear by coloring it red (RGB 0,0, 255) (RGB 255,0,0);
5) Plug your TomTom into your PC and open the root folder;
6) Put your bitmap image in the subfolder “cars” found in the “art” folder.

More details and images at Club TomTom

More? See my - TomTom GO 720 Preview and First Impressions

  • Complete Information on the TomTom GO 720 here at

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • August 20, 2007

    Garmin Tops in Sales

    So Canalys is releasing world wide personal navigation device sales and share numbers and it appears that Garmin has edged out TomTom for the World sales and Share lead during the second quarter of 2007. Astute readers will know that Garmin does a lot of "other" GPS devices that tilts the playing field in its direction as far as absolute sales of units goes, but the study that Canalys released says that includes all mobile devices used for turn-by-turn road navigation with built-in global positioning systems and on-board software as well as smart phones, hand-held devices and other similar kinds of device, so that would exclude your Forerunner 305 and the Garmin Marine GPS units.

    According to the report, Garmin sold 1.85 million units for a 24.9% world share, and TomTom sold 1.81 million units for a 24.3% share of the market; that's a mere 40,000 unit difference, or about 2 days worth of sales. That's a tight race!

    This holiday season should be a biggie for the GPS market, as the entire market was 7.4 million units for the second quarter, up 116%, which should put the holiday sales even higher. I would imagine that both TomTom and Garmin are readying their announcements and their line-ups for the final holiday season offerings, and we can't wait to see what they have.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GPS Shoes for the Working Girl


    This has to be one of the more innovative uses for a GPS tracker that I have seen. GPS Tracking shoes for the working girl.... Part of a prototype, the GPS module would enable a lot of capability for those situations that might just be a bit uncomfortable dangerous. These pumps offer a secret compartment for keys and cash, as well as the styles that are needed for today's demanding workers.

    More information at The Aphrodite Project

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    August 16, 2007

    Simple Solution to GPS Thefts

    Police in Montgomery MD have come up with an innovative and simple way to hopefully reduce the number of GPS thefts that are happening across their region; they are giving away small microfiber cloths to let you wipe those suction cup marks off the windshield.

    So while you may think you are OK by stashing your GPS under the seat, crooks are looking for the telltale suction-cup marks on windshields as a sign that you have some electronics in the car; Smash and run!

    So, while I stick my GPS under the seat, maybe I'll do a better job of cleaning of the hundreds of suction-cup marks on my windshield.


    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    August 15, 2007

    GPS Article Series

    US News and World Report has a new series on GPS units, including a buying guide. The series includes a few good insights, especially for beginners, including 5 new uses for GPS (we've seen those around the GPS Lodge before), they also recommend that you test drive a GPS before you buy. You may find a store with a liberal return policy, but a better bet is to ask a friend who has one what they like and don't like about theirs, then see if other models make up for the downfalls. Also you could rent a GPS at one of the GPS retnal firms, or with your next rental car; most car rental firms have an optional GPS rental plan for about $10 per day.

    The buying guide in general I agree with, as they recommend the following GPS units; I've used them all and reviewed them. Generally I agree with their list, as all of these are good models for their price range. The one miss is that they talk the Magellan RoadMate 2200:

  • Mio C220 - My Review of the Mio C220
  • Garmin Nuvi 250 - My Review of the Nuvi 250
  • TomTom GO 720 - My Preview of the TomTom GO 720
  • Garmin Nuvi 680 - My Review of the Garmin Nuvi 680

    The big miss is is that they recommend the Magellan RoadMate 2200; I reviewed the Magellan RoadMate 2000 and didn't think much of it. Old and outdated. US News missed the opportunity to talk about the new Magellan Maestro Line, including the popular Magellan Maestro 3140, which includes Text to Speech and a lot of AAA POI content that will tell you about destinations, not just get you there.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • August 14, 2007

    TeleAtlas Teams up with the Travel Channel

    Tele Atlas and Travel Channel Media today announced an exclusive agreement to make rich text, audio and visual content from the Travel Channel available for Tele Atlas digital map users worldwide. Pretty big announcement and it indicates the future of where these navigation systems are going. Why be content with the address and phone number of a tourist attraction POI? Why not see a video short of the features? Magellan recently teamed up with AAA to offer descriptive content for POIs, and I think that was a pretty good move on their part. This move on the part of TeleAtlas could be fruitful too. Recall that TeleAtlas is in the process of being acquired by TomTom.

    More on the TeleAtlas and Travel Channel deal follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "TeleAtlas Teams up with the Travel Channel"

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    August 13, 2007

    Loox to Disappear


    Sounds like the Pocket Loox is destined for the bargain bin as Fujitsu Siemens is getting out of the PDA market. While the entire PDA market has been shrinking, the Loox apparently never got any traction. So, if you in the market for a navigation device that will have the scant support from a division that was shut down, check out the Loox. Sounds like a Dr. Seuss name, eh? Maybe you'll still find them for sale in Whoville.

    Via Engadget

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    August 12, 2007

    RAGBRAI 2007 GPS Tracks on blog has posted a link to one of the riders who took their Garmin GPS across Iowa this year on RAGBRAI; Register's Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, a 400+ mile ride from west to east across a week's time that has >10,000 riders participating. I was fortunate enough to go on a couple of RAGBRAI's and has an absolute blast.

    The tracks at Motionbased certainly show that Iowa is NOT flat, but it's not exactly the mountains either. The gentleman who submitted this particular set of tracks also has a blog that talks about his ride across Iowa, and he includes a lot of iconic images of Iowa and RAGBRAI that might just bring a tear to alum's eyes if they dwell a little too long on it.

    For those of you who have gone, apparently Mr Pork Chop is retiring; but he will live forever on You Tube...

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    August 5, 2007

    Smart Dog Collars - Track your Dog

    The NYT just published an article about smart dog collars, and it includes a rundown on some pretty high tech little devices, including the Garmin Astro GPS tracking dog collar, which was announced earlier this year at CES 2007. The Astro allows you to track your dog on the screen of a modified GPSMAP 60 series unit, showing you where Fido the hunting dog is relative to you on a full color map.

    There are several other collars that are mentioned that talk about tracking and monitoring your dog and the activities that they do.

    ReadMore at NYT

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    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

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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