I'm considering buying a portable GPS Navigation unit to get to appointments and project sites (I normally roam a lot rather than asking directions). Has anyone tried something like a Garmin Novi 350 or a Magellan Roadmate equivalent?
I have used a Magellan Roadmate. It got me to my destination. Also had problems with it. Checking the review section on Amazon.com I found the problems I had were very common to Magellan units. Go with a Garmin unit. They make quite a few models. I am looking at a Garmin C550.
I can see some use for GPS... especially if you document the heck out of your jobs. You can plot the locations of lines and boxes that just might be hard to find after the parking lot is paved...
Out here in Nevada, I have received "addresses" that read 'Take I-80 to exit 245, then drive 70 milen NNE' - and the pavement ends right at the exit! GPS might be a real aid for the mining / ranching districts out here.
BUT- Neither maps nor GPS are a substitute for an awake mind. "100 feet ahead" from the GPS just might leave out details like the 50 ft. cliff just in front of you! Nor will it tell you that the route it's chosen just might be flooded, shut for repairs, or be too soft for travel.
Before calculators came out, I could multiply figures in my head. Got dependant on calculators and lost it. We have a really good street map book, which is a must for a place where just about every street name starts with, a K, or a W. (occasional L also)
I have a Garmin Street Pilot, about 500 bucks on Amazon. Its not really portable(as in stick it in your pocket) but can be moved from vehicle to vehicle and does have have batteries so you could use it walking I suppose. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I could get lost in a closet so its great for a direction challenged person such as myself. I got it to go to Milwaukee. It was a life saver as they are doing a huge amount of construction on the major interchange in the city. Got to the Bradley center, Miller Park and all around without too much trouble even though many exits were closed and detours were everywhere. Can't wait to use it in Boston
I used to use one with a previous company. They were hit or miss if you ask me. Any time I was in a wooded area in south Jersey I couldn't get a signal from the satellite and I was well, you know, SOL. I prefer reading a Hagstrom map. If it's not broke don't fix it.