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Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:15 am UTC
by joplju
My method for navigation:

Google/Yahoo Maps + My Printer

Either that, or a good old fashioned map. Of course, I rarely go anywhere I don't know my way around, and if I do, I'm trying to get lost...

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:31 am UTC
by MrAlex
benjhuey wrote:I never use the voice directions (too distracting). I set a location if only to find it on the map. I then use the GPS more like an actual map rather than a pathfinder.


Ditto!

I had a sat-nav for about a week.
For the first two days it kept nagging me and we kept fighting:
"in 10mt turn left"... (a few seconds later)..."turn left"...
"I got it the first time, you idiot! If your so smart then you bloody drive!!"

Then I found the "quiet" setting and at that point my only purpose in life was to beat the ETA (by at least 20%) and disagreeing with just about any route recommended.

Now I've also gone back to google maps printouts and good old orienteering.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:51 am UTC
by arbivark
It seems like an occasionally recurring theme is a reference to some kid's game.
The warm/cold thing would be an example.
Maybe it's nostalgia in general, maybe it's just a juxtaposition of tings that don't usually go together. It works.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:53 am UTC
by tradiuz
HTC 8925 (aka the AT&T Tilt) + Google Maps for Mobiles ( http://www.google.com/gmm )

Here's how it works:

Run Google maps.
Click "Use GPS"
Click "My Location [0]" (if you can't get Sat signal, it will approximate based on the nearest cell tower, which is important for the next step)
Click "Search"

Yada yada. I usually after reviewing the turn by turn directions, I'll hit "My Location" again and just follow the purple line. It does not give active turn by turn, nor does it have voice prompts, nor does it auto re-calculate the route. It is free (as in beer), however, which makes it ultra sexy.

I don't like voice directions, they're a distraction. I prefer to listen to my music, and not have some high and mighty voice tell me I'm driving wrong.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:04 am UTC
by VelociraptorEvader
Markavian wrote:So when it alternates between STRAIGHT and LEFT, you know its 'somewhere' along the diagonal... it could be worse, it could be INFRONT or BEHIND I guess. How general can you get before it becomes impossible to pick a direction?


The GPS could just say 'your in the right ball park' or 'your in the correct ZIP/Postcode.'
Some GPS units are quite poor with the directions they give. Can be frustrating.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:10 am UTC
by Kni7es
Kebrel wrote:we recently had a fun trip, with a GPS(tom tom). we came to relies that the machine had a short temper.

GPS: turn left in 75 yards
*keeps going straight*
GPS:...turn left in 125 yards
*turns right*
GPS: Please preform an immediate U-turn...Please preform an immediate U-turn...Please preform an immediate U-turn...



I also like how the comics are getting more detailed.


Tom-Tom nearly drove me off a cliff once. I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:13 am UTC
by M.qrius
Twasbrillig wrote:
Alt Text wrote:In lieu of mapping software, I once wrote a Perl program which, given a USB GPS receiver and a destination, printed 'LEFT' 'RIGHT' OR 'STRAIGHT' based on my heading.


Which, if written in python, would consist of approximately 3 lines. 4 if you want to keep things neat.

Actually, it's probably possible in just one. Assuming we have our own x and y, our destination x and y, and our heading, and we want it to say RIGHT if we need to steer right more than 45 degrees. Something like

Code: Select all

import math
["STRAIGHT","RIGHT","LEFT"][cmp(int((((math.atan2((dest.y-curr.y),(dest.x-curr.x))-heading)*4/math.pi +4)%8 -4),0)]

Okay, 2 lines. I need to import math... It's probably possible to write a custom arctangent function in that line as well, and I know Pi to more decimal places than a floating point number, but I think you get the picture :)

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:15 am UTC
by ThatGuyCalledPete
My GPS is pretty good, unfortunately it cannot help when the one-way streets are randomly altered, and each day a different road is closed just for the hell of it.

Fortunately the random road changes came about after I got to know the neighbourhood well enough to work around them all.

What would be nice for closed road is a button that let's the GPS know you turned off route due to a closed road, and for it to avoid that road for the next 1 mile/5 miles/10 miles or something when it recalculates the route, instead of trying to route you back onto the closed road...

-- Pete.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:09 am UTC
by Daniel
On one trip, using Google maps, I found that Google had given me contradictory instructions: "Take 1st exit at roundabout", immediately followed by: "Take 2nd exit at (the same) roundabout"... It was... odd.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:54 am UTC
by Syphon
Twasbrillig wrote:
Alt Text wrote:In lieu of mapping software, I once wrote a Perl program which, given a USB GPS receiver and a destination, printed 'LEFT' 'RIGHT' OR 'STRAIGHT' based on my heading.


Which, if written in python, would consist of approximately 3 lines. 4 if you want to keep things neat.


Ya but in Perl it's better.

Also, am I the only one who thought of Holiday in Cambodia? Cold Hot Cold Hot Cold Hot!

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:07 pm UTC
by shing
Hmmm....this got me to wondering if it would be possible to make a real life Tron game with GPS systems...

Anyone more knowledgeable about GPS systems want to weigh in on this idea?

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:24 pm UTC
by Upsilon
Did anyone else notice that the stick man has fingers?

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:35 pm UTC
by TheKhakinator
The 3D was rather awesome, or at least I thought so.

There should just be GTA-style GPS systems. Your car is at the center of a circle, superimposed on a map with a coloured dot at the edge of the circle to indicate where to go. Works OK in a city; doesn't work so well in wider, more open areas. (Seriously sucks for the open areas of GTA:SA)

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:52 pm UTC
by John_Horton
superglucose wrote:Re: the alt text.
Since a bike can't go backwards and it turns its heading to face whichever direction you want to go, a bycicle is always going 'forward'.[/color]


Unless it's like my old one, and the ratchet in the pedals jammed. Then it can go both forward and backward.

As for the comic, it would be an interesting project. I suppose if the GPS provided a "distance to" value, you could use that, along with preset cutoff points, or register the temperature.

*Digs out serial cable for GPS and QBASIC*

Real Programmers use Line Numbers

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:54 pm UTC
by PatrickRsGhost
sqrt(-1)<3pi wrote:hahaha
if GPS's were like this, driving would be so much more fun; like an Easter egg hunt. Or digging for lost items in a ball pit. Or an Easter egg hunt in a ballpit


To really make it interesting, dye the eggs the same colors as the balls. Use only those colors.

joplju wrote:My method for navigation:

Google/Yahoo Maps + My Printer

Either that, or a good old fashioned map. Of course, I rarely go anywhere I don't know my way around, and if I do, I'm trying to get lost...


That's pretty much my method, but with Mapquest.

[...]

What?

OK...once or twice Mapquest has steered me wrong. This is why I sometimes take this extra step: If I'm going for a job interview, I'll ask them what their building looks like, and what businesses/landmarks are they next to or very close to, like restaurants, the post office, car dealerships, etc.

charmuska wrote:Hmm, he seems to have overshot his destination...


That's what she said...

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:03 pm UTC
by ThatGuyCalledPete
ThatGuyCalledPete wrote:What would be nice for closed road is a button that let's the GPS know you turned off route due to a closed road, and for it to avoid that road for the next 1 mile/5 miles/10 miles or something when it recalculates the route, instead of trying to route you back onto the closed road...


*hangs head in shame*

It appears my GPS does have this option in a buried menu, and I just didn't realise it.

I just had a completely independant discussion with a collegue which turned to GPSs and he mentioned it completely unprompted...I checked, and indeed I have it.

Doh!

-- Pete.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:04 pm UTC
by Kalos
If i know where something is without knowing the route, I actually do navigate in a way similar to the alt text. No GPS though.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:13 pm UTC
by paudie
Stickfodder wrote:it's still more effective than my method of finding places i want to go by follow someone who seems to know where they're going


I was thinking that a Zen Navigation GPS would have been much better.

"Follow the red Citroen for 500m, follow the grey Ford for 1500m."

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:15 pm UTC
by LarrySDonald
Seeing the title I honestly thought I'd clicked on Hack-a-day (also in my RSS feeds) and mentally preparing for what they might have come up with this time. It was a really odd feeling having to readjust my brain when that wasn't what came up.

I usually use google maps or mogologo on a cell (a boost i415) or if it's a longish trip an e-trex with preprogrammed waypoints. Not the most elegant thing, but I don't drive many places I don't know how to get to. If it's local, I often simply use the e-trex with a single point which isn't that different from this ("you need to go x miles that way ->" without regard for streets and such) but works pretty well.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:07 pm UTC
by GCM
Voice GPS's suck. End of story.

I like the picture ones, even if they are a distraction from the road. In any case, nothing beats plain old maps! I just like signs, I guess.

Also, what up with the fingers? Must be some sort of mutated xkcdian!

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:15 pm UTC
by The Tagger
Syphon wrote:
Also, am I the only one who thought of Holiday in Cambodia? Cold Hot Cold Hot Cold Hot!


I think you were!

Pol... Pot... Pol... Pot... Pol... Pot... :wink:

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:17 pm UTC
by kirkjerk
I hear a lot of anti-GPS talk here but I want to say, the one I bought in, like 2004 for around $600-$700 has paid for itself many times over in reduction of stress. Now that they're like a couple hundred bucks it's a no brainer.

(Part of that is being in Boston, which is kind of notorious for having odd layouts of unlabled streets.)

It's not perfect; this older model will lose signal a little more easily, especially on really cloudy days or when surrounded by tall buildings or in tunnels. And I declined to upgrade its map so its still caught in this mid-Big Dig world

But it is SO much better than nothing, or what I used before, that one big Arrow atlas, or printouts from Mapquest. It is to changing driving plans what cellphones are to changing plans with other people; an incredibly enabling technology (err, that you shouldn't really engage in while actually driving at the moment, but still.)

The use of "Arrive" as a command -- "tURN rIGHT, tHEN aRRIVE aT dESTINATION" - is a bit weird.

I enjoy thinking of my GPS's personality as a variation of GlaDOS... a bit passive aggresive. "fINE. iGNORE mY aDVICE. sEE iF i cARE."

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:22 pm UTC
by genewitch
I use delorme street atlas USA with a topo for backup (also delorme). My palm has the software, but i use that for out of the car navigation (read geocaching). for in the car, i use a laptop. The delorme GPS thing is freaking amazing, if you miss a turn, or know a better way, it doesn't tell you to turn around forever, it says "missed road, 10 seconds to recalculation, press any key to stop" or somesuch. You can disable that, too. Either way having "shortest" "Fastest" routes are nice. It's really good for medium to long trips (on the scale of several hours to several days); it's good for point to point short trips (read geocaching) - but if you're trying to find a house nearby in a dense neighborhood, it's about as useful as a printed map.

The GPS units i have are not standalone, and as such they're very freaking fast. It can do bearing and speed more than once per second (including serial/USB lag!), and once it's powered on it gets accurate bearings really fast.

Highly recommend the package for anyone that can drop a couple hundred on a similar setup. The voice system is pretty nice too, but i never use it. I'm generally with another person in cars, either i or they handle one job.
It's a luxury, it's no excuse for not knowing how to read a map. you can get more lost relying on GPS or even google maps or mapquest than just aimlessly driving towards a city.

Did i mention it integrates with netstumbler nicely?

<3 the comic, i dig it!

Re: Cheap GPS

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:43 pm UTC
by britMonster
Pyroman, you accidentally messed up your img.

I didn't get this comic when I read it at three o'clock in the morning, but upon thinking about it for a minute when I got up just now, I laughed.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:53 pm UTC
by captainoblivious
Syphon wrote:Also, am I the only one who thought of Holiday in Cambodia? Cold Hot Cold Hot Cold Hot!

No, but I think there's some DK listening in my very near future.

As for the GPS asswankery, I only have a handful of experiences with the things and I really don't care for them. They're great if you're in a strange place for the very first time, but after that, I would never use the damned things.

Plus, my ex's family thought that the Australian woman voice was freaking hysterical. That was awful for two reasons: one, the fact that we constantly overshot destinations made it say "Re-cow-cue-leigh-ting..." about once a minute; and two, the internal speaker was either weak or absent, and it used an RF modulator instead. So them being unable to find their way around town cost me the ability to listen to music.

I don't know about y'all, but I for one usually know which direction I'm headed, and not just relative to whatever road I just came off of. So if I ever tell you that I was late to something because I got lost, I'm completely lying my ass off. God, I hope none of my future employers read this forum...

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:37 pm UTC
by gumbo
Unforgiven wrote:Re the title text, it sounds like Randall reinvented VOR navigation, only GPS based.

There's gotta be at least some people on this board who get that, I can't be the only aviation nerd here. :P


Consider it gotten. Add fake DME and you could probably actually find your destination, although you might have to break out some paper to do some plotting.

"Cheap GPS" is timely for me, I just bought a cheap old used GPS off of eBay. Of course, since it's for aviation, it was still almost $500, but that's about as cheap as it's going to get.

The comic version for pilots:

"Within 10nm miles of restricted airspace"

"Getting warmer"

"Even warmer! Better turn!"

"OH CRAP WRONG WAY HOT HOT HOT YOU'RE IN TROUBLE NOW!"

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:20 pm UTC
by Sprocket
WTF! Skippy and I were just talking about this last night (and not for the first time either)! We were gonna make one! DAMN YOU MUNROE!

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:29 pm UTC
by dskippy
CatProximity wrote:WTF! Skippy and I were just talking about this last night (and not for the first time either)! We were gonna make one! DAMN YOU MUNROE!


Oh man! So sad. It was going to be so cool. Now it's just a lame rip off. This comic makes me sad.

-skippy

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:36 pm UTC
by Stereo
Markavian wrote:So when it alternates between STRAIGHT and LEFT, you know its 'somewhere' along the diagonal... it could be worse, it could be INFRONT or BEHIND I guess. How general can you get before it becomes impossible to pick a direction?

Consider hooking it up to your car speakers, and every time you shout "MARCO" it will shout "POLO" from the general direction of the target.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:43 pm UTC
by gumbo
Stereo wrote:
Markavian wrote:So when it alternates between STRAIGHT and LEFT, you know its 'somewhere' along the diagonal... it could be worse, it could be INFRONT or BEHIND I guess. How general can you get before it becomes impossible to pick a direction?

Consider hooking it up to your car speakers, and every time you shout "MARCO" it will shout "POLO" from the general direction of the target.


Win.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:04 pm UTC
by EtzHadaat
SoapyHobo wrote:
++$_ wrote:I was amused. But did anyone else find it vaguely disconcerting that the steering wheel looks like a malicious robot?
I'm more concerned that the car doesn't appear to have any pedals. I would so definitely buy one of those hot/cold GPS systems though, but wouldn't the effectiveness of that system decrease dramatically with distance from your location since it's not telling you directions but the distance from your target?


You could make it hot or cold depending on your path's similarity to the optimal path?

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:04 pm UTC
by Kaiyas
gumbo wrote:
Stereo wrote:
Markavian wrote:So when it alternates between STRAIGHT and LEFT, you know its 'somewhere' along the diagonal... it could be worse, it could be INFRONT or BEHIND I guess. How general can you get before it becomes impossible to pick a direction?

Consider hooking it up to your car speakers, and every time you shout "MARCO" it will shout "POLO" from the general direction of the target.


Win.

That made me lose twenty dollars and my self respect, but that's definitely a win.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:06 pm UTC
by srpski
paudie wrote:
Stickfodder wrote:it's still more effective than my method of finding places i want to go by follow someone who seems to know where they're going


I was thinking that a Zen Navigation GPS would have been much better.

"Follow the red Citroen for 500m, follow the grey Ford for 1500m."

Citroen? Yer makin that up!

Spoiler:
Frog


This sounds like it would make for some great car chases where only one person knows they're actually in a car chase.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:46 pm UTC
by xabram
Syphon wrote:
Twasbrillig wrote:
Alt Text wrote:In lieu of mapping software, I once wrote a Perl program which, given a USB GPS receiver and a destination, printed 'LEFT' 'RIGHT' OR 'STRAIGHT' based on my heading.


Which, if written in python, would consist of approximately 3 lines. 4 if you want to keep things neat.


Also, am I the only one who thought of Holiday in Cambodia? Cold Hot Cold Hot Cold Hot!


Interestingly enough, I just yesterday decided Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables was worth my money, and subsequently learned the refrain was Pol Pot, or I probably would have associated this comic with that song.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:27 pm UTC
by Linux0s
paudie wrote:
Stickfodder wrote:it's still more effective than my method of finding places i want to go by follow someone who seems to know where they're going

I was thinking that a Zen Navigation GPS would have been much better.

"Follow the red Citroen for 500m, follow the grey Ford for 1500m."


"Follow the punch-buggy red for the next 175 miles"

*hey - ouch - ow - dammit - ow - stop - ouch - ow - hey*

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:29 pm UTC
by WhiskyTangoFoxtrot
tradiuz wrote:I don't like voice directions, they're a distraction. I prefer to listen to my music, and not have some high and mighty voice tell me I'm driving wrong.


Not married I take it?

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:54 am UTC
by equatic
Kni7es wrote:
Kebrel wrote:we recently had a fun trip, with a GPS(tom tom). we came to relies that the machine had a short temper.

GPS: turn left in 75 yards
*keeps going straight*
GPS:...turn left in 125 yards
*turns right*
GPS: Please preform an immediate U-turn...Please preform an immediate U-turn...Please preform an immediate U-turn...



I also like how the comics are getting more detailed.


Tom-Tom nearly drove me off a cliff once. I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.


Haha, that reminded me of "the office" episode where Michael's GPS made them drive into a lake

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:14 am UTC
by Hoshi no Kabii
What I want to know is how he managed to go from "hot" to "cold" with no "warm" in between.

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:28 am UTC
by VectorZero
Hoshi no Kabii wrote:What I want to know is how he managed to go from "hot" to "cold" with no "warm" in between.


Well, driving directly past your destination (directly over it, to be more precise) would result in you, having been on the optimal heading with minimal distance to travel, suddenly facing 180 degrees off target with ~40k kilometers to go. That would seem to fulfill most requirements for being cold...

Re: "Cheap GPS" Discussion

Posted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:45 am UTC
by ACEfanatic02
In Florida last December, my father and I were using a GPS to try and find a Pizza Hut. Food is conveniently marked on the map.

Upon arrival, however, we found a cemetery, not a restaurant. Somewhat disconcerting.

-ACE