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Thread: GPS

  1. #1
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    Default GPS

    I am lookin for a good gps, ive heard good things about garmins but really they all seem the same. So, as an inspector, what features should i be looking for? Also, if anyone knows of a particular brand and model please let me know

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: GPS

    I like Garmin. I have two of them.

    I like the Street Pilot 2610. I like the large display and it is easy to find an address or POI (Point Of Interest) or a saved Waypoint. I especially like that it displays my speed on the main screen while driving a route. Negatives are size and weight. This is only an issue if I need to carry the GPS on a plane. Also, the 2610 only works when connected to a power source.

    The Nuvi 350 is small and light making it easy to slip in a pocket to carry on a plane. All controls are touch screen; I would like a few buttons instead of all touch screen. To check your speed while driving a route you must advance a screen - not great when you need to check your speed quickly (like when you meet a cop). The Nuvi works off battery power and power cord so you can use it while walking.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by biglebowski View Post
    So, as an inspector, what features should i be looking for?
    I feel turn by turn instructions announced to be the most important. My Garmin Nuvi650 (no longer available) announces turns approximately 1 mile before the turn and again at the turn. That gives me time to switch lanes if needed before haveing to make the turn.

    The larger the screen the easier to see. I purchased lifetime map updates. Approximatly every 3-6 months I get an email from Garmin to download new maps. Helpful for those newer subdivisions on warranty inspections. Clients frequently try to give me directions because " mapquest and GPS don't know about this street". Usually my GPS does know about their street.

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  4. #4
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: GPS

    "not great when you need to check your speed quickly (like when you meet a cop)."

    Doesn't your vehicle have a speedometer?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: GPS

    I have a Garmin Nuvi, I think it has a model number like 265T or something like that. I purchased it from Costco for around $250.

    What I like most about this model is that it has a traffic feature that shows delays on the highway and tells me in real time how long the delay is and it offers a detour around it. It also provides the speed limits on major streets (not subdivisions) and highways.

    This is my second Garmin in about the past five years. I like their online map update service. I would say that my Garmin is about a year behind on some of the new streets in my area.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: GPS

    great! thanks for the info guys....also, isnt there some update card that can be purchased that has lifetime updates for around 115$ or so?


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    Default Re: GPS

    I have two Garmins, the Streetpilot 2720 and the NUVI 200W.
    I love the 2720 and have used it for about 4 years, only problen I have is the touch screen screws up about every 2 years. That's why I keep the 200W as a back up. I think the 200W will now be my only GPS AS i DON'T WANT TO PAY ANOTHER REPAIR BILL. I've used TOM TOM and MAGELLAN brands and still perfer GARMIN.

    Joseph, Palm Bch County, Fl.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: GPS

    GPSs are quickly becomming like radar detectors. Any of them is 100X better than not having one. Mine is a couple years old and overall works great. There area few features that one may be a bit better than another but a lot just comes down to personal preference.

    Mine's a Tom Tom and the only thing that is really annoying is when I enter a city it pulls from a data base of the entire country (and Canada too) when 99.99% of the time I'm searching in the same state. So, I have to scroll through all the states that have a city with the same name (which surprisingly there's a lot of repetition). Other than that it's been great.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Stanley View Post
    "not great when you need to check your speed quickly (like when you meet a cop)."

    Doesn't your vehicle have a speedometer?
    Yes, it does. But I have found the speed indicated by my GPS to be more accurate than the speedometer. Changing tires can throw off your speedometer. I know approximately how much the speedometer is off in my car but I have no idea how accurate the speedometer is in a rental car.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: GPS

    Tom Tom,

    Ease of operation & Free Map updates online.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by biglebowski View Post
    great! thanks for the info guys....also, isnt there some update card that can be purchased that has lifetime updates for around 115$ or so?
    Garmin does it online. I think it is around $100+ a year or $75 each time you update. I don't know about a lifetime rate.

    Actually my iPhone has a pretty darn good GPS app that updates automatically and I never have to do anything to it.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 10-07-2009 at 04:13 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: GPS

    Garmin NUVI 760. I have had it for about a year and a half. I dont know where you live Big, but if you are anywhere near a major city, get one with traffic monitoring. Its helped me out quite a few times. The only thing I wish I had that the new ones have is the lane feature.

    Personally, I wouldnt drive a car anymore without a GPS. Its always nice to know nearest, gas/hospitals/banks/restaurants/cops, etc. It will pay for itself in more efficient driving and your time stuck in a car.

    The bluetooth feature really doesnt work that great in my opinion. Consumer Reports is always an excellent reference too.


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Tom Tom,

    Ease of operation & Free Map updates online.
    .
    Bill

    You are seriously quiet lately.

    Got a question though.

    I have a Tom Tom and have for a few years....Free updates ?....You know someone that works there or something ?

    I like it because you can get rid of the rest of the country and just do your area of the US and then the incidentials are must better


  14. #14
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    Default Re: GPS

    WWW.MAPQUEST.com the night before.

    i would kill myself and maybe my next ex-wife if i looked at anything but the windshield as i was driving

    old man

    charlie


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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Bill

    You are seriously quiet lately.

    Got a question though.

    I have a Tom Tom and have for a few years....Free updates ?....You know someone that works there or something ?

    I like it because you can get rid of the rest of the country and just do your area of the US and then the incidentials are must better
    .
    Try Here TomTom Map Updates Free
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Garmin does it online. I think it is around $100+ a year or $75 each time you update. I don't know about a lifetime rate.

    Actually my iPhone has a pretty darn good GPS app that updates automatically and I never have to do anything to it.
    I purchased the lifetime map updates from Garmin for $119.99 but there are limitations.
    nüMaps Lifetime


  17. #17
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    Default Re: GPS

    I started using a GPS when the only portable device available was from Garmin loaded on a PDA - dubbed the IQue. It was a pain in the ass, but so much better than trying to drive while talking on the phone and looking at a map.

    I am presently using an old Garmin Street Pilot 550C. It has been all over the US with me without any problems. My next unit will be a Nuvi. I am also looking into buying one of Garmin's units made for bicycles.


    Garmin is hands down the best GPS on the market. It does not have competitors; just mere pretenders to the throne. But hey, the Irish had to excel at something, right?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: GPS

    This thread has been very helpful to me. I have yet to get a GPS, but I think I'm about ready to, and you guys helped.
    Thanks


  19. #19
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    Default Re: GPS

    I've used Microsoft Streets and Trips for many years, then with GPS when it came out, and it has always worked out well for me.

    We just spent 10 days in California, using my netbook and Microsoft Streets and Trips with the GPS as a guide to where we were going, changing where we were going, etc., and it always put us exactly where we wanted to go.

    I've considered buying a handheld, but the netbook can serve as a large handheld and with its reasonably longer battery life can be carried around quite easily and used that way (although a smaller GPS would be much easier to carry and use when using a handheld - but the larger display of the netbook was nice to have).

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  20. #20
    David McGuire's Avatar
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    Default Re: GPS

    Been following this thread for the last day or so, now its time for me to show my ignorance of this thread. I know what GPS is, don't have one, but want one. But, what is needed t to get GPS onto a laptop? Seems to me following a map on a 15 or 15 inch screen would be easier than looking at a 4" map suction cupped to a windshield. So, somebody educate me on this please.


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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by David McGuire View Post
    But, what is needed t to get GPS onto a laptop?
    Any of the several mapping programs out there, I've had Microsoft Streets and Trips (which is available with, or without, GPS) for many years, and have heard the best about it over the others (although I have not tried the others).

    Seems to me following a map on a 15 or 15 inch screen would be easier than looking at a 4" map suction cupped to a windshield.
    It's a trade off.

    For smaller size you get easier mounting right up in front of you, with the larger size you have to mount or set your notebook someplace inconvenient (which is nice about the smaller netbooks, they are easier to set someplace less inconvenient than the regular notebooks).

    Microsoft Streets and Trips can guide you with voice directions or without, your choice.

    It's no doubt safer to look at a smaller screen in front of you than a larger screen in the passenger seat or next to you, but the voice directions eliminates that. Then it becomes a question of what you will be doing with it: in your car or carrying it. If carrying it, then the smaller ones are much more portable, more so than even the smaller netbook computers.

    Valid reasons for both choices, and valid reasons for having both types too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Valid reasons for both choices, and valid reasons for having both types too.
    Yea very valid. Another question, how good are any of these mapping programs for rural areas? I am sure the maps are current and detailed for cities and suburbs. Ya miss a street there and it is just a block or two and you can turn around, if that. But in a rurl area, you might have to drive a mile before you come across the next road or a decent gate to tun around.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by David McGuire View Post
    Another question, how good are any of these mapping programs for rural areas?
    Give me an address in a rural area you know, I'll plug it into the map, then post what it shows.

    You will know if it is right or not, then let us know.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Give me an address in a rural area you know, I'll plug it into the map, then post what it shows.

    You will know if it is right or not, then let us know.
    How about 17052 94th Oskaloosa KS 66066


  25. #25
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by David McGuire View Post
    How about 17052 94th Oskaloosa KS 66066

    I had to enter it as: 17052 94 street, Oskaloosa, KS for it to find it, without the "street" it did not find it.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I had to enter it as: 17052 94 street, Oskaloosa, KS for it to find it, without the "street" it did not find it.
    Map is overall right, however....That street to the east labeled 1043 road doesn't exist as that. There isn't a map around that calls it that except for these online and software related maps. County and state maps call it Wellman Road. The street signs all say Wellman. There isn't a single street sign at any of the county or state highway intersections that call it "1043". Thats why I am so cautious about this GPS stuff. If he map doesn't mathch the street signs, its too easy to get confused or even lost.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: GPS

    Still, would you rather be out there with nothing, or with a moving map with your location shown as a red circle (when standing still) or a red arrow (showing direction of movement) where you could look at the map, at where you are, and see the closest next road, or see the closest correctly named road, which would help you out and let you get to where you wanted to be?

    Besides, if you located your destination, and watched your GPS location, you would find your way with NO street signs. Simply follow your GPS location sensor to your map destination - as long as that part is correct, the street names do not matter.

    I would rather be on "1043" showing as a red arrow going from "16" to "105th Street" and knowing that I was approaching "94th Street" and that I could get some additional bearings from there, such as "Saline Road" is just to the left on "94 Street" and I know where that is because I have been there before.

    Or even not have been there before but know that I know where I am located at that exact moment.

    My GPS receiver is sensitive enough that I can move it 2-3 feet on a counter top and the location changes from the stationary red circle to the red directional arrow pointing in the direction I moved it.

    About the only thing which would top Microsoft Streets and Trips would be to have Google Earth connected to a GPS receiver so it would zoom in and follow on actually satellite imagery of the earth and earth mapping, and that the maps were no more than 6 months old (that would be a feat in and of itself). Of course, though, to do that real time would take a broadband connection to continuously download and update the earth maps, in addition to a GPS signal monitoring and location. Loading all the Google Earth maps in a computer would be one huge memory hog.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: GPS

    You sold me Jerry. This is my next equipment purchase. Be great for vacations to. It will give my wife something to mess with. That idea for Google Earth is a nice one. Only problem there besides the database size would be the broadband connection. Get out into too many places and due to terrain that you will lose your wireless broadband connection. Still, I wonder what these storm chasers use. Must be something fairly easy to obtain. Too many of them on the road to not have some software running in all those trucks and SUV's.

    I would imagine now Microsoft has the 2010 version out. Do they charge for the new version or do you get free upgrades?


  29. #29
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    Default Re: GPS

    For rural areas where boots-on-the-ground input is scanty or questionable, your best bet is to purchase a GPS unit that also will allow map coordinate (longitude/latitude) input. I use this to find properties out in the sticks as well as new urban properties that have not yet been added to the database.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    For rural areas where boots-on-the-ground input is scanty or questionable, your best bet is to purchase a GPS unit that also will allow map coordinate (longitude/latitude) input. I use this to find properties out in the sticks as well as new urban properties that have not yet been added to the database.
    Now there is an idea. Ah gee, learning to use a new tool is so much fun. I wonder if MS Streets allows that?

    Right now I have been using Google Earth. Before I leave I input the adress and then print a few maps at different levels.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: GPS

    Nuvi 885T you can talk to it, it talks back. Awesome. Use it everyday. Like AD said, google earth and coordinates used often for rural areas, input as lat longs works great.

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  32. #32
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by David McGuire View Post
    I would imagine now Microsoft has the 2010 version out. Do they charge for the new version or do you get free upgrades?
    Each new version is around (I think) $39. The first one you buy, though, you will want to buy the GPS version which comes with the GPS receiver, and it costs quite a bit more (forgot how much more).

    I buy a new version every two years, presuming not that much data changes in just one year.

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by David McGuire View Post
    Now there is an idea. Ah gee, learning to use a new tool is so much fun. I wonder if MS Streets allows that?

    Right now I have been using Google Earth. Before I leave I input the adress and then print a few maps at different levels.
    If you have the Lat. and Long. coordinates, Microsoft Streets and Trips does allow you to enter them and find that location.

    I looked the address you gave me back up, got the Lat. and Long. coordinates, then entered them in, and (no surprise here) they found the same location.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  34. #34
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    Default Re: GPS

    I think I am with Scott. i-phone. Always updated, always with you. You can get a mounting bracket for the car. No more expensive than the Tom Toms, Garmins or whatever. I bought a Magellan a few years ago and when I went to update it, it was $85.00! Never mind.

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  35. #35
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Actually my iPhone has a pretty darn good GPS app that updates automatically and I never have to do anything to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    I think I am with Scott. i-phone. Always updated, always with you. You can get a mounting bracket for the car. No more expensive than the Tom Toms, Garmins or whatever. I bought a Magellan a few years ago and when I went to update it, it was $85.00! Never mind.
    Yeah, but what do you pay monthly for the iPhone service over regular cell phone service? That would need to be considered into the cost of using the iPhone for GPS.

    (Yeah, yeah, you also use the iPhone for other things too, I know. )

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  36. #36
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    Default Re: GPS

    I have a Tom Tom One. I still carry maps as a backup. I also double check the GPS navs with mapquest or google earth.


  37. #37

    Default Re: GPS

    I have a Garmin 550. Does turn by turn, blue tooth to phone, etc has served me well over the years. I always google/mapquest for the directions before leaving the house. I do this because sometimes you will not get a signal until you have reached the destination then it tells you that you have arrived. I also have GPS on my sprint phone, works well also, same signal problems sometimes.

    Really look at all brands and filter out the things you do not need such as do you really need 3 million way points or 10 million way points I really do not care how many coffee shops there are in a certain neighborhood, gas stations are nice to know about, some things you will just not care about and this will save you some money. If you can blue tooth it to your phone, that is also nice, you can talk to the folks while being distracted by the pesky driving, traffic, etc. Also makes you feel cosmo as though you have a newer expensive car.

    Michael Carson
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  38. #38
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent Keith View Post
    I purchased the lifetime map updates from Garmin for $119.99 but there are limitations.
    nüMaps Lifetime
    so is it worth buying it then?


  39. #39
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    Default Re: GPS

    Call me old fashioned but I am going with MS Streets and Trips. I used to be a cop before all of this and have great peripheral vision. I can see that 17" laptop very well out of the corner of my eye on a pedestal mount. I don't want a GPS suction cupped to my windshield. This was just my choice. The upgrades for this software are much cheaper than iPhone and Garmin, all had to be factored in.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Yeah, but what do you pay monthly for the iPhone service over regular cell phone service? That would need to be considered into the cost of using the iPhone for GPS.

    (Yeah, yeah, you also use the iPhone for other things too, I know. )
    It is $30 in addition to my regular service plan, same as a Blackberry. Also provides unlimited email, text, Internet, a cool game app called "Pocket God", etc.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  41. #41
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by biglebowski View Post
    so is it worth buying it then?
    It allows up to 4 updates a year. Last updated I had a few weeks ago for the newest did not change anything in my area that I have noticed.

    A single update cost around $70.

    I would say if you keep the same device for more than 2-3 years then it is a good value to have the lifetime subscription.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: GPS

    Scott,

    Does, the internet and GPS use any air time minutes?

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  43. #43
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    It allows up to 4 updates a year. Last updated I had a few weeks ago for the newest did not change anything in my area that I have noticed.

    A single update cost around $70.

    I would say if you keep the same device for more than 2-3 years then it is a good value to have the lifetime subscription.
    good to know, thanks


  44. #44
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    Default Re: GPS

    just bought the garmin nuvi 1350T off overstock . com, was the best deal i could find besides ebay or amazon but I didnt feel like goin in a bid war or trusting amazon sellers. THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP EVERYONE!


  45. #45
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    Default Re: GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Scott,

    Does, the internet and GPS use any air time minutes?
    I don't think it does, one reason you have to have the iPhone data packet as part of your service. But then I have a 2,000 minutes a month plan and I never notice it. I even have rollover minutes as the phone is not ringing like it use to do.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  46. #46
    Edward Loughran's Avatar
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    Default Re: GPS

    In the area I live in there are many new streets that are not on the GPS systems. Some of the cities have a GIS service that shows the addresses and layouts of the approved future developments.


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