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Satnav as a hobby?

By Grail - 31 October 2010 15

Is your existing satnav too reliable? Do you have an Android or iOS smartphone?

Give Waze a try – it’s a “social satnav” meaning the maps are built by the community who uses them. Waze also shows you who else is on the road, and automatically updates your social network when you correct the map, explore new roads, report traffic jams (traffic jams? in Canberra?) or slow traffic.

I’ve been playing with it for a couple of days and must admit it has some kinks to iron out – but that’s where the fun comes in. Teaching Waze that you can in fact navigate the Tuggeranong Parkway from the Cotter Road to Sulwood Drive without having to detour via Weston Creek was the highlight of my Saturday 😉

At the very least you’ll gain some appreciation of the work that goes into preparing maps for the commercial satnav product, and suddenly $90 for TomTom Australia won’t look so steep!

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15 Responses to
Satnav as a hobby?
mtrax 8:25 am 03 Nov 10

Grail said :

mtrax said :

err. http://www.openstreetmap.org/ free maps using open source…

OpenStreetMap project provides open source maps. There is no routing information. There is an app (Skobbler) to do satnav using OSM maps, but it’s only available for the UK at this time.

Waze provides live updates of traffic status from other Waze users – if I’m stuck in traffic Waze will tell people in my Waze social network that traffic at my location has come to a standstill.

You can get routable OSM data for Garmin Devices here (free) :
http://garmin.na1400.info/routable.php

emd 7:38 pm 01 Nov 10

Grail said :

Am I missing something with my iPad, or is Google Maps also lacking “non-silly” voices?

Google Maps has no voices, but I’m only interested in silly voices. Non-silly voices are no use to me.

dvaey 11:36 pm 31 Oct 10

mtrax said :

err. http://www.openstreetmap.org/ free maps using open source…

Open data, not just open source.

Grail said :

OpenStreetMap project provides open source maps. There is no routing information. There is an app (Skobbler) to do satnav using OSM maps, but it’s only available for the UK at this time.

I wish I knew that OSM couldnt route, before I used the data to get me across the country for the last few weeks. It can not only route, but it even routed me through carparks and even a couple of caravan parks, which I doubt commercial software would have the details of. Infact.. Waze uses OSM data for their routing engine, as do mapquest, cloudmade and several other map routing services.

Grail said :

Waze provides live updates of traffic status from other Waze users – if I’m stuck in traffic Waze will tell people in my Waze social network that traffic at my location has come to a standstill.

The only problem I see with that, is what happens when someone pulls over on the parkway to answer a call on their mobile phone? Does it broadcast a ‘traffic stopped’ message and divert everyone through coppins crossing?

Kim F 9:00 pm 31 Oct 10

I have the Darth Vader Tom Tom voice. I was going around a roundabout and almost speared off, having hysterics when Darth told me ” You too can learn the power of the round about” !

Grail 8:56 pm 31 Oct 10

emd said :

If only I could get a silly voice for my Google Maps directions on the iPad…

Am I missing something with my iPad, or is Google Maps also lacking “non-silly” voices?

Grail 8:54 pm 31 Oct 10

mtrax said :

err. http://www.openstreetmap.org/ free maps using open source…

OpenStreetMap project provides open source maps. There is no routing information. There is an app (Skobbler) to do satnav using OSM maps, but it’s only available for the UK at this time.

Waze provides live updates of traffic status from other Waze users – if I’m stuck in traffic Waze will tell people in my Waze social network that traffic at my location has come to a standstill.

emd 7:10 pm 31 Oct 10

If only I could get a silly voice for my Google Maps directions on the iPad, driving would be much more fun. That’s one thing I like about commercial satnavs, the option to get a silly voice for it.

indigoid 6:53 pm 31 Oct 10

I still haven’t figured out if it’s possible to have a route with more than one waypoint in TomTom. Pretty crap if you ask me. I’m told that the dedicated TomTom satnav devices are no better than this.

Having had a Garmin Zumo unit on my bike, with all of the flexible routing options it allows, I was pretty sorely disappointed when I put TomTom on my iPhone. The only advantage it seems to have over is lane guidance, and I very rarely need that, even in Sydney. When the Zumo was stolen I bought another weatherproof Garmin (Nuvi 500 this time) and haven’t looked back.

It seems that TomTom are more interested in gimmicky features (Darth Vader anyone?) than practical features. I want my $79 back!

I do like the idea of social satnav, but for me it wouldn’t be much good as 3G coverage on the 3 network isn’t nearly as good as it is on Telstra’s network.

Gerry-Built 5:48 pm 31 Oct 10

Weaselburger said :

try going along lake george to woolongong the satnav’s bloody pathetic

Maybe the steep hills create a “satellite shadow” 😛

Felix the Cat 4:52 pm 31 Oct 10

Weaselburger said :

try going along lake george to woolongong the satnav’s bloody pathetic

You don’t need a Sat Nav for that! Just keep driving along the Federal Hwy and continue onto the Hume Hwy and a few kms past Marulan there is an off ramp on your left for the Illawarra hHy. Take that and then turn right and keep driving and this will take you straight to Woollongong.

astrojax 3:12 pm 31 Oct 10

did anyone else initially misread this post as ‘santa as a hobby’? i was all ready to rail against to early yuletidings; d’oh…

how is one supposed to use this device while one is actually busy, like, driving..?

mtrax 2:15 pm 31 Oct 10

err. http://www.openstreetmap.org/ free maps using open source…

Weaselburger 12:24 pm 31 Oct 10

try going along lake george to woolongong the satnav’s bloody pathetic

spooner 12:24 pm 31 Oct 10

There’s also OpenStreetMap for amateur cartographers. They have quite complete coverage of the ACT – http://osm.org/go/uNlQ8j1–

justsomeaussie 12:06 pm 31 Oct 10

Thanks for the post. I’m quite interested in mapping and these services only get better the move people are using them. So far with the current GPS software I use on my iPhone (Sygic, Nagivon) it seems that the traffic information really isn’t well implemented yet.

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