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Topic: Do you use a GPS to get to your shows?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Starr (Mar 12, 2008 03:54PM)
[b]Do you use a GPS to assist you in getting to your shows?[/b]

If so, which one and why?

Have you ever had yours fail due to inaccurate data?

The use of a GPS system was brought up in another thread, and I hadn't considered getting one until I read several people's comments about how they couldn't function without theirs. I'd like to see the various opinions and recommendations posted here for all of us to share.

Thanks!

Chris
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 12, 2008 03:59PM)
ABSOLUTELY I use one. I would neer think of leaving home without it. It has been the single best investment I have made this past year and I only wish I had done it sooner. I have a Garmin model and it works perfect and has never steered me wrong yet. I have had it over a yera now and it has been dead on. It redirects me when I make a wrong turn and gets me to the door step every time.

If you have any specific questions, please just let me know. I would be happy to provide answers for you based on my own model I use. I simply would have paid double or triple the price for the GPS I have now. It is just that much beneficial to me and the shows I do. it is an investment that pays itself off time and again.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Mar 12, 2008 04:46PM)
I use a TomTom Go 720 and highly recommend it. I accidentally erased all of my maps during an upgrade, called TomTom Customer Support, got a live person after three rings and within 15 minutes had a new download compliments of TomTom and was up and running. Outstanding customer support!!

That said, any electronic map is only as good and accurate as the information available to it. I have the most up-to-date maps for my area and they don't seem to include new construction up to 18 months past. My TomTom provides a choice of graphic or text directions. I always check the text directions against my most current city mapbooks before setting out - just to be sure.

Why use the GPS if I have city maps? The spoken directions & graphics allow me to anticipate upcoming turns. The spoken directions mean that I'm not looking down at a set of written or printed instructions when the car in front of me panic stops for some ungodly reason. The traffic minder system alerts me to traffic jams, accidents and other delays and automatically reroutes me to a quicker detour around the trouble spot. Best of all, my GPS tracks my mileage and prints a report for me (through a computer link) so that my tax records are accurate and legit.

They really come in handy when I'm on the road. I drove to Atlanta this past week. Spent a week in a rental car in Galveston, TX in January. I'm headed for Chicago tomorrow and Orlando in a couple of weeks. Having the GPS takes the "strange" and "unfamiliar" out of these places and that makes my trips much, much safer. It also locates favorite restaurants, office supply stores, retail supermarts, theaters and more by name with directions, contact information and operating hours for each. So, as I'm driving, I can find the closest Chilis or O'Charley's, Shell Station, ATM, hospital, police station...whatever...with ease.

Finally, the Go 720 has a rechargable battery and gives walking directions. If I'm in New York or D.C. and I want to go out and sight-see between gigs, I can see what points of interest are close by, choose one, slip the thing in my pocket and it will give me walking directions to the landmark.

I put off buying a GPS for years thinking they were a waste of time. Mapquest is free, for crying out loud. Now I wonder why I waited.

If you buy a TomTom, get the John Cleese voice! I intentionally miss turns just to hear him call me names! Love it!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Mar 12, 2008 05:27PM)
I know how to read a map and have a sense of direction so....no.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Mar 12, 2008 06:06PM)
Hi Chris -

You might enjoy reading this thread:

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=229900&forum=44&91]Cafe thread titled... GPS - who uses one[/url]

- Donald

P.S. I don't use a GPS. Map books and Mapquest.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 12, 2008 06:13PM)
Some weeks I drive 1700 miles. You bet I use an Alpine Blackbird. It plays my MP3s too.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: bhappie (Mar 12, 2008 07:48PM)
My Honda Odyssey has one built in and I still bought one for the other vehicle! I got a Garmin C340. Review sites rated it as the best one and I found it refurbished with the same warrantee for about $230!
I used to sit down every week and print out maps and write directions and now I just check and make sure it comes up on the GPS.... once you have one, you can't live without it.
BTW I have friends who have the plan on their verizon cell phones for the GPS for $10 a month. BAD IDEA. Everytime someone calls they have to pull over because it stops while your on the phone. And at $10 a month you could have a Garmin in 2 years.
Message: Posted by: MagicalArtist (Mar 12, 2008 08:40PM)
I resisted buying a GPS for awhile because I didn't believe they could work! With a printed map, if there are minor errors (this street is too long, or that one is too short) you will probably never notice. With a GPS if it had such errors you would probably end up in a ditch or in the river! So I had a hard time believing it would work. The accuracy that would be required for such a thing just seemed incredible. But in reading reviews of the things, I didn't see anything about people ending up in the river! LOL It really is a modern miracle when you stop and think about it. As far as accuracy, it occasionally will not suggest the most optimum route IMO, but simply checking its suggested route the night before against a map site will solve this problem.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 12, 2008 09:49PM)
Am I the only one who also uses his GPS to play MP3s?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Craig Kyle (Mar 12, 2008 09:59PM)
Maps are the way to go for magicians in the UK. In England GPS's are proven in newspapers to bring you under low bridges and load restrictive bridges etc sometimes people drive into streams because of GPS lol.

maps all the way for me and bunnies.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Viner (Mar 12, 2008 10:43PM)
I LOVE my GPS (at least here in the US lol) . . .wouldn't leave home without it (unless I know where I am going, of course).
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Mar 13, 2008 01:43AM)
In spite of the flaws in the mapping of the TomTom 910, I prefer it over the Garmin (for reasons stated in the other thread). Once in a while, I still have to check mapquest on my PDA to find the exact location after I arrive in the general area (for newer sections of a city).

I used to play mp3's on it, but now I have my iPod with me all the time.

I love the remote control with the TomTom, and recently I discovered a way to change the arrow into any vehicle I wanted on the screen. So now I have my new van on the screen, and if you had a magnifying glass, you could even see where the rear license plate said "LEHR". :)

Brian
Message: Posted by: magico563 (Mar 13, 2008 12:47PM)
I use a GPRS to get to my gigs and I just find it so stress free, just tap the post/zip coad and there house number in and you are away.

I drive a scooter so I use the 'TOM TOM Rider' to get to my gigs.

Thanks magico563:-)
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 13, 2008 09:54PM)
Brian,

Can you imagine the competition here in Alabama to have a vanity license plate that says "Bubba"?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Without the GPS what is needed is one that says "Lost".
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Mar 14, 2008 12:17AM)
Yep...Garmin SteetPilot C330. I love it!

Bob, I was in Memphis a few years ago and stopped at Graceland. No, Elvis was NOT there! There was a tour bus parked out front with the motor running and on the front, where the sign is lit across the top that says what route they are on, or where they are going, said just that...LOST!!!

Mark. :thumbsup:
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 14, 2008 08:06AM)
Mark,

So there is honesty in travel! (Elvis was with me.)

Someday, airlines will go ahead and label baggage that way at the check-in. (Just kidding! I remember that time my baggage arrived at the same destination I did. Of course we had been rerouted.)

Notice that the GPS has a female voice that tells us what to do and when. "Make a "U" turn!" (At least they don't say, "Pull over here. I have to go." or "Are we EVER going to eat?"

Yep! "Lost" is what we would be. Getting feminine instructions gives us confidence.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Mar 14, 2008 11:31PM)
Lol that was funny Bob!

Back to the original question. The first year in business (many years ago) I was always afraid of getting lost (no GPS then) and would drive to my destination a few days in advance in order to be sure of the route before the show. As I got busier, I could no longer do that, but became quite adept at map reading.

In my area and (I'm sure it exist in others) I can log on the computer, type in my address and that of my destination. It gives me all the info I need, including map and step by step directions. As a visual learner I find this works for me and is an alternative to GPS.

Chrystal
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Mar 15, 2008 12:01AM)
Yeah, online maps work wonderfully....until you get to street with blown off signs, then you are screwed.

I use online maps all the time but after the weekend I had last week, I am looking for a GPS. They tell you exactly where to turn.
Message: Posted by: Buster Balloon (Mar 15, 2008 03:21AM)
I am a paranoid freak. I use a TomTom GPS, but also have the directions from MapQuest written down just in case. TomTom has not let me down yet, but it is nice to have a back up.
Message: Posted by: KidMagic (Mar 15, 2008 09:02AM)
I always use a GPS! It is my dads so I'm not sure what kind it is, but all I have to do is type in the address and then it will show my the fastest way to get there, it will show me a detour way, if I make a wrong turn it will relocate, it gives an estimation arival time, and so much more! Note: My mom is the one drving me :P! It even has a nearest resturant and gas station button!

Final vertict: GET ONE! You can't go wrong.

Zach
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Mar 15, 2008 12:18PM)
Jim

What's more important is when the show is over. At that time all sense of direction (for me) is lost. The GPS gets me out onto the main road or to the next show and I'm on my way. At night you don't need to shine a bright light at the street signs and scare the neighbors.

I can't tell you how many times I have been pulled over standing outside the car with the map book directly in front of the high beam trying to figure out where I am.

AND as most of you know.... many clients don't know how to give directions or where they are located any better then you.

I bought the least expensive Tom Tom and wished I had spent another hundred for a few extra features... but all in all, it's good.
Message: Posted by: Kipp Sherry (Mar 16, 2008 02:16PM)
I use on-line maps. I also use a Magellan Masestro GPS.

The only time the GPS doesn't work is when I'm looking for a place that has been built during the last year (business park or residential), a rare experience but I did have it happen once. One nice thing about the Magellan is that I can go on line once a year and update the maps. The other nice thing is that it works all over the world, not just in North America.

Until we appear again,
Kipp Sherry
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 16, 2008 02:30PM)
Kipp is right in regards to new places. I usually find this out ahead of time and I can usually put in a place or address that is very close to where I need to be. That has been my work around and works very well.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: bhappie (Mar 16, 2008 03:57PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-13 02:43, Brian Lehr wrote:
In spite of the flaws in the mapping of the TomTom 910, I prefer it over the Garmin (for reasons stated in the other thread). Once in a while, I still have to check mapquest on my PDA to find the exact location after I arrive in the general area (for newer sections of a city).

I used to play mp3's on it, but now I have my iPod with me all the time.

I love the remote control with the TomTom, and recently I discovered a way to change the arrow into any vehicle I wanted on the screen. So now I have my new van on the screen, and if you had a magnifying glass, you could even see where the rear license plate said "LEHR". :)

Brian
[/quote]

I didn't know I could play mp3s in it? I would be afraid of it doing too much and getting confused. I need the GPS because Im diving, on the phone, changing my shirt, and eating. If I let the GPS do more than directions THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS!

Re: a couple other posts - I did have mine take me down a road at night and I nearly ran into a fence across the street! It was a side street into a gated community and I had to find the front gate on my own. If I had been on the phone, changing my shirt, and eating I would have crashed the fence and old Rosco P Coletrain would have had my tail for sure gu gu gu gu gu.
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Mar 16, 2008 07:03PM)
I have a Garmin C550 - it has Bluetooth for handsfree phone calls which is very nice.

Also it has restaurants, gas stations, and everything else you'd ever need.

It also tells me if there is bad traffic ahead and will plan out an alternate route. Which is nice to know, but not always that helpful, because when there is a jam, the alternative routes get busy too!

It also plays mp3s, but I've never bothered with that. I just have my iPhone hooked up to the car stereo.

I truly couldn't drive without my GPS. I don't know how I ever managed without it.

Now all I need is a car that drives itself so I can have a nap.
Message: Posted by: John C (Mar 17, 2008 08:40AM)
Garmin 200w
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 17, 2008 09:14AM)
Just to let you know, you don't have to have an expensive GPS. My wife bought me a Magellan Roadmate on sale for $150. It works just fine. The few mistakes it does make, like due to new construction, it automatically adjusts and gives me a new route. But be careful of the "shortest distance" option. It took my wife down a 5.4 mile dirt road Friday night in an area with no cell phone reception! No John Cleese voice either. :thumbsdown:
Message: Posted by: bhappie (Mar 18, 2008 09:18PM)
Ken, Its not that yours is cheap, they all do that!
Message: Posted by: Zoran (Mar 19, 2008 10:16PM)
I use a handheld garmin...but I use it to keep me entertained inbetween showtime hours because I am a serious geocacher.

http://www.geocaching.com

Zoran
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Mar 20, 2008 02:07AM)
Peeps,

TomTom maps are prettier and the newer models have the most up to date mapping software for the USA.

Presently only two companies offer maps for sale, NavTeq and Tele Atlas. Nokia is in the process of buying NavTeq.

Also TomTom just bought Tele Atlas the mapping software that Garmin will use. But they have some problems during the aquisition.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/17/technology/moritz_nokia.fortune/index.htm?section=money_latest

I personally use TomTom (Dutch company), they are the #1 GPS units in many parts of the world, but Garmin (Kansas company) presently rules the U.S.

G0THIKE
Message: Posted by: tpax (Mar 20, 2008 06:50PM)
I have a Magellan Roadmate 750, used it for almost 3 years, works great. Easy to use, been really accurate so far - with the exception of new construction. I have traveled all over the country with it and it has held up well. It is a basic unit that does all I need.
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Mar 21, 2008 12:11AM)
Opps, I forgot.

I use a Garmin 305, some GPS watch that shows calories burnt, distance and heart rate. That is about what good I find Garmin for.

G0THIKE
Message: Posted by: mormonyoyoman (Mar 24, 2008 12:05PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-12 16:54, Christopher Starr wrote:
[b]Do you use a GPS to assist you in getting to your shows?[/b]
[/quote]

No, I use a car.

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
Message: Posted by: kinesis (Mar 29, 2008 04:32PM)
Have used a TomTom One (Version 1 with updated software) for a good while now. Anytime I have a gig in a venue I've never been to before I take my Sat. Nav. So stress free. I've managed to drive round trafic problems and road works and get to my gig on time thanks to my TomTom. Very reliable, wouldn't leave home without it.
Message: Posted by: chris_johnson_au (Jun 8, 2008 05:13AM)
I've found the GPS is very handy in a number of circumstances.

It can help give me an estimate of how long it takes to travel. Of course I take the time and add a little extra on again to allow for traffic, map changes (due to construction work, etc) and any other mishaps.

It was also the easiest expenditure I could make without having to feel a need to THINK about justifying it.

If you're working in an unfamiliar area, having moved into a new city, etc... it's an indispensable tool and, best of all, takes away so much stress on the drive.

However I *would* leave home without it... for example if I'm just walking a few blocks to get the newspaper.
Message: Posted by: RichardShure (Jun 8, 2008 12:49PM)
Without a doubt a GPS nav system is the way to go. Has saved me not only going to gigs but just traveling in general. Plus lots of extras like knowing where the next gas station, hotel, or place to eat is.

I travel a great deal with my day job and I would not be without one.

Richard S
Message: Posted by: RJE (Jun 8, 2008 07:15PM)
We travel 1500 to 3000 kilometers (about 900 to 1800 miles) a week and only recently did I invest in a Garmin 250. What a little miracle machine! It not only gets us to the shows, but finds us fuel, food and coffee along the route.

Rob
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 8, 2008 08:46PM)
Rob,

I even find that the GPS chatting at me gives me some company in a lonesome job. Mine is a Blackbird (Alpine) so it also plays my MP3s when the lady in the box isn't giving me orders.

Bob
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 9, 2008 01:53PM)
Not only do I use one of my 3 GPS to get to gig's
I have found that late night gigs are great coming home cause I no longer miss turns...

AND I GEO-Cache and have a handheld Garmin that I use for that...
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 9, 2008 07:11PM)
That is the other aspect of the GPS that most do not talk about. That is the ability to find fuel, food and lodging and such when you are going too and from a gig. We have used this countless times and it has been a real life savor for us for sure.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jun 10, 2008 07:05AM)
Kyle,

I enjoy the fact that it will simply tell me where I am!

You know the statement: "I'm the navigator and I have a right to know where we are!"

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Jun 12, 2008 09:36AM)
Yes, I just started using one.

I bought my wife a MIO for Christmas, which was an entry-level product at that time. After using it a coupla times, I discovered the device does AUTOMATICALLY what I have to do MANUALLY: Transpose directions.

Map pages are oriented, of course, with "North" at the top of the page. If I'm travelling north, I can easily imagine my course on the page of the map book and follow the "right, left, east, west" turns correctly. Travelling south, I have to first read the page (in which the east is towards the right) and then mentally transpose that to a left turn in order to go east.

[I have the same difficulty when watching a Magic DVD showing a front view of the Magician; I have to transpose right and left in order to correctly duplicate the moves. Vids shot over the shoulder are much easier to watch and better learning tools for me.]

The MIO GPS (and probably other units) transposes automatically, constantly adjusting itself to align with my POV. Mirable dictu! Technology made simple!

Leland
Message: Posted by: impossible man (Jun 12, 2008 09:56AM)
I bought one last year because even when I did follow directions I get into construction. Very helpful until this year when I have been booked at Parks that have no address. So you map things out, get close and the park shows up on the screen to help you around the, yes, construction.

But I always check things out on a map for those situations.

Incidentally, took my wife's parents to Cape Cod on vacation last year. My father-in-law, who is hard of hearing, kept asking me questions while the GPS was directing me, make sure you keep it on high volume.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 12, 2008 12:31PM)
I am also a deaf magician and so my Garmin model I have the volume up high and selected a voice that works fine for the frequencies I can hear. It works amazingly well for me and I love it. It has been the single best investment for my show in a very long time.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Jun 12, 2008 01:16PM)
Garmin 200W cost $200 and I see it on sale much cheaper now. Oh Well!

I alway get direction form the customer and I also check MapQuest.

I cover all my bases.

After all, driving 2 and from the show and setting up is the biggest pain.

Doing the show is no problem.

GPS reduces the stress.

I'm a poet and don't know it!

Nez
Message: Posted by: MikeRaffone (Jun 14, 2008 01:17PM)
Technology is great. Did I read correctly that someone here was still using a mapbook to get to their shows? Mapquest is free!

I'm about ready for a GPS soon, but it is hard to decide, there are so many kinds with different features. I looked at some of the cheapo ones and they are just not worth it. Someone I know bought a cheap one (under $200) and then found out they have to pay $80 every time they want to update their maps.

Some of the features I would want:
-built-in bluetooth handsfree wireless calling
-"where am I" feature to , find the closest car rental place in case my car broke down on the way to a show
-anti-theft lock feature
-7" display (I want to see the thing!)
-updates maps (without extra cost)


Mike
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Jun 14, 2008 02:52PM)
I've got GPS on my cell phone - and even when I have no signal, I can still get the map & directions. Have no idea how that happens - wish the calling worked that way as well.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Jun 28, 2008 01:21AM)
Hey peeps,

I'm in the market to buy a GPS but know nothing about "how to buy". I don't need all the bells and whistles but here is what I need.

Must have:

1. Decent size screen.
2. Verbal instructions telling me where to go.
3. My voice commands can be an option.
4. Real time traffic conditions for where I am going.
5. Be able to re route me in case of a jam or road closure.
6. Be able to update maps on a regular basis.
7. Must be mobile with a rechargeable battery. (I think they all come this way).
8. Show restaurants and gas stations in the area.

Can anyone tell me where to go to compare or give me some suggestions or recommendations on units?

I just spent some time on Tom Tom but didn't have too much luck.

It would be really cool if I could get this for under $200 if possible.

Thanks in advance.
Message: Posted by: Doc Dixon (Jun 28, 2008 08:24AM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-28 02:21, SoCalPro wrote:
Hey peeps,

I'm in the market to buy a GPS but know nothing about "how to buy". I don't need all the bells and whistles but here is what I need.

Must have:

1. Decent size screen.
2. Verbal instructions telling me where to go.
3. My voice commands can be an option.
4. Real time traffic conditions for where I am going.
5. Be able to re route me in case of a jam or road closure.
6. Be able to update maps on a regular basis.
7. Must be mobile with a rechargeable battery. (I think they all come this way).
8. Show restaurants and gas stations in the area.

Can anyone tell me where to go to compare or give me some suggestions or recommendations on units?

I just spent some time on Tom Tom but didn't have too much luck.

It would be really cool if I could get this for under $200 if possible.

Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

I'm far from an expert, and I could be wrong on this (insert other qualifiers at will) but I don't think you'll have too much trouble with any of your requirements EXCEPT #3 and #4, assuming you're still looking for something under $200. Mine, a Garmin, does all of those, except 3 and 4.

And I think the toughest will be finding #4.

Hope this helps.

DD
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 28, 2008 09:02AM)
Most Garmin models will be able to do traffic and construction and reroute you. However, this is an add on that has to be purchased separately for the garmin GPS. Just something to think about.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Jun 28, 2008 12:39PM)
Kyle,

Got your PM...thanks. :)

Any idea what the cost to add the traffic to Garmin? I heard some units only being like $40.00 a year.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 28, 2008 03:40PM)
Most welcome my friend. my pleasure. I am not sure on how much additional the traffic feature is for my model Garmin but it should be easy enough to look up on their website.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Aaron Little (Jul 10, 2008 09:14AM)
I spend quite a bit of time on the road. A Garmin 350 makes things run much smoother. If something were to happen to it I would go out and buy another one.