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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Do you use a GPS to get to your shows? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Christopher Starr
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Heart of America
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Do you use a GPS to assist you in getting to your shows?

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
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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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
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Skip Way
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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!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

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I know how to read a map and have a sense of direction so....no.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Hi Chris -

You might enjoy reading this thread:

Cafe thread titled... GPS - who uses one

- Donald

P.S. I don't use a GPS. Map books and Mapquest.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20521 Posts

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Some weeks I drive 1700 miles. You bet I use an Alpine Blackbird. It plays my MP3s too.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
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bhappie
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B. Happie Entertainment, LLC
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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.
MagicalArtist
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Hobart, Indiana
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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.
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Am I the only one who also uses his GPS to play MP3s?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
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Craig Kyle
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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.
Kevin Viner
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San Diego, CA
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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).
Brian Lehr
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Edmonton, Canada
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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". Smile

Brian
magico563
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UK, sheffield.
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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:-)
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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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".
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

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mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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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. Smile
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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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
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Chrystal
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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
SoCalPro
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Southern California
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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.
Buster Balloon
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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.
Buster Balloon
Creative Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, & Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
http://BusterBalloon.com
KidMagic
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Bradford
183 Posts

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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 Smile! It even has a nearest resturant and gas station button!

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

Zach
Magically yours,
KidMagic/Zachary Gauthier
www.kidmagic.ca
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