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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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iphone & google earth

hi,
has anyone used google earth on there iphone while out riding ?

i tried a GPS, but doesn't really do what i want.

i've been using google earth on my lap top and just love what i can do with it, and thought it would be perfect tool for riding for me.

i don't know anything about iphones, and was wondering if it would work out on the road.

appreciate any input, thx,

dave
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:49 PM
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I have an iPhone and there are some excellent Nav programs out there, do a search in App store.

All of the good ones you'll have to pay for, don't know of a good free one. Biggest issue would be mounting it so you could read it (top of tank bag would work, but not great viewing angle).

Other issue would be battery life, running a big App like Google Earth or any of the Nav programs uses up battery quickly.

My vote go for a dedicated GPS, there are a lot around for under $100.00, hardwire it to 12volts and stick it some type of waterproof case.

Machog


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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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hi,
thx for the great info.
it really doesn't seem to practical then.

maybe the GPS i borrowed, i just didn't know how to use the functions.

when i ride, i don't want a pre planned route laid out for me.

when i'm riding i would like to be able to see all the roads in like a 5 mile radius of me. then i can decide which way i want to go, at that moment.

the GPS i used, if i backed out to say just a couple of miles, i started loosing roads.

will a GPS scan (all) roads out to say a 5 mile radius, or even father ?

thx,
dave
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machog View Post
I have an iPhone and there are some excellent Nav programs out there, do a search in App store.

All of the good ones you'll have to pay for, don't know of a good free one. Biggest issue would be mounting it so you could read it (top of tank bag would work, but not great viewing angle).

Other issue would be battery life, running a big App like Google Earth or any of the Nav programs uses up battery quickly.

My vote go for a dedicated GPS, there are a lot around for under $100.00, hardwire it to 12volts and stick it some type of waterproof case.

Machog

TBH biggest issue I suspect would be downloading the google earth data. even if you had a 4g connection it will still choke trying to download that amount of data in a reasonable time. I think a mobile map application may work as a hybrid... ie the nmap data is on the phone already and the mobile
data is more of an overlay.. eg wheres the nearest whatever?

battery life on the bike should not be a problem, should be easy enough to get a 12v cable.

the problem you report is common to all small screen devices, and tbh all electronic charting. as you increase the scale you reduce the amount of information available. Im pretty certain you will find the same with Google Earth, just that because you use it on a high resolution screen you don't appreciate what is going on. its certainly true of marine chartplotters, although bigger screens are better to look at but drain power

bear in mind that most mobile phones are VGA resolution at best and modern computer displays are going to be any where upto 3 to 5 times the resolution.. bear in mind its not just the resolutiuon its also the physical size that matters here

Right now I'd agree theres some pretty god mapping GPS's out there. nones perfect, but they are a heck of a lot better than they were 4 or 5 years ago
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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thank you so much guys, you really educated me fast.

i got spoiled with all the details of Gazetteer's.
http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELi...&section=10096

right now, i take what pages i need for the day, slide that page into a plastic sleeve, and use a few magnets to attach it to my gas tank.

i love the details of these maps, but i have to stop and put on my reading glasses to see it well.

now if i just had a big screen view with the Gazetteer details, that would be perfect.

dave
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 11:21 AM
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I've been using a Garmin Nuvi 260w for a year now. It works ok in what I call the "exploring mode", which is just riding the back roads looking for scenic or twisty roads.

I am looking to upgrade to a GPS that will
1) Allow trip planning with way-points, on minor roads (like Google maps).
2) Allow easier and safer operation while riding.
3) Earphone capable, so it can tell me when to turn.
4) Water proof not necessary
5) Maybe the capability to download to my computer where I've been.

Any suggestions as to where to start looking for one of these?
Thanks.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 11:59 AM
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FYI, TomTom has priced its iPhone App at $49.95 no shipping (its a download!) or tax. It was $100.00. If you go the iPhone route this would be your best bet. I may get one even though I have a TomTom rider on my bike.

Machog


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 02:12 PM
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I'd rule out the Iphone as a motorcycle GPS for many reasons...

1) Limited battery life (or connect a non-waterproof USB power supply???)
2) No waterproofing (you gonna guarantee it will never rain on your adventure ride???)
3) Last, but CERTAINLY not least, there's NO WAY you're going to operate the touch screen on the Iphone with gloves on.

You're not going to find any GPS that allows you to display ALL the roads in it's maps regardless of zoom scale. You'd need too much processing power to render/display all those roads in reatime (motion). Even if you had the processor for it, the screens are too tiny and you wouldn't be able to make out what they are anyway...much less select a road. If you want the crazy detail of the Gazetteer and plan on using it in NA, then get a regular GPS unit and load on topo maps.

Although not really usable while moving, you can get ALL the USGS topo maps downloaded (not streaming) on the Iphone with digital shading in an app called "Topo Maps". It's is a few bucks but well worth it.

Just like any motorcycle, you're not going to find a perfect GPS. If there was such a thing, we wouldn't have the literally hundreds of different units out there on the market. Make your best guess, buy within your budget and learn to live within the limitations. C'est la vie.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 06:33 PM
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Been using a phone for ages now as a gps...
nokia 6110 Nav and now nokia 5800 with Garmin XT, for me its just grans.
Bluetooth earphones, listen to music and nav voice cuts in @ the turns..
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 12:22 PM
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Another problem with the iPhone as a bike-mounted GPS is you have to be able to get a signal. As an iPhone user, I can assure you that is often easier said than done, especially in the out-of-the-way places I prefer to ride. You'll rarely (if ever) have trouble finding a satellite link for your GPS.

Smart phones can do lots of things, but they aren't perfect (or even very good) and lots of other things, GPS for a motorcycle among them. IMO


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhauch View Post
i got spoiled with all the details of Gazetteer's.

right now, i take what pages i need for the day, slide that page into a plastic sleeve, and use a few magnets to attach it to my gas tank.

i love the details of these maps, but i have to stop and put on my reading glasses to see it well.

dave
I, too, much prefer the paper maps (so call me old fashioned). They provide much more detail than you'll get out of any electronic screen. As far as seeing them goes - I ride with bi-focals. I know some people who wear "cheaters" - glasses with the top half clear and the bottom half magnified. They come in different strengths so you can get ones that work for you. They also come in sunglasses.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhauch View Post
hi,
thx for the great info.

when i'm riding i would like to be able to see all the roads in like a 5 mile radius of me. then i can decide which way i want to go, at that moment.

the GPS i used, if i backed out to say just a couple of miles, i started loosing roads.

will a GPS scan (all) roads out to say a 5 mile radius, or even father ?

thx,
dave
Yes, at least on my old Garmin StreetPilot 2610 you can.

Ed
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 08:41 AM
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Yes, at least on my old Garmin StreetPilot 2610 you can.
On my Garmin 260w, I touch the screen, then zoom to the level that brings up all the roads, then "scroll" the "view" by dragging my finger across the screen. That way I can see all the detail, for all the roads throughout the area. And yes, this is tough to do while riding, so I sometimes pull over to do this, depending on my speed, traffic, curves, etc.

By the way, I'm planning on upgrading to the Zumo 550 in a couple of months. I am looking for a good discount on one.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 10:06 AM
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Most GPS units are to hard to read in the sunlight for my old eyes; I just keep it in my pocket and turn it on when I need to see a "map". Battery lasts for several days and it is smaller than a big map, but carry one of those also for studying routes for the next day!!
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