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#3338113 - 04/09/14 07:57 PM Considering getting GPS
expat Online   content


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Canada
I will be renting a car in France this summer, and I can see having a GPS could be very handy.

My car rental broker (Auto Europe) has a deal where I can get a "Free" Garmin Nuvi 270 for the duration of my rental (but I have to pay $40 shipping)

Is the Garmin any good?
I would want to program it by an address and also find 'Home'

I have used GPS before (in rentals) but don't know what brand.

I'm also considering just buying one, but I really have no need here, where I live.
Any advice?

Thanks!

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#3338115 - 04/09/14 08:01 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 7628
Loc: Illinois
Buy one and you can use Open Map Project maps.

That's what we did with a Garmin two years ago when we spent 3 weeks in Italy.
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#3338117 - 04/09/14 08:03 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 7628
Loc: Illinois
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#3338120 - 04/09/14 08:04 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24167
Loc: ME
^ Yup, I used a precompiled open map of canada on my WM special cheapie Garmin.

The cheap ones (used to) tell you to "turn right here" instead of "Turn right here for Main St". You can get by, of course, but it's weird a programming roadblock to encourage upgrades.

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#3338127 - 04/09/14 08:13 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33786
Loc: New Jersey
I own a Garmin nüvi 205W. In fact I'm selling one right now over on the for-sale part of this site. A few years ago when we went to Europe last, I just went onto Amazon and bought the memory card with all the European maps. Just stuck in the slot and it worked perfectly all around Europe.

I don't remember how much the map card cost, but I'll bet that it was more than $40. Seems like a good deal although that you'll have a gps that only has maps of Europe on it correct? Not sure if this matters much to you.

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#3338134 - 04/09/14 08:19 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
kb27 Offline


Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 49
Loc: Singapore
Garmin is probably the best supported brand out there.

We have a community here for making maps for Malaysia, Singapore and even Thailand and above
http://www.malfreemaps.com/index.php

If you'll ever visit our region, the above maps are free.
Even local Garmin here is impressed enough to work with the community.
They understand the power of constant updating of maps that the community provides.

I wouldn't hesitate to get a Garmin.

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#3338138 - 04/09/14 08:20 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8514
Loc: Upstate NY
I like my Garmin Nuvi 255. If the 270 is similar, it should be a decent unit.
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#3338169 - 04/09/14 08:37 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: JHZR2]
expat Online   content


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I own a Garmin nüvi 205W. In fact I'm selling one right now over on the for-sale part of this site. A few years ago when we went to Europe last, I just went onto Amazon and bought the memory card with all the European maps. Just stuck in the slot and it worked perfectly all around Europe.

I don't remember how much the map card cost, but I'll bet that it was more than $40. Seems like a good deal although that you'll have a gps that only has maps of Europe on it correct? Not sure if this matters much to you.


Excuse me, I know very little of these things.

You buy a GPS then you buy map cards for any areas that the unit does not already cover?
Are the Map cards updateable? if so, What would it cost?

You talk of batteries, Do they not just plug in to the Cigarette lighter? (Am I showing my age?)

I'm thinking if the Cards are over $40 I might just as well rent the free one.

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#3338173 - 04/09/14 08:40 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 25921
Loc: Michigan
If you only need it for that one single trip, I think $40 is not a bad deal.

Alternatively, if you have a smartphone, you can purchase the Osmand app for about $8 and then you can download any map you want to your phone's memory (so that you don't need an international data plan). But I think having a dedicated navigation device is more practical.
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#3338205 - 04/09/14 09:17 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 6059
Loc: Northern Kentucky
I think most of them are rechargeable and plug into the accessory port to charge. You don't have to keep it plugged in unless it's dead. I think some people choose to keep then plugged in at all times though.
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#3338219 - 04/09/14 09:32 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13535
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: expat
I will be renting a car in France this summer, and I can see having a GPS could be very handy.

My car rental broker (Auto Europe) has a deal where I can get a "Free" Garmin Nuvi 270 for the duration of my rental (but I have to pay $40 shipping)

Is the Garmin any good?
I would want to program it by an address and also find 'Home'

I have used GPS before (in rentals) but don't know what brand.

I'm also considering just buying one, but I really have no need here, where I live.
Any advice?

Thanks!



Garmin is a great GPS, around $100 for a decent one at Sams. Many people are just using a smart phone.
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#3338229 - 04/09/14 09:55 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
expat Online   content


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Canada
We don't have a smart phone.

Last year when visiting Denmark, we bought a Map App for the Ipad.
But as it happened, our rental car was equipped with GPS which was a lot easier :-)

Just looking around, there seem to be some real bargains out there (including JHZR2's) I'm just trying to figure out what else (and how much) I need to get, to get a functional GPS working in Europe.

My fall-back would be to get the Free rental (But I pay $40 for shipping) unit.

But it might be nice if I only need pay a little more, and get one I can keep. grin

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#3338302 - 04/09/14 11:39 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 7628
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: expat
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I own a Garmin nüvi 205W. In fact I'm selling one right now over on the for-sale part of this site. A few years ago when we went to Europe last, I just went onto Amazon and bought the memory card with all the European maps. Just stuck in the slot and it worked perfectly all around Europe.

I don't remember how much the map card cost, but I'll bet that it was more than $40. Seems like a good deal although that you'll have a gps that only has maps of Europe on it correct? Not sure if this matters much to you.


Excuse me, I know very little of these things.

You buy a GPS then you buy map cards for any areas that the unit does not already cover?
Are the Map cards updateable? if so, What would it cost?

You talk of batteries, Do they not just plug in to the Cigarette lighter? (Am I showing my age?)

I'm thinking if the Cards are over $40 I might just as well rent the free one.


You can get the maps free from the link I posted. Just make sure the unit you buy takes SD cards. So the only cost is the cost for a 4 or 8 gb SD card you put in the unit.

Most GPS units will plug into the cigarette lighter.
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#3338723 - 04/10/14 12:07 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
expat Online   content


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3836
Loc: Canada
What GPS's typically use SD cards?
Looking at JHZR2's I see no reference of it taking a card.

If I download a Free map to the card, will the GPS function in the same way as with the manufacturers map?

What kind of area will the downloaded map cover? (I would want the whole of France with details of most cities)

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#3338727 - 04/10/14 12:11 PM Re: Considering getting GPS [Re: expat]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 7628
Loc: Illinois
This is what I have.

Yes, it will use both the maps loaded into the unit from the factory and any maps on the microSD card.

Yes, it functions in the same fashion.

I'm sure there are units with more bells and whistles. But I can update the US maps at Garmin as well as load any OSM maps easily downloaded from the web.

There must be dozens of websites that discuss the OSM Open Mapping project and using those maps with a Garmin.
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