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#4671479 - 02/19/18 11:57 PM Tablet w/ 4G and GPS + Google Maps for Driving?
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2973
Loc: USA
I literally don't know what this would be called, so I'm wondering if anyone here has done this.

My goal is to have a tablet computer rigged up in the vehicle that has cellular data and GPS, and have it running Google Earth or Google Maps in satellite view, and tracking my position as I drive around.

This way, when I am in an area I'm not familiar with, I can literally see a satellite top-down view of the area around me.

To me, this would be infinitely more useful than a standard GPS, because if you used a large enough tablet, you could see if you REALLY needed to take that left turn you just missed. Or another use is if you're stuck in traffic, you can easily know if you can cut through a neighborhood or behind a commercial area to get to your destination.


I believe that both Earth and Maps are already capable of following along with your coordinates (ex: https://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2007/01/using_gps_with_googl.html) so the next step would be to find a tablet computer with cellular data and a way to accept GPS inputs.

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#4671492 - 02/20/18 12:14 AM Re: Tablet w/ 4G and GPS + Google Maps for Driving? [Re: Reddy45]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4766
Loc: MA
Pretty much any tablet has gps. It will be slightly cheaper to get a tablet without cellular and just use Wi-Fi and a cellular hotspot on your phone. The only problem with your plan is that the tablet tends to be kind of big and will block your view of the road if you have it sitting on your dash. Even a phone tends to block the view a little bit.

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#4671515 - 02/20/18 02:30 AM Re: Tablet w/ 4G and GPS + Google Maps for Driving? [Re: Reddy45]
Superflan Offline


Registered: 04/28/15
Posts: 357
Loc: Reunion Island
I did this with an old iPad 2 on a car that I don't own anymore. It was really cool to have it in portrait mode in place of the 2-DIN head unit. I stuffed a bunch of D-class audio amps to power the whole speakers.
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#4671543 - 02/20/18 04:40 AM Re: Tablet w/ 4G and GPS + Google Maps for Driving? [Re: Reddy45]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3866
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
The Mighty Car Mods guys did this a few years ago(2012!) with a secondhand Ipad, but...



what's your budget? might just be easier to get a new head unit that supports Android Auto/Apple car play (depending on your phone) that way it's as simple as connecting your phone, and you should be able to use google maps like you are talking about.


Edited by earlyre (02/20/18 04:43 AM)
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#4671915 - 02/20/18 12:57 PM Re: Tablet w/ 4G and GPS + Google Maps for Driving? [Re: Reddy45]
tmorris1 Offline


Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 2364
Loc: MN
Isn't that called a smartphone????

Get an iPad if you want something bigger, but otherwise any smartphone or iPad with LTE will do this.

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#4674898 - 02/22/18 09:59 PM Re: Tablet w/ 4G and GPS + Google Maps for Driving? [Re: Reddy45]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 1716
Loc: CA
What I found is iPads that don't have the ability to use cellular also leave out the GPS chip.
So, if you use an iPad, pay the extra money for the one that can do cellular so you'll get GPS.

But, about your idea, Waze does a decent job of backroad navigation for you, along with crowd-based congestion reporting. The "craziest" route I've ever had it do was putting me down a one-way alley, through the driveway of a small business, and out onto a street to beat traffic. I think they've backed off their algorithms a little since that time.

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