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Find Your Way- GPS Sytems

August 20th, 2005


Sometimes I still laugh when I think back to an old high school pal of mine who had moved overseas. About nine years ago he got this job where he actually had to return to the good old USA as a sales representative. I spoke to him before he left and boy was he excited for his reunion with America.

What he soon found out swiftly after landing was that he wasn�t the sales rep at all�he had been hired as the logistics guy(navigator) and driver (pilot) without the luxery of having a TomTom Go 700 GPS navigational unit nor a Lowrance iWAY 500C by his side to guide him on his journey! He called me his first night on duty, exhasted, in tears,terribly lost in—— (well, I’ll leave out the name of that city).

There he was lost in the big apple in a rent-a-car. He had been up the entire night before plastering his way through AAA maps and out the door on the freeway at the break of dawn zipping out the door down the NJ turnpike and then returning through Staten Island and somehow finding his way until he got lost.

NJTP

Next morning after our brief chat, he heeded my good advice, contacted the rent-a-car company and exchanged his car for another with GPS. Enough maps for crying out loud!

Next day he calls from his car phone (cell phones were still connected to cords) and tells me about this ‘mini-computer’ (GPS system) he�s got in the car that�s mapping out his journey for him. That was cool, the start of many great trips to come with GPS! A life-saver.

Only problem was sometimes, the GPS unit would display a route that turned out to be a dead end, a baseball diamond or an exit ramp that didn�t exist. Today though that�s rarer, GPs units have evolved incredibly.

GPS will soon not be an option when you buy a car but a standard item. GPS navigational systems are quickly becoming the norm; something we expect in our vehicles along with an MP3 player,surround sound stereo systems and plasma TVs. Have we become more spoiled? Not sure, I like being able to know my way around and get updates on changing weather conditions.

Most of us don’t like unexpected surprises when we’re out on the road. Why bother getting lost, if we don�t have to? It�s not being smart. Time is precious. If we can input our local position and have the easiest and fastest route mapped out before we begin our trip, why not?

And, even though a lot of us are procrastinators and not the planning types it doesn’t matter cause a GPS receiver will produce your route for you in a few seconds.

Being a good navigator and knowing your way about is a godsend particularly when you can avoid major traffic jams along with certain neighborhoods and map out alternative routes just by clicking a button on your Megellan RoadMate 300 . Megellan and Garmin GPS interfaces are becoming increasingly super user friendly.

Bottom line —-GPS units beats pulling off on the side of the road at 2:00AM in an unfamiliar city, fishing through your glove compartment for a flashlight then doing battle with a map that�s been re-folded a million times.
Yeah, what the heck, I�ll �settle� for a GPS receiver anytime.
!!
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