GPS causes trouble for trucks
GPS problems have caused some issues with trucks attempting to reach the new Starbucks facility just off State Route 840 on Commerce Way in Lebanon.
I was really pleased to see this story because many people don’t seem to realize that it s all about data quality, currency and the frequency of updates.
As I outlined in a series of blogs, it takes a lot of work to create a good map data-set. You will find more information here http://luigicappel.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/what-is-the-best-gps-to-buy-for-new-zealand-in-2013/
You can have the coolest nav, with the biggest screen and the most features, but if the map is not as current as it can be, then all you have is a cool piece of technology.
One of the reasons we see cheap navigation products is because they skimp on relatively expensive components such as good current map data. People doing comparisons, including customer advocates tend to test in urban areas where there may not be many differences because cities often don’t change so much.
Often nav owners go by brand name and because they don’t know the difference between good nav and bad nav, or assume that all nav units are the same, especially when they are credible and respected brands.
What makes it worse is that when people make a purchase they often tend to defend their purchase because it was their decision they showed off the cool bells an whistles to their mates and don’t want to appear like an idiot. Some like TomTom feature the ability to feedback through the nav unit to the supplier, which is a great feature.
The reality is that it is very expensive to create and maintain a good navigation data-set.
When you buy a nav unit, go visit chat rooms like www.geekzone.co.nz and ask people what they like and why. Ask users that are like you. If you are a trucker, ask people at the next truck stop or where you have group meetings. Ask lots of people and tell them what you don’t want to experience and you’ll soon find out which brand and model will work best for your AREA. That’s the last thing, just because a brand has great maps in the USA, doesn’t mean it is great in Australia or New Zealand for example. Different countries have different map suppliers, some that are really good, some that cut major corners in order to meet the downward price pressure of the hardware manufacturers.
As you know, sometimes when you buy cheap, that’s what you get. If you’re relying on that technology to get you to the right place, on the right roads, at the right time, did saving $20 really matter?
As to the headline, its not the GPS, all that does is sit in the sky and provide a set of coordinates that get overlayed on the map. If the map is accurate, you’re in business. If it’s not, it might tell you to go to the nearest road and you’re thinking, I am on the damn road, you may well have bought the wrong device for your needs.
Final thought, don’t ask the salesman, ask your buddies. Ask the people who use the GPS in the same way as you want to.
See on www.lebanondemocrat.com