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location alerts

I want to start by apologizing if this has been talked about before, but i searched for this and couldn't find anything in the forums.

I was wondering if there are any gps units that offer the ability to add a route in and at certain points on that route alert you when you are so far away. I am a train conductor and would love to make alerts when we are 3-4 miles away from speed restriction zones. Does anyone know how to do that with any of the handheld gps devices? Maybe they all do it, i just don't have any experience with these type devices.

Thanks so much for the help.


  • Boyd 1980 Points
    edited January 2015
    Certainly no need to apologize! Garmin devices have a feature called proximity alerts that can be assigned to custom POI (Points of Interest) that may do what you want:{e4de67e0-ebe2-11dd-5c1e-000000000000}

    What types of alerts are supported in POI Loader?

    The POI Loader will allow you to set proximity or speed alerts. When you select the Manual option in POI Loader for loading your custom POIs you will have the option to either assign a speed such as 35 MPH (or KPH depending on your preference) or a distance value such as 500ft (or meters). When you approach the point going 5 MPH less than the assigned value you will get one alert tone but if you are going that speed or greater you will get continuous alert tones. With the distance proximity it will only alert when you have reached that distance as you approach the POI.

    More information about Garmin POI Loader:

  • alanb 539 Points
    edited January 2015
    Yes, you can use proximity or speed alerts as Boyd advised, but my question would be about finding Garmin compatible routable maps for rail lines. For rail travel, you would probably need to operate the GPS in "off road" mode, and I am not sure how effective these kind of alerts would be when they are not on a routable road.

    There is another type of alert called Tour Guide alerts that work on a radius distance from the point. So you get the alert any time you enter the circle defined by the alert point and radius. I am pretty sure this type of alert would work in off-road mode.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Proximity alerts can also be set for way points and certainly do work in off road mode. I use them regularly when out with my SAR team.
  • well, I wouldn't really need to get routable maps for rail lines. I could take it with me and map the route myself. Are any of these features on the handheld portable gps devise not made for cars? I am looking at rei, and in their info none of the gps devices show any capability that i want/need.
  • alanb 539 Points
    edited January 2015
    Thanks for confirming that sussamb, I wasn't sure it would work. I guess the thing that made me wonder was how it could know the distance along the rail line, if the "road" isn't defined on the map. Think of a rail heading strait north then curving 90 degrees to head strait east. If you set the waypoint 2 miles east of the turn and have the proximity distance at 4 miles, when heading north on the rail in off road mode, how would it know to alert at 2 miles before the turn? Hope my explanation makes sense.

    My guess is that in the above scenario, you would get the alert at approximately 3.5 miles south of the turn, when the strait line distance along the diagonal to the waypoint would be 4 miles.
  • Do y'all recommend any certain gps unit?
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