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Is There A GPS Unit That Does THIS?

I am a mobile service technician and make up to 15 stops in a day, usually around 5 or 6. I used to use MS Streets & Trips to plan my route for a day, and also for planning my week (ie, will I go to Orange County and LA on Tuesday and San Diego on Wednesday, or LA on Tuesday and Orange County and San Diego on Wednesday). Since S&T is no more, I'm looking for an alternate device/program/app/service.

The features I require are...
1.I need to be able to enter a start time for a route (this isn't important when I'm actually driving but it's crucial for maximizing efficiency when PLANNING my route)
2.I need to be able to assign a duration to each stop.
3.I need to be able to enter multiple stops before I begin driving.
4.Being able to save routes for reference later would be wonderful.
5.Live traffic information would be a dramatic plus, but means nothing without items 1-3.
6.Good POI's would be nice too, but same thing - they mean nothing without 1-3.

Price is no object.

One more thing. At this point, I've considered "Onterra Systems Route Savvy" (MS's recommendation for S&T users) and would be fine spending the money they want, but using a program that requires being online the whole time is a major problem as I travel to some areas where cell service is not an option regardless of carrier, and I just don't see myself getting a data plan from a satellite phone carrier.

Lastly, my business depends on me figuring this out, so any suggestions would be VERY MUCH appreciated.

Comments

  • t923347 432 Points
    edited August 2015
    Well S&T will continue to work for you, at least until the maps get so out of date that it becomes a problem.

    I assume you use S&T with an attached GPS puck unit on your computer/laptop and if that's the case there is a program from Delorme called Street Atlas which can be purchased with a GPS unit (the one you have for S&T may work fine with SA also). See:

    http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?section=10122&item=35188

    If you were to purchase any of the newer Garmin Nuvi GPS units and use an on line facility that would create routes and transfer them to your Garmin GPS, you would have pretty much everything on your list. For example you could go to Furkot.com where you could create routes, assign start times, assign durations , and save the route. You can then send the route to your computer as a gpx file and then transfer it to your Garmin GPS where it will become a "trip".

    Another advantage of using the Garmin Nuvi GPS is that you would get traffic data on the fly with all Nuvi models with LT (Lifetime Traffic) in the model name, as well as reportedly millions of POIs in all models.. In addition, any model that has LM (Lifetime Maps) in the model name will provide you with lifetime map updates as well. Also any of these units that have Trip Planner will allow you to create routes/trips right on the device, thereby bypassing the need to create them on the computer, although in your case it sounds like doing it on the computer would be easier.

    So basically, if I understand your needs correctly, you can do 100% of what your looking to a accomplish by using a Nuvi GPS with Lifetime Traffic and a website like Furkot.com. This solution does not require any type of cell phone connection or data plan.

    Finally you could also use a free software program from Garmin called Basecamp to create your routes/trips and transfer them to your Nuvi. This has the advantage of being able to set up the software with the same maps, avoidances, etc. that you use on the GPS so when the trip is transferred to the GPS no alterations from what you created will happen. I find the learning curve for Basecamp to be a bit of an issue but if your willing to spend the time to learn the software it will certainly give you all of what your looking for.
  • etylerb 0 Points
    Thank You t923347

    I only even knew that S&T wasn't supported because I recently had a problem with it - a licensing initialization error. So far, maps being outdated aren't a problem, but the program not starting up is and I'm so desperate for a solution that I bought a windows tablet to run it on (works fine on new installs, just not on my main work laptop). I've seen this software error before, but so far MS is unable/unwilling to help me correct it. Short of restoring my system and all the hassle that entails, or buying a new computer (which I sort of did), I wasn't sure what to do. That program is so efficient at what it does, well, it's no wonder it was so highly rated.

    For anyone else reading this and since you mentioned it, I wanted to cover DeLorme Street Atlas. I had used SA a long time ago when S&T was very new on the market and while I could see advantages of SA for certain people or applications, as far as using it as a driving GPS or routing tool, it's worthless. It's the most inefficient, hard to use, bulky software I've ever seen. When I compare the 2 and 3 step processs in S&T to the 7 & 8 step processes for the same exact functions in SA I'm amazed that DeLorme doesn't just scrap the program. I love my InReach but my normal loyalty to a company just cannot transcend such a pile.

    Thank you for the recommendations though. Your thoroughness is so helpful and very much appreciated. I will definitely check into the Nuvi solution. And thank you very much for your furkot.com recommendation. I'd never heard of that site before, and while the idea of building a map and then having to transfer it into the gps entails an extra step, it's workable, and so far the best solution I've seen. And that site seems pretty good at what it does. Address recognition is great, features are good, and overall it seems to be pretty easy to learn.

    Excellent information - Thanks Again!
    :-*
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    You might also want to visit laptopgpsworld.com. There are some people on that site who are very familiar with S&T and other PC based navigation software.

    @t923347 has done a great job of describing the nuvi approach. However, bear in mind this is a consumer product and I don't know if I would want to depend on it for a business-critical purpose (although I don't have any better ideas myself ;) ). At least they are pretty inexpensive, and there are places you can purchase that have pretty liberal return/exchange policies.

    Regarding the Nuvi traffic receivers, if you are in areas without cell service it is not likely that will work. Traffic coverage is very spotty - the data piggybacks on broadcast FM radio stations (the new digital receivers use broadcast HD radio stations instead). I live in a rural area and used to commute over 50 miles each way to Philadelphia. The traffic feature was basically useless on the way to work, I had to get at least halfway to Philadelphia before getting a signal and by that time there were not a lot of options for avoiding traffic jams. :)
  • t923347 432 Points
    @etylerb

    I agree about having a look at laptopgpsworld.com and in particular the tread titled "Streets and Trips licensing initialization error 0xc004D301" as this is a 9 page discussion that may well hold some assistance to you concerning your current S&T problem (don't know for sure as I've never had this issue and therefore have had no need to read through this thread). See

    http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/938-streets-trips-licensing-initialization-error-0xc004d301

    Glad your seeing that Furkot.com maybe of assistance to you. I've just started using it since the loss of another web based service that was on Mapquest.com. The Mapquest facility allowed for the direct transfer of a route to the Nuvi which eliminated the "extra step" involved with Furkot but required the use of ties between the Garmin device and the Mapquest facility which are no longer supported. Furkot is still being actively developed so you will see new features being installed as time goes by. If you have any need for features that you would like to see in the Furkot facility, you can use the Feedback tab to request them and get feedback from the developers.
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