Dear Garmin…


Dear Garmin,

First off, I’d like to say that in the past I have repeatedly vocalized my approval for the Garmin brand, and GPS units in general.  We have a StreetPilot® c340 and a nüvi® 2555LMT.  I have told people for years to just get a Garmin.  Trust the Garmin.  It won’t get you lost.  It’ll get you where you’re going.  Don’t give me directions like “go down whatever street and make a left at the weird looking tree,” just give me an address.  Don’t fight it.  Turn where it wants you to.  I’ve expressed to my Mom & my in-laws to not fight the Garmin.  Let it take you the way it wants.  Even if it’s different from how you would go.

I even bought the nüvi after I was royally screwed by the “lifetime updates” to my StreetPilot.  (Sure, lifetime updates… with new maps that don’t fit on your StreetPilot.  No, Garmin, I’m not settling for regional maps when I bought updates for the entire continent of North America.)

I’m wondering now how the Garmin calculates routes.  The other day, I was driving on a major expressway, and my nüvi wanted me to exit & take a smaller highway riddled with red lights for most of my journey home.  I knew that staying on the interstate meant less stops.  I didn’t turn off.  It recalculated (thankfully this model does it without telling you), and the route I had chosen was actually 3 minutes shorter than the other route.  I had asked the Garmin to calculate the fastest route.  Obviously, it didn’t.  So, what gives?  It wasn’t the shortest mileage route either (according to Google Maps).  What did the Garmin calculate?

Also finding things “along my current route”… is there any way to give an acceptable deviation?  I know that going through Pittsburgh from anywhere north of the city to our place in the south, I can take two routes.  There’s a BBQ joint along one route, and a Wendy’s along the other.  If I let the Garmin pick a route, and I ask for BBQ joints along the route… it won’t find it because it takes the Wendy’s route.  But the BBQ place is still in between where I am & where I’m going.  This is fine in town… but if I’m out of town, I’d like the Garmin to be able to learn acceptable derivations from my route.  I’d go a different way if it meant finding something I’m looking for.

So, I’ve backed Garmin up.  How are you going to back me up?

Recalculating,
-Eric

Skunk Foot Road

Skunk Foot Road? Really?

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