General BEWARE: Google Maps Are Terrible!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Yosef, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Yosef

    Yosef Well-Known Member
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    Jan 18, 2010
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    Engineer and Messianic Rabbi
    Anyone using Google Maps for directions should beware. Google does not use either Navteq or Tele Atlas for Mapping Data. Google uses it's own Map Data that's outdated and incorrect. Following Google Maps will mislead you and almost always send you the long way around to your location.

    Don't believe me, then compare the results from Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, or your Car GPS and you will see some amazingly terrible results from Google Maps. Also, check out the internet for various reviews of Google Maps. Hopefully, Google will partner with either Navteq or Tele Atlas in the future in order to be a viable market alternative.

    Those excited and waiting for Android 2.1 and spoken directions, will only be greatly disappointed with Google Maps.
     

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  2. willdogs

    willdogs Well-Known Member
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    I've been using google maps to print out my directions for years before I got my Eris. Now I use my eris on the road when I don't have my real Garmin GPS on me.

    It hasn't let me down yet.

    Thanks but no thanks for your warning.
     
  3. thetomlin2

    thetomlin2 Guest
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    L'Etoile du Nord
    It gets me where I need to be when I dont know where I am going ... thats good enough for me.
     
  4. Yosef

    Yosef Well-Known Member
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    Yes, it will eventually get you "where you want to go," but wouldn't you like to take the fastest and best route? I'm looking for speed and accuracy, not neccessarily what's convienient! I guess in a pinch it's OK, but still there's a lot left to be desired!
     
  5. thetomlin2

    thetomlin2 Guest
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    I guess I dont use it enough to make it a big deal. Typically I can get close on my own then use it to get to the exact address. I havent used it in places the I am not some-what familiar with
     
  6. Podivin

    Podivin VIP Member
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    I've read too many stories about various people following their various GPS's directions and ending up in a building/ditch/lake/whatever to believe that any one mfg has 100% correct data. Ultimately it's up to the driver to say "wait, this doesn't seem right..."
    Even my trusted Garmin has suggested turns that make me say "Garminey, what're you thinkin??"
     
  7. JoeProcopio

    JoeProcopio Well-Known Member
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    it has only failed me once...trying to locate a hockey rink near me, said it was in the middle of a lake, but it was also in a new business complex, so i could understand, although my regular GPS got me there...but i love the alt routes it shows, and since i usually know the fastest way to get around in jersey, i need it to find the exact location, and it hasn't failed except that one time....stop with the hatin, lol.

    i usually use google earth or other ways of locating a place just as a backup before i leave when i don't know the place, but i think it works pretty darn well.
     
  8. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    1,323

    The OP's posted concerns seem to have merit. Here is a review written last month:

    Google Maps Navigation review | GPS Tracklog

    And excerpt:

    Google dumped Tele Atlas as their data provider just before unleashing Google Maps Navigation on the world, and much has been written about the poor quality of their road data. For the record, these are the worst problems I encountered:

    • Being routed the wrong way down a one way street!
    • Directing me to turn left at a no left turn intersection
    • The app would let me create a shortcut for an address but when I tried to use it, I discovered that it wasn’t able to route me there
    • A few instances of really horrible routing
    • Trying to route me down dead end roads that probably used to connect, but haven’t for many years
     
  9. MOS95B

    MOS95B Well-Known Member
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    Jan 16, 2010
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    Minnesota
    Map accuracy on any GPS is going to be like anything else (cellular coverage, gas prices, average IQ, ugliness of children, etc.) Locale, locale, locale.

    If your locale (aka location) is under a lot of construction, or was recently, the maps will be off. ALSO, none of the mapping services have the exact street addresses down pat. Unless there is a major POI to base it on, they use a formula to even space the numbers on a perticular block.

    And then you got cities like Boston. Good ol' TomTom told me to veer(sp?) left, at what must have been a 100 way intersection!! I know physics says it's impossible, but I Swear to Science, 100 roads all merged at that intersection, all to my left!!

    Seriously, anyone who counts on any GPS to get them exsactly where they're going, in what they consider to be the best route, is going to be disappointed most times...
     
  10. Pitamakan

    Pitamakan Well-Known Member
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    I've used Google Maps extensively, and been very pleased. OTOH, I borrowed by Dad's TomTom dedicated GPS for a major trip recently, and it seriously screwed me over a couple of times.

    Regardless, though, the point is this: no GPS system can be completely all-knowing. Use them with some common sense and you're fine, but take even the very best one and use it blindly, and you'll get yourself in trouble.
     
  11. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member
    73

    Like one of the posters, I've used it for years on the pc and it never failed me. But then I only needed it for the last few blocks since I can always find the last major cross street in any strange city. The problem comes from trying to use it as a turn by turn GPS. I never understood the need for that as it removes common sense from most folks, they just do what the magic box tells them to do and at any point they have no clue where they really are.

    Maybe because I'm old and grew up with actual maps (free or a few pennies) that you had to look at before driving. You had a mental image of where you are going instead of not thinking ahead at all and just following the prompts of a GPS. Example is that 100 way roundabout where you're told to turn left. Had you known about that before hand (thanks to looking at the map and planning ahead) you might know exactly which left that should be.

    I love having maps on the phone but I don't trust any technology enough to replace old fashion common sense and planning. As for dedicated GPS I've only used them to track where I've been and not where I'm going. I already know where I am, now I want to document where I've been. :)

    If it is that critical then get a dedicated GPS and pay the service fees. Meanwhile I'll buy a map for a buck and be waiting for you at the other end. :cool:
     
  12. aleis

    aleis Well-Known Member
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    works for me...
    though i only travel 6 out of 7 days :)
     
  13. Pitamakan

    Pitamakan Well-Known Member
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    +1 to that. GPS is very handy in many situations (like confirming your current location, for example) ... but for route planning it still can't beat a paper map and a few brain cells. The smart thing to do is use the two kinds of resources together.
     
  14. johnLEE

    johnLEE Well-Known Member
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    i can't complain for a service that is free.

    patiently awaiting 2.1!
     
  15. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead
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    +1

    If it gets me to someplace that I can't find on my own and for free then I have no complaints.
     
  16. pkopalek

    pkopalek Well-Known Member
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    Dec 19, 2009
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    Computer Technician / Systems Implementation Manag
    Buffalo, NY
    Anyone not mapping out their destination to begin with is in for a surprise.

    Turn by turn directions are a little bit overboard, but can help remind you when to get off your highway exit or how many miles ahead you have before you have to pay attention to the next turn.

    ALWAYS map things out on a MAP. Google Maps is a perfectly good Map, which I use, and I use it as a map. And, for the record, Google Maps online offers serveral different routes to your destination, as well as allowing you to 'avoid highways' and is decent for walking routes in metro areas too.

    As far as turn-by-turn directions? I don't think I'd try. If you're driving an hour or more away, and aren't familiar with the streets at your destination, look at the map CLOSELY to know what to key on, and what streets are nearby.

    Relying on turn by turn directions from ANY company is like relying on the intuition of a 1 year old to know when it's OK for her to take her diaper off.

    Bad idea. Use a map. Google Maps > Mapquest > Yahoo Maps, by far. It's the gold standard for maps. Navigation? Maybe or maybe not. Google Maps are not terrible at all.

    Google Maps 'Navigation' might not work great. I wouldn't rely on it, or any GPS Navigation to navigate the details. If it's 8 hours away, it might guide me to the right highway exists. But I never expect the side streets of small towns, or the 1 way streets of a town to be perfect. Or even close.
     
  17. mitchr

    mitchr New Member
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    I have never owned a dedicated GPS unit, but I had a LG Dare for about a year and a half before I got my Droid (I have the Moto Droid, wife has Eris), and while the VZNav wasn't much to look at it was very easy to use even while driving. Most importantly, it never let me down, at least not in a major or life threatening way.
    Google Maps is really fun to play with (I like to look at maps) but the navigation experience is a little complicated and I'm not sure yet whether I liked VZNav better.
     
  18. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead
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    I once read that GPS directions are only as good as the drunk/stoned college kid who mapped the area. I can believe this with some systems I have used. Most of them will get you to the right area though.
     
  19. lessit

    lessit Well-Known Member
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    Not trying to be critical, but do you have much experiance with gps units? My experiance is the opposite.
     
  20. mpaquette

    mpaquette Well-Known Member
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    It's no better or worse than my standalone Garmin unit or my wife's in car navigation unit. They all suck and do stupid things from time time, i.e. send you the wrong way down a 1 way street, tell you to turn down a street that doesn't exist, etc. etc. Nothing takes the place of good old common sense and not going through life with your head up your rear and expecting technology to always bail you out.
     
  21. lessit

    lessit Well-Known Member
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    Upon looking at a number of posts, I just don't get this GPS vs. common sense thinking. No one smart enough to get a drivers license has followed turn-by-turn directions into a lake. That's a nice press headline, but it didn't happen, yet it's used as an argument against GPS navigation.

    I tossed paper maps out of my car long ago because they weren't up to date and couldn't drill to the level of detail I needed on a trip. Have you ever dealt with the map "book" for a large city city like Los Angeles? When there's a detour or you want to take a side trip you certainly can't anticipate all the burgs you may go through and have paper maps at the ready.

    Is GPS perfect? Of course not, but neither are paper maps. There's no question in my mind, all of the people I know who use them, and the millions of people who rely on them everyday, that gps is a superior solution.
     
  22. aleis

    aleis Well-Known Member
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    +1
     
  23. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    I travel a bit by car, and I most often use an up to date paper map to get me to and around a city I've not visited yet. Between maps and asking directions at a gas station or (the best) city bus or taxi terminal I've never gotten lost (or driven into a lake).
     
  24. Pitamakan

    Pitamakan Well-Known Member
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    There's a place for everything. I absolutely agree that for quick trips in unfamiliar urban areas, a good GPS system can't be beat. But for longer trips, no GPS system can create an overview of alternate routings with the speed and the instinct of a human mind using a paper map. And since the quality of rural roads varies a whole lot, I find that GPS systems are often much less able to choose wisely in those areas.

    The other thing about having a printed map is that it gives you a better overall sense of where you're going. Unless you make a conscious effort to overcome it, turn-by-turn GPS tends to disassociate you from the bigger picture.
     
  25. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    Yeah, it's about choices, and about having something available that makes up for the shortcomings of the other choices.
     

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