GPS REVIEW - CUSTOMER
GARMIN NUVI 350
Dear GPS Central,
I' m writing to tell you of a few thoughts about
my new Garmin Nuvi 350.
This morning on the way to my local bakery,
I came upon a stop light that would not change. It was red (against
me) and after waiting for five minutes I cautiously made a left turn against
the red light. Then I had a thought: I paged 'BACK' to the
'WHERE TO' command, selected 'SPELL' and typed in 'POLICE'. My Nuvi
promptly displayed every local police station, closest first. When
I selected one it showed the phone number. I called them and reported
the malfunctioning red light. Then I had another thought: If
in trouble, selecting 'GO' on that page would have guided me to the police
We all go on road trips from time to
time, and a navigational aid is great to have. But my most frequent
use is when I'm in my own city, going to familiar places, but because
of bad weather and/or night conditions I can't read the street-signs ...!!
Without even setting it to route to an address, it displays all the cross-streets,
even at night or during a blizzard, or when the street-signs are actually
This last one ... I don't even believe
myself. I live in a condominium where 60% of the parking is under
the green park area surrounding it. So above me when I approach
my parking spot I have 8 inches of reinforced concrete and above that
twelve inches of granular-B and above that six inches of clay-loam and
then ... grass. Yet I retain a satellite lock (with greatly reduced
signal-strength) and I don't lose it until I pass under the condominium
building. While approaching my spot I turn through ¾ of a
circle, and my Nuvi shows these changes in direction. So it is NOT
intelligent suspension as when you pass through a tunnel.
Is it a 'toy' or a valuable asset?
The satellite network is compelling technology, costing many billions
of dollars to implement. Yet I get the use of it, at no direct cost.
Equally impressive is the equivalent of thousands of Perly's Guides plus
inter-city maps all over America, collected, scaled, compressed and delivered
on this tiny device. And the icing on the cake is the text-to-speech
and the 3-D (perspective) route display which makes it easy to see on
a 3.5" screen. So it's an asset way more valuable than the
purchase price. But, as I admitted to my wife, it sure is a great
J. D. Kalpin, P. Eng