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We're talking to Jesse today.

The Big Advantage? "After-Market GPS" or Factory Installed?

Q. If you have a choice, do you think it's better to buy a GPS unit separately ("after market") or factory installed?

A. Well, the obvious advantage with a separate unit is that it's portable. It can be moved between vehicles, onto a bike depending on the model, into your backpack in Europe.

Q. And if that doesn't matter, say, it's going to be used for travel in one car?

A. That depends on the auto manufacturer. Some do have high quality GPS receivers and mapping installed as an option. It varies. The voice command in a Lexus is really good. They're all different for GMC, Volkswagon, Nissan, Toyota and so on. But for a lot, you probably will only get your area, like Calgary or Edmonton (not both!). On the other hand, most after-market receivers for automotive use have North American mapping preloaded, and extra maps (for oceans, land topography, and worldwide travel) available too. You have to watch for poor mapping and coverage areas with the factory installed.

Q. What about the cost?

A. Hands down, I'd go with after-market. To get a premium package for your car from the auto manufacturer, it costs about $3000. You can get a high end after-market unit for about $1000, and really good road models for $500 or less. It just depends on what you want. Maybe a premium package with leather, sun roof and GPS/stereo is a great bargain too!


ROAD TRIPS & armchair musings ...

CBC listeners and judges were asked to choose Canada's Seven Wonders. The nominations were in the thousands, with many posted on the CBC website. People talked about places, objects (e.g. canoe) that inspired them, which had had an osmotic, passionate effect: the Bay of Fundy, Churchill Manitoba...

The Canadian provinces' tourism departments are great resources for museums, national/provincial park information, Canadian history and promoting what's unique about each province:

British Columbia | Alberta | Saskatchewan | Manitoba | Ontario | Quebec | Newfoundland Labrador | PEI | New Brunswick | Nova Scotia | Nunavut | Northwest Territories | Yukon

Visit the Government of Canada website for National Historic Site information |
Lieux historique nationaux du Canada

canadian flag See Parks Canada for a wealth of natural information.
From far and wide, ...

The New York Times Friday July 6, 2007
Travel Guides: Road Trips | Frugal Traveler, American Road Trip

From great Vietnamese food in Oklahoma to hybrid rental flleets, cover a lot of ground exploring this site.

The frugal traveler himself is on a 12-week journey from New York City to Seattle (sort of indirectly). Today he enjoys warm blackberry cobbler à la mode at Anna's Country Kitchen on his way to Texas.

SMART IDEASOCIAL NETWORKING. GPX is a data format for exchanging GPS data between programs, and for sharing GPS data with other users.

1. GPS Galaxies are Gigahertz Peaked Spectrum radio galaxies.
2. GPS is also a rock band.

3. gPS is a graphical process statistics tool for Unix.
4. GPs are doctors.

GPS SIGHTINGS: pop & celebrity & politics & natural sciences etc.

July 7
Solar powered GPS receivers track snapping turtles to see how they're coping with loss of habitat and other factors, University of Massachusetts.

June 6
BIGFOOT! Unexpected sighting makes Holly cry and laugh on her birthday.
bigfoot at holly's birthday

June 1
An arboretum in Kentucky GPS-locates 1219 trees and 1778 shrubs. The botanical information is available on indexed maps <PDF> at kiosks in the park.

April 16-19
Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report) sponsors a Leatherback Sea Turtle in the Great Turtle Race. "Stephanie Colburtle" places 2nd. The turtles are tagged with GPS trackers.

March 29
In a videocast (Iranian TV: CNN), Iranian officials display a GPS receiver British sailors used before they were seized by Iranian forces. Three crew used a personal handheld Garmin GPS, an eTrex Legend.


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