GPS devices are cheap, reliable and easy-to-use, but they've long been missing a dead-obvious feature: the ability to import a route or list of stops created on a computer. It's far easier to plan a drive on Google Maps or MapQuest, where you can visualize the whole route and browse for cool pitstops, than it is to do so on a device's small screen.
Fortunately, GPS makers are finally playing nice with the Web. Google Maps now has a "send" button that exports a destination of your choosing to your TomTom or Garmin unit, where it shows up alongside preprogrammed points of interest ("POIs" in GPS-speak). A site called takitwithme.com goes further, letting you export a group of POIs made with Google's My Maps tool to Garmin units. You can put together your own itinerary or, since many My Maps are public, pull a list of, say, a local's favorite lobster-roll joints before that drive to Maine. Mapquest.com offers the most complete solution, enabling you to export not just the stops but also the route between them. So you, not the device, can pick the path to follow.
Customize a Drive for Your Garmin GPS
1. Download and install Garmin's free Communicator plug-in for your Web browser at garmin.com. The test page can tell you if it's installed properly.
2. Plug your GPS unit into your computer using a USB cable.
3. Go to mapquest.com, search for destinations you want to visit along the route, and design your trip.
4. Click the "send" button near the top of the MapQuest page, and choose "to GPS."
5. Rename the file, choose the "route" button, and hit "send."
6. Eject the device, restart it, and choose "tools" on the main screen. Hit the "my data" button, choose "import route from file," and select your route.
7. On the main screen, hit the "where to" button, and choose "routes" to find your drive.
Hi, I appreciated this article since I often have some trouble getting my Nuvi 350 to take the route I want to take. However, when I attempt to do what is suggested, I end up downloading (from MapQuest) only the endpoints of the route, not the route itself. This happens despite selecting "route" prior to downloading. Also, I do not have a "Tools" option, etc, as described in the article. Is this procedure not valid for the Nuvi 350? Any suggestions?
I think these cheap, high-tech GPS units are great and make a joke of paying $1000 or $2000 extra when buying a new car, only to have a less sophisticated unit that doesn't have the latest in features like live traffic ... and you can put this in your pocket for when you're traveling by foot, taxi, bus, plane, rental car, etc. I think car makers need to partner with companies like Garmin or any of the big GPS markers and make in-car "Nav" function like a docking station for these units. Touchscreen, voice directions, street name reading, automatic updates on road-works, etc. Really, I think they need to work with companies like Google to have a G-Phone dock into the car, sync with the nearest wifi or 3G cell data account, download the route, check live traffic, re-route accordingly, etc. Google has redefined "search" now it's built a phone OS and a PC browser, so next I guess it builds the software for cars and home automation? Please! Please!
I've been doing this as a "geek" since the late 90's (first with Ricochet and later with simple laptops, cellular phone data services, etc.) I just want it to get smaller (as the actress said to the bishop) so it's more convenient and "just works" ... I guess that means we wait for Apple to do it! : ) Google, get going!
Do u think it is nice ?