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A voice to guide you on the road
Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 15 December 2007 12:32

A voice to guide you on the road

By David Pogue
December 15, 2007, 6:00 AM PST C/Net
GPS didn't always stand for Global Positioning System, you know.

In the beginning, it stood for the Grunting and Pointing System, used by cavemen to indicate the nearest watering hole. By the horse-and-buggy era, GPS had evolved into a different navigation technology: Guidance by Pony Sense. In the automobile age, GPS came to mean Grumbling by Peeved Spouse. ("Why won't you just stop and ask?")

Today, GPS is a beautiful thing. A receiver in your car can learn its own location from 24 government-owned satellites overhead--your tax dollars at work.
You're guided to a destination with colorful moving maps on a touch screen and an authoritative voice ("In 200 feet, turn right").

I went looking for GPS models that fulfill three requirements. First, each must be tiny (about the size of an index card), self-contained, and battery-operated, so you can take it hiking or biking when it's not plugged into your car's cigarette lighter.

Second, each must display live traffic and accident data--and offer to reroute you as necessary. (The traffic data is available mainly in big cities and on highways, and costs extra--usually $50 to $80 a year.)

And finally, each must pronounce actual street names--not just "Turn right," but "Turn right on South Maple Street." That feature makes an enormous difference when you're flying blind in a new town.

As it turns out, only the top models meet those criteria.... More   Comment in the Forums

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