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We've already had a dedicated thread regarding HWY 401 and the Express Collector lane issue, so I thought I'd give my thoughts on some other odd directions that my Garmin 1350 LMT seems to provide.

I live between Yonge St and Mt. Pleasant Road, South of Lawrence. When I put in a destination that's east of me, the Garmin directs me to Yonge St, to the west of my home first, then directs me north and east. When I put in a destination west of me, it directs me to Mt. Pleasant Road, to the east of my home, then directs me north and west. I could understand if it thought that either Mt. Pleasant or Yonge were the "faster" route, but this inconsistency baffles me.

In the Lawrence Park area, I have to get almost to Bayview before it stops trying to direct me back west, even though my destination is say Oshawa or Peterborough.
 

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Many GPS devices have the ability to change the routing algorithms so directions are calculated on the fastest route or the shortest route or sometimes to avoid certain types of roads.

When I use Google Maps it often has me going to the 427 and then to the 401. In fact, I go north to the 401 and avoid the 427. In a perfect world, they are likely equivalent but experience tells me the route I take is superior.

My guess is the CPU in the GPS is only so powerful so it can only brute force so many routes.
 

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The "odd directions" I've had with my Garmin GPS have largely been due to data errors or outdated map data. When the map data is current for the region, the advice it gives is usually very good.

The exception to this rule is when driving around downtown Edmonton. During rush hour there are bridges you definitely want to avoid, and the GPS just doesn't know this and may send you into highly congested traffic.

My girlfriend has a Nexus One and it's sometimes interesting to see how the driving directions on the Garmin device and the Android device differ. Google's maps are almost always more up to date (even though I have a "lifetime" maps sub on my Garmin and update regularly).
 

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I get the same thing as 57 for my street. To go West, it wants me to go East and North from my house.
 

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I get to leave the TransCanada and travel on a gravel road that isn't even a through road if I try to head West 80km on the TCH from my home.
 

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Back in Decembre during my Florida road-trip, it was around 10 at night and the gas tank was running on red, so we put in to search for a gas station in the device. First one it sends up to was old and depricated, obviously shut down for some time. So after clicking the next closest one, it sent us onto some private dirt roads in an Orange Grove! We were almost lost, but luckily I was able to back-track, and finally we found a gas station that was real :D
 

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was on my way to our pre-honeymoon (2008) in Port Stanley coming from Windsor and after getting off the 401 it sent us down every gravel road it could.... even after we selected "No" to backroads....

Damn Bell Mobility GPS!!! lol
 

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Garmin Routing Problem on Map Segment Boundaries

Garmin users should be made aware of a problem I discovered that might result in strange routes and misleading driving instructions.

The problem is that the unit will fail to inform you of turns because it treats two or more legs of a route as a single leg. Unless you actually notice on the map that you are close to an upcoming turn, you might drive straight through an intersection because the distance to the next turn will be incorrect and you will not receive any voice prompts. Once through the intersection, the unit will re-calculate and either try to get you back on the original route or give you a new, possibly less optimal one.

I'm fairly certain that the problem happens when part of the route involves travel on a road that lies exactly on the boarder of two map segments. I don't know how extensive this problem is because it would involve finding roads running along segment boundaries and testing each intersection to see if it is affected. I can say that I've so far only tried three instances and all three had the problem.

I informed Garmin of the problem over a year ago, using their map error report on the Web, and a second time by phoning tech. support and having the service rep. log a mapping problem. So far there's no indication that they've fixed it, at least for my Nuvi 750.

For specific examples that you can try, read on:

Three examples I've found are described here. Unless you're close to one and want to actually follow the route, your unit will have to be put in simulation mode. You set your location to the start point, simulate a drive to the end point and examine the directions and instructions that are given. These examples have worked for me as described for all City Navigator NT 2010 and 2011 versions. They won't work with 2009 versions because the map segment boundaries changed between 2009 maps and 2010 maps.

An easy way to get the start and end points is to load this file: Seg_Route_Test.gdb into Mapsource and then transfer the waypoints (favorites) to your GPS unit. Otherwise, here is the information: (You don't have to get the start and end points exact. Somewhere close on the same road will do.)

1. Marilee Rd. (Cr-60) north of Celina, TX (north of Dallas)
Start AXXX1: N33 23.999 W96 45.751 Preston Rd. N. (Hwy 289) about 480 metres south from Marilee Rd.
End AXXX2: N33 24.436 W96 46.325 Texas Longhorn Trl. about 320 metres north from Marilee Rd.

2. (This is where I noticed the problem and is the only one I've actually driven)
Lakeridge Rd. north of Pickering, Ontario, Canada (north east of Toronto)
Start BXXX1: N43 59.553 W79 02.121 Myrtle Rd. W. about 320 metres east from Lakeridge Rd.
End BXXX2: N43 58.492 W79 01.654 Brawley Rd. W. about 320 metres east from Lakeridge Rd.

3. Winston Churchhill Blvd. north of Erin, Ontario, Canada (north west of Toronto)
Start CXXX1: N43 49.084 W80 05.481 Wellington Rd. 22 about 640 metres west from Winston Churchhill Blvd.
End CXXX2: N43 47.912 W80 03.820 Wellington Rd. 124 about 480 metres west from Winston Churchhill Blvd.

Here are the instructions (using example 1) for a Garmin Nuvi 750 running software version 4.90, assuming that the above start and end points have been set as Favorites (Waypoints). I expect other Nuvi's are similar. Other Garmin auto-routing products might also have a simulation mode but setup may vary.

1. Enable GPS Simulator: Tools -> Settings -> System -> Gps Simulator, Select "On"

2. Set location to start point: Where to? -> Favorites -> AXXX1 -> Show Map -> Set Loc

3. Route to end point: Where to? -> Favorites -> AXXX2 -> Go!

You can select "Yes" for "Do You want to simulate driving this route" if you want to follow the route and hear what voice instructions are given. If you select "No" you can still examine the route by pressing the text bar at the top of the screen (It should just say "Arrive at AXXX2", with no turns).

The other two examples should behave similarly, with one or both turns missing. Example 2 is interesting in that it wants you to first turn right and then make a U-turn, and even MapSource will calculate this (It doesn't with 2009 maps). Reversing the examples to drive from end to start should also cause the same problem.

If you watch the vehicle during a simulated drive you may see it abruptly change directions briefly, as if suddenly heading away from the destination. This is especially true with example 2. You may get additional confusing voice instructions at these times. With my unit, it even starts driving backwards sometimes and then gets stuck.

If you are able to verify this problem, you may wish to report it to Garmin. If they get multiple reports, they might fix it sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I recently travelled to NYC and because of many tall buildings, the GPS often "thought" that I was on an incorrect street. For example, I was driving on 54th, but it thought I was on 56 (or something similar).

The interesting thing going through the Lincoln tunnel was that I didn't lose the GPS signal like I do in many tunnels. I wonder if there is some sort of "repeater" system in there, or a GPS signal (generated by some device - say similar to Cell Antennae) to indicate roughly where you are..
 

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I've occasionally had my Garmin tell me to turn off the highway onto a dirt road, take another couple of dirt roads in a circle, and end up back on the original highway a little further down, for no apparent reason.

It also sometimes just doesn't bother to tell me verbally which way to go at a fork.
 

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A couple years ago while driving from Philly to Our hotel in Manhattan ny my gps had me making left hand turns on to streets that weren't allowed. I did it anyway and the horns were a honking. I would have thought that would have been set up not to do that. Another thing goofy was there was a rental car place in a buliding that had big garage doors on both sides. It actually treated the cut thru the building as a street. :confused:
 

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I had a really sad one last week. I was driving home from Rochester and as is normal, it was directing me down to I90 (thruway) as I was leaving Rochester across HWY 104. I know 104 comes out near Lewiston (bridge) and I had the time so I was continuing along 104 and eventually the GPS recalculated the route when I was a bit out of Rochester to stay on 104.

Anyway, as I approached Lewiston to Canada it directed me south on I190 towards the Peace Bridge. How stupid is that? I'm guessing that it recalculated the 104 part but didn't recalculate the entire route since the "detour" south to the Peace Bridge made no sense taking me far out of the way (GPS set to "faster time").

I actually ended up following the GPS instructions because there was heavy traffic and lots of snow and I was paying more attention to the GPS and the traffic than road signs. Since I travel to Buffalo a lot, I noticed right away that I was headed south away from the Lewiston bridge and did a "U-turn" at an exit.

So, even an experienced driver can be taken aback by these devices if you don't use your head. (on the whole though, I've been very pleased with my Garmin 1350 LMT during the past year. The POIs have been especially useful when travelling to areas where I have not been.)
 

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Issues with GPS sending you in wrong direction when crossing border etc...?

Took trip with family to Ohio last week from Windsor. I recently updated my Garmin 50 LM to the 2013.2 map and was ready to go. Unit kept recalculating over and over until finally in Detroit it determined a route. Left to come home and changed from shortest route to quickest. Did not think much of being sent east until realizing (night travel) I was in Cleaveland. Long story short, with Garmin's help we determined that in trying to avoid the Ohio Turnpike "toll road" it also took the border crossings in Windsor / Detroit as also "toll roads". That's why the unit always tries to send me to Buffalo crossing from or to Windsor. border staff informed me that atleast 25 people told him the same story that night. Have now shut off "toll road" avoidance, hopefully that will fix the repeated calculatig and wrong direction issues. Never thought of the border tolls as being like a "toll road".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There may be a toll at the bridge (likely) or there was a bridge that used to charge toll that the GPS didn't remove yet. When I programme in Chicago from Toronto, it tries to send me via Montreal - there's no toll there. As soon as I remove the toll restriction, it sends me properly via Sarnia or Detroit.

I always check the route map and directions beforehand so that it doesn't send me some way I don't want to go. I usually now also leave the toll restriction disabled because it can do weird things on my travels to/from Buffalo / Toronto. The only Toll Road that I try to avoid is 407 - I don't have a transponder and don't need to go near there often and I simply avoid getting on and let the GPS recalculate - I'm also familiar enough with the area.

I usually also look at my route using Google maps beforehand when on vacation travel and sometimes even print those maps to take along and put in via points, etc.

Here's the previous thread on "blind trust". There are many examples on the internet - recently someone drove into the ocean when a ferry wasn't there (again), etc.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=1260841#post1260841
 

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Quote from July 2011 post: It also sometimes just doesn't bother to tell me verbally which way to go at a fork
Just listen to Yogi Berra: When you come to a fork in the road, take it. :p
 

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The last one i used in a rental car tried sending me across a lake... Then when i got to my destination they told me that it had actually sent me the long way around and through the back country and not on the main hwy that would have only taken a hour instead of 4
 

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I have TomTom on my iPhone.

We were in Moncton last week. The New Brunswick Casino's address is 21 Casino Drive, Moncton, NB.

TomTom does not know that Casino Drive exists! It could not find it, no matter what variations we tried.

Google Maps did find it, so we used that for the last bit of the trip.

A suggestion for anyone travelling through NB - the hotels besides the casino are very reasonable, The Amsterdam was very nice and Motel 6 (Hotel 6?) was about the same price (very low).

You then go to the casino with photo ID, you get a membership card (free), then you go into the casino and have dinner there. Dinner is normallyl $11.95, but the (free) membership card gives you a $5 reduction. The dinner is excellent, lots of choices, all you can eat, and includes coffee and soft drinks.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When I was in Portugal, I programmed in a hotel in Nazare. We were still a few km from Nazare when the GPS directed us up a logging road into the middle of the forest.

Obviously I drove about 100 m up that road, turned around and programmed in the tourist information in town to find the hotel. That was one of the weirder ones. One cannot simply blindly follow one of these things since they do contain errors.
 

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I bought a new Garmin GPS about two months ago, the only problem with directions so far is that it thinks Lambeau Field in Green Bay is only the wrong side of Lombardi Ave. Not really an issue because you realize very early that it is wrong but kind of surprising.
 

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Scotta this might be what you are talking about.

I have noticed on my updated Garmin C320 that when you approach Vanier on Allumettières it instructs you to keep right (or maybe it is keep left). The 2 lane Boulevard is perfectly straight at that point and has been for a long time. I could understand if the road forked but that is not the case. There are 2 main lanes and they both continue straight through the 4 way intersection with two short turning lanes at the intersection.

You can see the intersection here.
http://binged.it/PZf0Hp

Note this is not TURN left or TURN right instruction. I wonder if is it possible that in the past the left lane was left turning only and this was programmed into the segment. My GPS came out long before Lane Assist.

I also recall being instructed to exit, but my route continued along the same hwy. It was as if there was a break in the hwy segment and only the exit and on ramps connected them together.

One last note. I was getting some truly bizarre directions once. It turns out my battery was low (but not critical). As soon as I plugged it in it started to give correct directions again. Perhaps the voltage temporarily dropped and the memory was compromised.
 
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