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18

If you have a Nokia Symbian device, then you can get Ovi Maps installed on it. Ovi Maps allows you to download map files for as many countries as you want and store in on your memory card. Once that's done, you can set Ovi Maps to offline mode and still be able to use it to get directions. If you get a local SIM, then it will be able to show you rough ...


18

Unfortunately the plane body does an excellent job of blocking GPS signal. In general if you're in a window seat you will be able to get a signal by holding the GPS near the window (or, for example, on a tray table) - but if you're elsewhere on the plane it's very unlikely you'll get a signal. The exception to this may be the new Boeing 787, which is made ...


13

TomTom use "TeleAtlas" maps, and in fact they actually bought TeleAtlas several years ago. As with most mapping companies, TeleAtlas has varying levels of coverage for different countries. For countries like the US, TeleAtlas has near 100% coverage, which is to say that they have not just major highways, but all the way down to minor streets and even (in ...


12

There are different handheld GPS units. My favourite is the Garmin eTrex. Garmin's own MapSource maps are usually quite expensive and require annual updates. OpenStreetMap is a nice alternative; you should check the site if the coverage in the required area fits your needs. The quality of data is quite okay too. The map data can be stored offline in a ...


11

The difference sounds like a warm start vs a cold start. With a warm start, the GPS already knows Ephemeris data for at least 3 of the satellites above it. It can therefore kick straight off with solving the time signal equations, and can get a fix quickly. (That Ephemeris data could either come from having recently used the GPS, eg previous 4-6 hours, or ...


11

GPS devices do not have an active transmitter (for devices that don't go online to fetch map data, that is); they work by calculating time signals broadcast at low power by a constellation of satellites. Since there's no active transmitter and GPS signals are broadcast anyway (modern aircraft navigation systems do use GPS onboard), a watch or a camera ...


10

Yes, but the signal can be a bit weak. It's best to hold it to the window to get a lock. Depending on the GPS device, some are able to "hold onto the lock" even if they are not facing the window, so you only need to have it by the window for the initial lock. You may or may not be allowed to have it in the GPS. Here's my GPS while I was travelling near the ...


9

Yes, I did have GPS reception on my cellphone during a flight. However, it took quite a long time to get the initial coordinates, and I could not get updates on my location very often (the coordinates changed maybe once every 3-5 minutes). So I would say you would have bad reception in the best case. Maybe dedicated GPS devices would have a better antenna ...


9

FIrstly, even if you COULD get offline Google Maps, it's not that useful in non western countries. Murmansk - the largest city in the arctic circle, is shown as just two streets in Google Maps. Most of their coverage of Central Asia is next to useless as well. In addition, you need some serious storage for offline google maps. What I eventually settled ...


8

I've got a smartphone which can cache maps locally (it's a Nokia N900, but lots of other ones do that too, with a few notable exceptions). Before I go somewhere, on Wi-Fi I browse around the area I'll be visiting, so the phone downloads all the maps. When I'm there, I can then navigate around without needing to download anything, just using the cached maps ...


8

I tested this once on a flight which claimed it was fine, once you'd taken off, and not during landing - to use devices like this. I have an app on my phone (MyTracks) which is meant to track you when running, for example, but I just turned it on and left the phone running in my pocket. Not ideal for GPS, but I was in a window seat, giving it a slight ...


8

The major brands will definitely be able to sell you maps of other regions. For most that is core to their business model. The hardware is sold only once, so they need to make money on updates or remote maps. If you stick to the major brands (Garmin, Tomtom), you are set. If you are comfortable linking your devices to your computer and update content, ...


7

Along with this question, you can get a Data Sim from O2 for GBP10 that offers 1GB of data. That should be enough for quite some time of navigation I would think, and it's cheaper than any of your listed alternatives. The additional advantage is that you will not have to pay for internet in the hotel or elsewhere to do your email or send some photos home. ...


7

Open Cycle Map provides a good coverage of Europe. On the GPS section, you can find a device recommendation suited for cycling, as well as how to put Open Street Maps on it.


7

I don't know why there are no road maps of Iceland - but to answer the implied question of other ways of getting Iceland maps the following may be helpful. When I've needed navigation data for Iceland I've used Open Street Map, on a Garmin device. It looks like it should be possible to get them to work on a TomTom for more details see the TomTom page on ...


6

WGS84 isn't a "format" at such, it's a "projection". Sometimes it's called a "Datum". Sometimes even a "coordinate system". All of those terms are pretty much correct. As it turns out, the world isn't flat. What's more, it's not even round, but instead some weird elliptical-like shape. Maps, on the other hand, are flat (unless you include those weird ...


6

A cheap unlocked Android phone with GPS (they start at $120 or so) plus a free offline maps app like RMaps. You don't need a data connection, but have the option of popping in a cheap local prepaid SIM card for calls and net access. Then you can use Mobile Atlas Creator 1.8 to download relevant maps from different sources before you go (or using a laptop ...


6

I am a (private) pilot, and have used my various GPS enabled devices for years both when I fly myself, as well as on commercial flights. (In the past, when they were not allowed, I applied for and obtained special permission from the airlines I was then flying.) Depending on the seat location, and position of the GPS satelite constellation, my reception ...


4

If your phone is Android, you can download MapFactor or one of many other apps for free which allows offline navigation based on the maps from the OpenStreetMap project. Be sure to download the maps (also for free) via Wlan before you need them.


4

In addition to Gagravarr's answer, some phones will use A-GPS, where they use surrounding cell-towers or wifi to give themselves a headstart in locating their position. Certainly the position of satellites, mountains, cloud cover, nearby interference from powerlines, solar flares - there are a variety of different conditions that may affect it. In ...


4

I have used my GPS receiver frequently on flights (also to/within the US) and the only problem I had was getting it to acquire the satellites :) Some airlines explicitly allow them, e.g. Continental/United list them in the onboard magazine as allowed. That said, I do switch it off during takeoff and landing.


4

There's a geek answer to this, and a practical answer to this. The geek answer is that there are all sorts of electronics that can have no conceivable effect upon a plane in flight. The practical answer is that even if you're completely certain that your gizmo can't affect a plane, it's going to be up to the cabin crew to decide whether you are breaking ...


4

It's pretty ridiculous that I've seen airlines ask for these to be turned off at times. By definition, GPS is receive-only - it sends out NOTHING, so really the watch part of your watch probably emits more EM (note to science geeks, I can't back that statement up with fact). Anyway, they certainly won't ask you to turn off your watch, or remove the battery. ...


4

Firstly, WGS84 is a considerably different format to regular Lat/Long coordinates. Indeed, from a question on Stackoverflow, looking at the code to convert (if you were a programmer), it's quite a complex operation: $lon = ($lon / 20037508.34) * 180; $lat = ($lat / 20037508.34) * 180; $lat = 180/M_PI * (2 * atan(exp($lat * M_PI / 180)) - M_PI / 2); ...


4

If you currently have a GPS device, you may be able to load OpenStreetMap based maps on it for free. eg this is possible for most models of Garmins. For getting OSM maps on a Garmin, easiest to use this website: Garmin.OpenStreetMap.nl. You can pick which country you want, and it will give you a file to download. Depends on your device and how much memory ...


3

I have a Garmin Oregon 550 and I can confirm that one can get a decent signal if the reciever is positioned close to a window. Getting the initial fix might take a few minutes, however. For all the flights where I did not have a window seat, I lost the signal sooner or later and never got a fix again. My experience is, that different airplanes actually do ...


3

I'm going to propose an alternative solution: install OsmAnd on your phone, then download the data for the countries you're visiting. It's completely free (although donations are welcome) and completely offline, so you don't need any mobile data at all. Some caveats: Download the data before you leave, the files are huge (hundreds of megs). OsmAnd's ...


2

I would highly recommend getting a GPS over using mobile with data. From my experience, mobile signal is sketchy outside of the city. Also you don't have to worry about your phone battery etc. Try some companies that just rent GPS devices (on the cheap): http://www.hiregps.co.uk/ http://www.cheapsatnavhire.co.uk/index.php?pg=prices Regarding GPS from ...


2

As others have said, give serious consideration to not buying one! However, if you must... Tottenham Court Road would be your best bet. It's almost half way between Paddington and St Pancras, and if you don't have too much luggage it's probably a 30-40 minute walk from either. Otherwise, plenty of buses there, or you can take the tube (from Paddington walk ...


2

I would not rely on speed data in any GPS unit as a means of ensuring you are travelling the correct speed. Often-times I have experienced that they are not correct, especially with my Garmin unit. You will find that roads are well marked with speed limit signs. General speed limits can be looked up a head of time, so you can get a general idea based on ...



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