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Major Geek
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Discussion Starter #1
Back in April or so, I updated the Nav software from Zenrin.com and people asked if I've noticed any changes in the functionality, not just the improvement in the map data. Even after driving across the country, I didn't notice anything different until last week driving from Philly to Central Florida.

First, now the GPS ("Nancy") refuses to plot the entire course from Philly to the Orlando, FL area, saying its too long. I believe I've heard of people saying this before, but this is the first time its happened to me. Perhaps those people were driving '04s and already had the updated software.

Second, and this is much worse, she seems to ignore the "Avoid Areas" now. We arrived mid-afternoon last Saturday, July 3rd, and were coming down Route 95 from the North. That was a few hours before the Pepsi 400 NASCAR race was scheduled to start in Daytona. We were going to the race, but I needed to pick people up near Lake Mary first. So, heading south, the last thing I wanted to do was take 95 all the way to 4 and then go out 4. I set a wide variety of ignore areas covering 95 between the Daytona area and the town we wanted to get off 95 at.. Butell or something like that. No matter what kind of Avoid Area I programmed, Nancy could care less, and kept setting up routes plowing right through all the race traffic on 95. I ended up setting a waypoint on 17/92 somewhere near Deltona to force her to route us that way. I haven't tried the detour functions out yet to see if they were affected, too. Either way, its still a PITA. I either want a refund or a free upgrade to the next release, this is ridiculous.

Several months ago, I detailed a trick I use to adjust a route when driving the NJ Turnpike in case I need to avoid an accident or if my planned exit is closed or jammed. I loaded up all of the exits on the turnpike in the address book, and that makes it easy to choose places either to avoid or set as waypoints when I don't have much time to fiddle with the map. If the avoid area function is now broken, that's a total waste of $180.
 

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Make sure to contact Zenrin and let them know about the problem. They may not be aware of the issue.

I may contact them too and offer suggestion for future releases. Here are some things I would like to see if possible:

1. Have a "Nearby" setting in the POI selection so you don't have to select the City State. I saw this on the Acura's 2000 navagation DVD and it was really nice since you could put in a Restaurant name, and select nearby and it would provide a list with the mileage to each from your current position.

2. Have the City/State fields autopopulate on any of the input screens with the City and State that you are currenlty in. This will make inputing local destinations much easier.

3. Have a dedicated "Interstate" speed setting so that you can put in separate speed setting for an Interstate and a divided highway. It is really annoying when I am driving on a 55 mph highway and it goes with 65 mph I have set in the highway seeting for Interstate speeds.

Anyone else have any ideas.
 

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Major Geek
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638 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I contacted them right after posting the msg, along with 2 data error reports about new roadways. People with Nav, its up to us to make the map data as accurate as possible. Sign up at zenrin.com and submit as many corrections as you possibly can. I was able to get an airport removed for the 6.2 update that had been gone for five or six years when I bought the car.

We already have a variation on your first suggestion. Instead of entering a restaurant name and clicking "nearby", I frequently choose a cuisine type and click "nearby". I think your second suggestion would be great -- to pre-fill the city & state with current data. I also wish there was a "diner" category for cuisine. As for speeds, they should just take a loaded avg and use that for calculations like my Garmin.

Next, I wish the POI search results screen would update dynamically, also like my Garmin. When you drive into a real touristy area that has a "restaurant row", its really quite nice to bring up a list of nearby restaurants and just watch the list update itself as you slowly drive down the street.

Finally, I wish the units had something like a 1GB compact flash drive that would store the differences between actual track and the map plots. That way, as nav-equipped Nissan owners take their cars to the shop for maintenance, a zenrin-supplied PC at the shop could remotely query the cars for any deltas they've recorded, calculate the new "true" track, averaging out the variances introduced by GPS, and roll up the summaries for transmission back to zenrin. There's a street in Trenton, NJ that was converted from a 25 mph zone to a 45 and 55 mph highway a few years ago that zenrin hasn't caught up to (my own fault, I know -- I finally submitted it yesterday!) but if enough zenrin-equipped cars drive through there and record the new shape of the road and the new speeds, it should be enough to trip an investigation at zenrin. The process shouldn't be that manual in this day and age anymore.

After having the Garmin Streetpilot III for a few years, I can't help but feel like Zenrin has many pieces but just can't assemble them. I still have a very long term dream of replacing the OS in the Nav with Linux but I found out recently that gpsdrive doesn't do door-to-door routing yet. I will run gpsdrive on my carputer, but that will probably serve more as my legally-compliant screensaver than anything else.
 
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